Adoption and implementation of scientific knowledge into peatland policy – does it work?

Adoption and implementation of scientific knowledge into peatland policy – does it work?

Author: Rosmarie Katrin Neumann – Impact Dialog and University of Newcastle, Germany

Jeremy Phillipson – Newcastle University
Mark Reed – Newcastle University

Evidence-based policy development is important to ensure up-to-date and robust knowledge is integrated into environmental legislation. To ensure that scientific evidence is taken into account for environmental policy-making, science-policy communication, exchange and its co-production is vital. Two case studies of science-policy dialogue around peatland ecosystem services (UK and Germany) were studied and analysed via literature review, social network analysis (SNA), Bayesian network, questionnaires, participatory observation and stakeholder workshops. Within the social network and Bayesian network analysis, all actors in the two case studies were interviewed and the social network was analysed according to characteristics of knowledge exchange and relationships between the actors. Proxies for trust and effectiveness of communication were used. Stakeholder workshops for each case study enabled triangulation of data and allowed for social learning amongst participants through discussions to reflect on lessons learnt. Questionnaires were sent to ~ 100 international peatland policy makers to study their perspective on effective stakeholder communication. Results of the study show that the one-way model of communication was used more widely than a two-way dialogue model. A mismatch between transmission of knowledge and receiving of knowledge can be demonstrated. Scientific evidence is taken into account when stakeholders have been in a regular and ongoing exchange of knowledge. Proxies for trust are positively correlated with uptake of scientific knowledge into political decision-making. This study provides a basis for improving knowledge adoption and implementation strategies in the field of ecosystem services, conservation and beyond. The methods used in this study enable the analysis of existing science-policy network structures, to determine if they enable science-policy knowledge exchange or co-generation, as well as conditions (such as trust between network actors) that facilitate successful knowledge exchange for evidenced-based decision-making.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Show, tell and talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Influencing policies through science communication