Navigating Spaces Between Conservation Research and Practice: Are We Making Progress?
Despite aspirations for conservation impact, mismatches between research and implementation have limited progress towards this goal. There is, therefore, an urgent need to identify how we can more effectively navigate the spaces between research and practice.
In 2014, we ran a workshop with conservation researchers and practitioners to identify mismatches between research and implementation that needed to be overcome to deliver evidence‐informed conservation action. Five mismatches were highlighted: spatial, temporal, priority, communication, and institutional.
Since 2014, thinking around the ‘research–implementation gap’ has progressed. The term ‘gap’ has been replaced by language around the dynamic ‘spaces’ between research and action, representing a shift in thinking around what it takes to better align research and practice.
In 2019, we ran a follow‐up workshop reflecting on this shift, whether the five mismatches identified in the 2014 workshop were still present in conservation, and whether progress had been made to overcome these mismatches during the past 5 years. We found that while there has been progress, we still have some way to go across all dimensions.
Here, we report on the outcomes of the 2019 workshop, reflect on what has changed over the past 5 years, and offer 10 recommendations for strengthening the alignment of conservation research and practice.