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Assessing diverse evidence to improve conservation decision-making

Christie, Alec P; Morgan, William H; Salafsky, Nick; White, Thomas B; Irvine, Robyn; Boenisch, Nicolas; Chiaravalloti, Rafael M; ... Sutherland, William J; + view all (2023) Assessing diverse evidence to improve conservation decision-making. Conservation Science and Practice , Article e13024. 10.1111/csp2.13024. (In press). Green open access

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Meeting the urgent need to protect and restore ecosystems requires effective decision‐making through wisely considering a range of evidence. However, weighing and assessing evidence to make complex decisions is challenging, particularly when evidence is of diverse types, subjects, and sources, and varies greatly in its quality and relevance. To tackle these challenges, we present the Balance Evidence Assessment Method (BEAM), an intuitive way to weigh and assess the evidence relating to the core assumptions underpinning the planning and implementation of conservation projects, strategies, and actions. Our method directly tackles the question of how to bring together diverse evidence whilst assessing its relevance, reliability, and strength of support for a given assumption, which can be mapped, for example to a Theory of Change. We consider how simple principles and safeguards in applying this method could help to respectfully, and equitably, include more local forms of knowledge when assessing assumptions, such as by ensuring diverse groups of individuals contribute and assess evidence. The method can be flexibly applied within existing decision‐making tools, platforms, and frameworks whenever assumptions (i.e., claims and hypotheses) are made. This method could greatly facilitate and improve the weighing of diverse evidence to make decisions in a range of situations, from local projects to global policy platforms.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing diverse evidence to improve conservation decision-making
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/csp2.13024
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.13024
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. Conservation Science and Practice published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: conservation evidence, decision-making, evidence assessment, evidence-based, evidenceinformed, local knowledge, project management
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10178119
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