1 Tahrcountry Musings: Post-normal science and the art of nature conservation

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Post-normal science and the art of nature conservation

Post-normal science and the art of nature conservation

Robert A. Francis and Michael K. Goodman
 Department of Geography, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK

Here is a paper that reflects uncertainties associated with present day conservation.  The authors say nature conservation may be considered a post-normal science in that the loss of biodiversity and increasing environmental degradation require urgent action but are characterized by uncertainty at every level. An ‘extended peer community’ with varying skills, perceptions and values are involved in decision-making and implementation of conservation, and the uncertainty involved limits the effectiveness of practice.

The authors examine threadbare the key ecological, philosophical and methodological uncertainties associated with conservation. They then highlight the uncertainties and gaps present within the structure and interactions of the conservation community and the communication gap between researchers and practitioners. The researchers say a policy that strives to minimize uncertainties would be a useful progression for nature conservation. They come up with recommendations in which knowledge transfer between researchers and practitioners can be improved to support robust decision making and conservation enactment.

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