Knowledge for Conservation

Do we know enough to effectively conserve tropical forests? DSC_0059-kabe-haisen-chaususan-takenomori That was the topic of my pre-conference workshop, where we debated to find an answer to this question. Do we really need more and more research on conservation to make a change and answer society’s questions, or we just after satisfying our own curiosity? To me, the key- argument from those agreeing was: ‘If we could trade our future research and knowledge to all the political will to take action, we will save the tropical forests.’ So not further research is needed, only the political will is. The opponents started from an ecological viewpoint: There is still so much unknown, we need further research to understand what exactly it is we want to conserve. This is true, but I would mostly like to react to the defending argument. Isn’t it too easy to blame politics for failing conservation? Maybe we, scientists, are doing something wrong. Maybe we should make our findings more visible and attractive for a larger audience, something that will convince the world action is necessary. But to stay on a research point: science needs to find out which conservation strategies are successful, and continuously needs to stay on top of new conservation strategies and on implementation, to find out how succesfull they are and why. Giving up is not an option for science. Emmy


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