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Title: Defining and using 'best available science': a policy conundrum for the management of aquatic ecosystems
Contributor(s): Ryder, Darren  (author); Tomlinson, Moya  (author); Gawne, Ben (author); Likens, Gene E (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1071/MF10113
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Abstract: Integrative research has been the dominant theme in this Special Issue, demonstrated by contemporary examples of effective collaborations and solutions for the successful engagement of scientists in the policy and management arena. Evident in these papers is the increasing use of the term 'best available science' (BAS) as a basis for well-informed resource management decisions. The term is used to engender credibility and trust among stakeholders and promotes greater awareness, communication, involvement, transparency and understanding among research, policy and management communities. However, there remains no clear statement of the properties of BAS or guidance on its practical application in the decision-making process. We define the attributes that underpin BAS and examine the issues of uncertainty, risk and communication as key challenges to successful integrative management. We advocate an interdisciplinary process that facilitates understanding of discipline-based knowledge structures, articulates uncertainty and risk about the scientific information, and promotes engagement and trust among the generators and users of information. Ultimately, successful management of aquatic ecosystems will rely on scientists, managers and decision makers who have the skills and courage to apply the best science available and not wait for the best science possible.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Marine and Freshwater Research, 61(7), p. 821-828
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1448-6059
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 060204 Freshwater Ecology
050209 Natural Resource Management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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