What counts as evidence? Local vs. research knowledge in the evidence-based policymaking movement

While evidence-based decision- and policy-making have become quite the buzzwords in recent decades, what constitutes ‘evidence’ in evidence-based is less straightforward. In this paper, Persson and colleagues help unpack the term evidence in the context of sustainability studies, discuss how scientific evidence sits at the top of the evidence hierarchy, and why ignoring local knowledge can be detrimental to sound decision- and policy-making. Additionally, they suggest an alternate model for considering both local and research knowledge to obtain a more holistic understanding of the subject matter at hand, which they argue may ultimately lead to more applicable and suitable decision- and policy-making.

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Homeward Bound: Salmon Straying in the Pacific Northwest

For salmon to complete their life cycle, juveniles must migrate out to the ocean and return as adults to spawn in the river where they were born. Adult salmon find their way back to their natal river after years at sea through a process called “homing”, a phenomenon that scientists still don’t fully understand. Some salmon never make it home at all, which can have lasting effects on populations. Read on to learn more!

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Integrating human dimensions into large-scale marine conservation planning

In our efforts to safeguard vulnerable habitats from the multitude of threats currently facing our planet, oftentimes people get left out of the picture. Large-scale conservation efforts require the support of (especially local) communities to successfully meet their conservation objectives. Therefore, we need to seriously discuss ways to successfully incorporate human dimensions into large-scale conservation planning. In this paper, Christie et al. present some ideas on how we can ensure that large-scale conservation planning is mindful of human populations who might be impacted by new conservation areas.

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