The Canadian context for evidence-based conservation and environmental management

Steven J. Cooke, Jake C. Rice, Kent A. Prior, Robin Bloom, Olaf Jensen, David R. Browne, Lisa A. Donaldson, Joseph R. Bennett, Jesse C. Vermaire, Graeme Auld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Canada has strong institutional capacity for science-based decision-making related to natural resource conservation and environmental management. Yet, the concept of using systematic reviews (conducted in accordance with established guidelines) to support evidence-based conservation and environmental management in Canada is in its infancy. Here we discuss the Canadian context for implementing more rigorous evidence-based approaches using systematic reviews. Of particular relevance to Canada is its vast size, broad diversity of ecosystems and heavy economic reliance on natural resources that vary widely in the type and scale of their environmental effects. These factors result in a wide variety of environmental monitoring needs over an extensive area that pose challenges to the scientific community charged with overseeing wise use of the environment. In addition, there are diverse and engaged user groups (e.g., hunters, trappers, fishers, bird watchers, foresters) and indigenous peoples that have constitutional rights to their natural resources. Traditional environmental knowledge is a complementary source of evidence in the Canadian environmental impact assessment process and therefore must be a part of evidence synthesis. Systematic reviews are not intended to replace local field studies, but rather have the opportunity to draw upon a broader suite of evidence that can be interfaced with local perspectives. The existing institutional structures in Canada could easily incorporate systematic reviews into their science advice and decision-making frameworks but to date, there are few examples of where this has occurred. Drawing on the expertise of a growing global collaboration for environmental evidence synthesis, Canadian institutions (federal, provincial and NGO) are poised to more broadly incorporate systematic reviews once their benefits are fully realized and the capacity to undertake such systematic reviews is fully developed. Systematic reviews offer a consolidated view of the available scientific literature on a given question. The results may offer significant value when working with stakeholders and decision makers contributing other sources of information to the question. For example, mechanisms to capture and integrate scientific knowledge with stakeholder and traditional knowledge may benefit from the scientific sources being filtered, interpreted and summarized for discussion. In other cases, where timeframes for decision making preclude formal systematic reviews, opportunities for more rapid evidence synthesis methods will be needed before the concept will be fully embraced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
JournalEnvironmental Evidence
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 18 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Environmental management
conservation management
environmental management
Conservation
decision making
stakeholder
natural resource
Natural resources
traditional knowledge
environmental impact assessment
environmental monitoring
environmental effect
nongovernmental organization
Decision making
bird
ecosystem
economics
Environmental impact assessments
Birds
Ecosystems

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Ecology

Cite this

Cooke, S. J., Rice, J. C., Prior, K. A., Bloom, R., Jensen, O., Browne, D. R., ... Auld, G. (2016). The Canadian context for evidence-based conservation and environmental management. Environmental Evidence, 5(1), [14]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13750-016-0065-8
Cooke, Steven J. ; Rice, Jake C. ; Prior, Kent A. ; Bloom, Robin ; Jensen, Olaf ; Browne, David R. ; Donaldson, Lisa A. ; Bennett, Joseph R. ; Vermaire, Jesse C. ; Auld, Graeme. / The Canadian context for evidence-based conservation and environmental management. In: Environmental Evidence. 2016 ; Vol. 5, No. 1.
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Cooke, SJ, Rice, JC, Prior, KA, Bloom, R, Jensen, O, Browne, DR, Donaldson, LA, Bennett, JR, Vermaire, JC & Auld, G 2016, 'The Canadian context for evidence-based conservation and environmental management', Environmental Evidence, vol. 5, no. 1, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13750-016-0065-8

The Canadian context for evidence-based conservation and environmental management. / Cooke, Steven J.; Rice, Jake C.; Prior, Kent A.; Bloom, Robin; Jensen, Olaf; Browne, David R.; Donaldson, Lisa A.; Bennett, Joseph R.; Vermaire, Jesse C.; Auld, Graeme.

In: Environmental Evidence, Vol. 5, No. 1, 14, 18.07.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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