Towards Policy-Relevant Ecology

Towards Policy-Relevant Ecology

11-13 February 2019, Tromsø

There is increasing pressure on natural ecosystems worldwide and in Norway. Ecological science can inform decision making as well as improve policies for mitigating pressures, but how often is such information being used? And, does the constitution’s §112 require a new standard for environmental science and its use? We first discuss among ecologists how their science can become more useful for society, in particular how scientific focus and methods is related to societal demands to ecologists. Thereafter, we open for the public and ask how Norway’s policy arenas invite and use ecological science.

Part I

How can scientists make ecology policy-relevant?

Why did two out of three reports solicited by the government to address ecosystem state in Norway refer to inadequate data and methodologies? We look for an answer in the practice of systematic reviews, where knowledge across studies and reports – or lack thereof – is combined for stronger inferences. Then we open a debate on what are constructive ways forward.

Part II

How does society invite ecological perspectives and has it changed?

Have reorganizations of the government resulted in environmental perspectives being repeatedly downplayed? How can environmental scientists interact with others involved in policy-making? And how can Norway use the best available knowledge when developing its policies for sustainability?

We welcome all researchers, students, managers, policy-makers, goverment officials, members of the media, and anyone interested in ecology and the natural world.