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Honest advocacy for nature: presenting a persuasive narrative for conservation

Rose, DC; Brotherton, PNM; Owens, S; Pryke, T; (2018) Honest advocacy for nature: presenting a persuasive narrative for conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation , 27 pp. 1703-1723. 10.1007/s10531-016-1163-1. Green open access


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Conservation scientists are increasingly recognising the value of communicating policy-relevant knowledge to policy-makers. Whilst considerable progress has been made in offering practical advice for scientists seeking to engage more closely with decision-makers, researchers have provided few tangible examples to learn from. This paper uses an English case study, but draws out important high-level messages relevant to conservation scientists worldwide. The case study looks at how the Lawton Review presented knowledge persuasively about the suitability of England’s ecological network to deal with future pressures. Through skilful framing of rigorous scientific knowledge it was able to make a significant impact on government policy. Impact was achieved through: (1) selecting politically salient frames through which to communicate; (2) using clear, accessible language, and; (3) conducting rigorous science using an authoritative team of experts. Although its publication coincided with a favourable policy window, the Lawton Review seized on this opportunity to communicate a rigorously argued, persuasive and practical conservation message; in other words, it performed ‘honest advocacy’. Thus, whilst it remains important to conduct scientific research with technical rigour, conservation scientists could also benefit from identifying salient frames for conservation and communicating clearly.

Type: Article
Title: Honest advocacy for nature: presenting a persuasive narrative for conservation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10531-016-1163-1
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-016-1163-1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Evidence-based policy; Evidence-informed policy; Framing; Science communication; Science-policy interface
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1556100
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