Perceptions of Australian marine protected area managers regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing the risks of climate change

Cvitanovic, Christopher, Marshall, Nadine A., Wilson, Shaun K., Dobbs, Kirstin, and Hobday, Alistair (2014) Perceptions of Australian marine protected area managers regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing the risks of climate change. Ecology and Society, 19 (4). pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

The rapid development of adaptation as a mainstream strategy for managing the risks of climate change has led to the emergence of a broad range of adaptation policies and management strategies globally. However, the success of such policies or management interventions depends on the effective integration of new scientific research into the decision-making process. Ineffective communication between scientists and environmental decision makers represents one of the key barriers limiting the integration of science into the decision-making process in many areas of natural resource management. This can be overcome by understanding the perceptions of end users, so as to identify knowledge gaps and develop improved and targeted strategies for communication and engagement. We assessed what one group of environmental decision makers, Australian marine protected area (MPA) managers, viewed as the major risks associated with climate change, and their perceptions regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing these risks. We also assessed what these managers perceived as the role of science in managing the risks from climate change, and identified the factors that increased their trust in scientific information. We do so by quantitatively surveying 30 MPA managers across 3 Australian management agencies. We found that although MPA managers have a very strong awareness of the range and severity of risks posed by climate change, their understanding of adaptation as an option for managing these risks is less comprehensive. We also found that although MPA managers view science as a critical source of information for informing the decision-making process, it should be considered in context with other knowledge types such as community and cultural knowledge, and be impartial, evidence based, and pragmatic in outlining policy and management recommendations that are realistically achievable.

Item ID: 37465
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adaptive management, decision making, knowledge exchange, knowledge transfer, science impact, science integration, trust
ISSN: 1708-3087
Funders: CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 07:33
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 100%
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