The implementation crisis in conservation planning: could “mental models” help?

Biggs, Duan, Abel, Nick, Knight, Andrew T., Leitch, Anne, Langston, Art, and Ban, Natalie C. (2011) The implementation crisis in conservation planning: could “mental models” help? Conservation Letters, 4 (3). pp. 169-183.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Core to the planning–implementation gap in conservation is the failure to achieve the necessary shared vision and collaboration among typically diverse stakeholder groups to translate conservation assessments and plans into sustained on-ground outcomes for conservation. We suggest that a process of describing and sharing mental models—the cognitive frameworks that people use to interpret and understand the world—provides promising and as yet underutilized techniques for conservation planners to improve implementation success. The processes and techniques associated with the mental models concept have been applied in a variety of fields including business and organization science, risk analysis, education, natural resource management, and climate change adaptation. Our review of mental models illustrates that their application can strengthen the success of conservation planning by: (1) contributing to clear and open communication between stakeholders; (2) aiding in overcoming obstacles to incorporating multiple sources of knowledge; (3) enabling shared ownership of a conservation plan; and (4) improving social assessments. Techniques to explicitly communicate mental models can contribute to each phase of a conservation planning process—assessment, planning, management, and review. Conservation planners have much to gain by eliciting and sharing mental models in conservation planning processes.

Item ID: 17069
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: mental models;conservation planning's implementation gap; social assessment; collaboration; values; perception; conflict resolution
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2011 04:47
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170202 Decision Making @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 4
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page