Patricia G C Ruggiero, University of São Paulo
Different ways and perspectives on how political processes and motivation influence conservation science and practice will be discussed by speakers with varied experiences linking multiple dimensions and scales of the science-policy-politics interface.
Political processes and motivations are often neglected as crucial factors across multiple spheres of conservation science and practice. From high levels of decision making, through policy design life-cycle, to pulverized on-the-ground decisions on natural resources exploitation, political motivation influences conservation outcomes in both directions, either for good or bad. Conservation policies are a suite of tools conceived to reduce human activities causing natural resources depletion and ecosystem services loss in large scale, such as land use transformations. Such policy design should be based on the interaction of multiple knowledge across steps of co-production between scientists and non-scientists. And how science is uptaken into policy discussion and which policies are implemented should depend on previous resolution of conflicts of interests and values within societies – a political process. Not rarely though political interests of a few prevail instead of a broader common ground agreement of interests and values. This is frequently observed during elections when opportunistic politicians in the office with access to levers of political power manipulate social and economic policy instruments to affect the outcomes in the ballot. If politicians have access to environmental governance, why would natural resources, such as tropical forests, be spared from this type of phenomena? We propose a symposium to discuss the relations between conservation outcomes, science, policy and politics. We aim at shedding light on the possible pitfalls of the policy-science interface and the pathways for grounding conservation policies in science; the decision making concerning the design, funding and implementation of policies and the opportunistic political motivations that affect natural resources and may offset genuine efforts towards conservation. We expect this symposium to be of relevance for scientists, practitioners and policy-makers involved with different aspects of the science-policy interface. We aimed at promoting the discussion of conservation policies and the influence of political aspects on conservation, and also expect that this space of knowledge interaction may be the basis for improving partnership and future collaboration within the ATBC.
Photo: Trond Sverre Kristiansen / NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet
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Political deforestation cycles in Brazil (Patricia G C Ruggiero)