New institutional models needed to close research-action gap

CBO's actionable science graph is a circular puzzle with three pieces: research, education and partnerships A new publication by ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director and Professor Leah Gerber and Conservation International’s Americas Field Division Senior Vice President Dr. Daniela Raik calls for cross-sector collaborations to tackle the most pressing conservation challenges of the 21st Century. The paper, entitled “Conservation science needs new institutional models for achieving outcomes,” was published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment – a publication of The Ecological Society of America – in October 1, 2018. (PDF) The idea that alliances between different entities enrich and accelerate achievement of shared goals makes common sense. However, a deeper look reveals a pervasive gap in cross-sector collaborations that hinders knowledge sharing and informed decision-making. “The knowledge required to achieve outcomes in conservation science is often inaccessible or irrelevant to decision makers and may also be incomplete,” explain the authors. A core principle of Arizona State University is social responsibility. Academic institutions should play protagonist roles in producing and translating knowledge into outcomes that benefit society. Conservation International, as an international keystone conservation practitioner, delivers solutions to a variety of biodiversity conservation issues, such as sustainable agricultural production and protection of endangered species. Together, the ASU-CI partnership trains the next generation of conservation leaders while protecting the nature people need to thrive. In addition to providing cutting-edge training, ASU-CI aims at protecting one million hectares of essential natural capital vital to human wellbeing and transitioning 100 million producers to sustainable production methods. The publication highlights the importance of this partnership and provides other examples of successful collaborations between universities and NGOs. Gerber and Raik urge institutions to actively engage in these collaboration models and share their findings to exponentially increase our chances of solving some of the most pressing conservation issues of our time.