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Conserving biodiversity takes a plan: How planners implement ecological information for biodiversity conservation
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, US.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, US.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, Viktoria.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, US.
2019 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Conserving biodiversity is critical to the sustainability of human settlements, and stands to benefit from collaboration between ecologists focused on understanding natural systems and planners balancing social, environmental, and economic priorities. Drawing from the socially-situated definition of ‘sustainability’, we sought to understand the relationship between ecologists and planners by probing how planners in the southeastern US prioritize and engage with biodiversity conservation and ecological information, and how context influences these decisions. We find that context matters, e.g., higher jurisdictional population density was positively associated with prioritizing tree cover and diversity. We find, also, that while biodiversity conservation and ecological information are valuable to planners, planners rely heavily on their colleagues to inform conservation-related activities and prioritize conservation topics that differ from ecological research foci. Improved communication by ecologists and context-specific transdisciplinary sustainability research, especially that which incorporates the primary role of elected officials in biodiversity conservation, may help to integrate ecological science and planning practice. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands , 2019.
Keywords [en]
Conservation policy, Ecological guidelines, Land use planning, Socio-ecological systems, Sustainability
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-40881DOI: 10.1007/s13280-019-01281-zScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074848606OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-40881DiVA, id: diva2:1373611
Note

Funding details: University of North Carolina, UNC; Funding details: Karen Brown Scleroderma Foundation, KBS; Funding text 1: This research was made possible by a University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte Research Scholars award to KBS. We profusely thank the planners who took time out of their busy schedules to answer our survey questions. We also thank the reviewers of our manuscript whose comments have significantly improved our work.

Available from: 2019-11-27 Created: 2019-11-27 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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