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Planetary decisions – a game of popularity or fact finding?

By evidentiary in 

What is our appetite for the truth and why do we need it particularly if it is inconvenient or will involve uncomfortable change?

In an address by the pope to experts attending a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on November 25-29 to discuss the impact of scientific knowledge and technology on people and the planet, the pope said that scientists need to be free of political, economic and ideological interests in building a cultural model to tackle climate change  (http://bit.ly/2gGkbBf). This is a worrying, powerful and pertinent statement.

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Should the flip of a coin or roll of a dice determine fate?

By evidentiary in 
The concept of Environmental Triage is becoming the focus of attention for many Conservationists.  Too many plant and animal species are threatened or have become extinct on our watch.  Our precious natural resources are being degraded and it appears that unless we act immediately this decline will rapidly continue.  However the resources we have to help us fight this unfolding catastrophe are finite.  How should we decide which species should be prioritized as recipients of precious funds and limited resources? Alternatively should we simply share around the available funds and resources to save as many species and ecosystems as possible?

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Stockholm reflections

By evidentiary in 
The Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) recently held our first international conference in Stockholm. Stockholm put on a magnificent week of weather that was matched by an inspiring 3 days of presentation, conversation and networking. With over 110 delegates from 19 countries and a well organised social calendar it was an inspiring event. While there were noticeably few participants from the Asia Pacific region, the relevance of the presentations was still high for the application of evidence based decision making in Australia. It was very refreshing to hear senior government officials from leading European environmental agencies stress the importance of evidence based decision making in a) demonstrating responsible government spending and b) in managing decision making risk. These two outcomes are basic to good public service management anywhere in the world. (more…)

Environmental evidence b(i)ased decision making….which one are you doing?

By evidentiary in 

What’s the difference between evidence based decision making and evidence biased decision making…. well the “i” of course but the important answer is your eye! The consequences of this difference are however a serious matter. They can mean the difference between the success or failure of a multi-million dollar investment, an action to save a threatened species that works or doesn’t or an organizational or personal reputation that is enhanced or is destroyed.

So how do you know if the evidence you are using to assist in your decision making is improving your decision (reducing risk) or actually making your decision worse?  What type of biases can influence your decision, how can you reduce the risk of these biases in your decision making and how accountable are we for our decisions in environmental management?

In this three part series I will discuss these questions and provide some practical guidance to assist you to understand, assess and reduce your risk of poor decision making due to the selection and use of inadequate or inappropriate evidence. The aim is to enable you to make more informed decisions about when you should invest in collecting new evidence. (more…)

10 reasons why humans may not naturally be good at conserving nature

By evidentiary in 
I am always interested in comparing the differences in peoples’ perspectives on nature and conservation. For those of us who have been fortunate enough to have had an involvement with nature conservation either through education and/or experience, a new perspective is awakened that is positive and powerful.

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