Science and Planning
Question 1. Is there anything that you would change about your vision?
Science plays a vital role in sustaining abundant fish and wildlife populations for future generations while maintaining the public trust and sustainable-use traditions associated with these populations.
Science is vital to the management and sustainability of fish and wildlife populations for future generations.
Notes on Vision
- Scientific process is generally better understood than "science" alone
- Clarify future desired state...e.g., the scientific process plays a vital role
- Clarify audience
- Need to be mindful of the public trust and sustainable-use traditions associated with fish and wildlife populations. Science can help inform management decisions and reassure the public.
Question 2: What is preventing your vision from being achieved?
- Lack of resources further exacerbated by recent economic climate
- Perceived risk of losing support or funding from non-governmental organizations and government organizations alike
- Lack of capacity (staff and financial) for proper attention to natural resources
- Need an improved understanding of science by managers and the public
- Failure to present the role and meaning of science
- Adaptive management is complex to some, or often presented as more complex than it is necessarily is
- Inability to present results in plain language
- Lack of support and interest from general public
- Science often presents "inconvenient truths"
- Science uses logic to communicate with an often illogical audience
- Changing human demographics
- Lack of communication among managers, researchers, planners and policy makers
- Leading to a reduction in public trust
- Inadequate engagement of stakeholders
- Need better collaboration between social and natural sciences
- Failure to communicate the role of scientists and the relevance of their findings to stakeholders and Rights-based stakeholders
- Lack of public accessibility to researchers and their results
- Lack of opportunity for partners and the public to experience first-hand ground-level conservation projects in action
- Lack of leadership
- Lack of public support leading to lack of political risk
- Planning and Policy
- Political uncertainty makes it difficult to develop long-term plans/goals
- Adaptive management process can be prohibitive (cost, time, complexity) and fragile
- Changing public needs (food and energy versus wildlife) and the lack of understanding that fish and wildlife habitat contributes to a higher quality of life for humans
- Informed policy and decision makers, not just scientists, need to have input on the prioritization of science programs and initiatives
- Constraints on departmental/agency professionals in making public statements and/or recommendations (e.g., climate change)
- Inherent disincentive in government agencies to lead/think proactively
Question 3: What are the opportunities for achieving your vision? Brainstorm a list of recommendations?
- Encourage management-based academic programs through partnerships between universities and other agencies
- Make science relevant and communicate benefits to non-traditional audiences by publicizing science-based conservation success stories using traditional forms of communication as well as modern applications such as Facebook, Twitter and mobile phone applications
- Develop and encourage visits to demonstration projects - on-the-ground examples
- Create science programs for understanding and communicating science in school curriculums
- Communicate to diverse audiences - administrators, children, students
- Need stronger leaders and role models for people to associate with science - lack of a modern-day Leopold or Roosevelt (only Suzuki)
- Remove constraints on scientific community (e.g. government employees) to communicate
- Organizations and agencies should provide more ideas about research priorities to universities to guide students and faculty looking for research projects and to other research groups
- Encourage cross-disciplinary relationships and collaborations (e.g., requiring an assortment of disciplines to receive grants)
- Citizen science - make the science process participatory and fun for all ages, while being mindful of improving the quality of data collection
- Increased inclusion of public in research (GPS, Crane Tracker, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) creates public ownership
- Work more closely with First Nations
- Work more closely with landowners - make fish and wildlife an asset
- Work collaboratively and not in silos
- Include adaptive management in government protocols (funding regimes that match research needs - one-year and multi-year plans)
- Engage audiences that may not already be actively involved in fish and wildlife conservation - First Nations, industry, landowners
- Encourage a greater openness, sharing and accountability among agencies and partners
- Develop trusting, interdisciplinary partnerships, community-based participatory research
- Planning and Policy
- Renew the high-level commitment to science as the foundation of resource management
- Facilitate structured decision making
- Promote incentives for management-oriented research (e.g., partnerships, co-ops, cross-appointments, strengthened working relationships)
- Management to proactively identify science research needs and communicate them to the academic community
- Revitalize/renew the fish and wildlife commitment to science
Question 4: From your brainstorming list, what are the top five recommendations for advancing your vision?
- Communicate the role of science as the foundation of fish and wildlife conservation and renew the high-level commitment to its vital role in the decision-making process by communicating science findings (success stories and issues of concern) in plain language and to a broad public audience.
- Engage a broad suite of participants (traditional and non-traditional) in science planning and programming in an effort to better identify and prioritize science research needs among decision makers, scientists, managers and user groups from government, non-governmental organizations, academia, etc.
- Promote a variety of incentives for management-oriented research including cross-disciplinary, cross-agency, governmental, non-governmental organizations and community-based participatory research.
- Embrace new technologies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to encourage public participation and understanding of scientific news and issues.
- Encourage citizen science programs to include the local/traditional knowledge community to reach a broader and more diverse audience.
- Encourage early education of the participatory/collaborative vision and science-based decision making process by bringing pure natural sciences back into the education system.
- Reinforce the need for strong and informed management and leaders to help direct fish and wildlife conservation efforts.
- Remove constraints on research staff to communicate findings and recommendations - (i.e., the institutional/corporate/political filters).
Question 5: For each of your five recommendations, what role do governments, First Nations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, communities and landowners play in advancing your vision?
Not fully completed - Insufficient time
Federal Government Role
Provincial Government Role
- Facilitators of partnerships at small scale (program and project)
- As champion of need (cumulative impacts, endangered species) at large, jurisdictional scale