Modern societies are struggling to implement the research and policy agenda of sustainability. This agenda contains powerful statements about equity between people across space and time. It is also concerned with the capacity of the biosphere to support humanity - policy in this domain draws on science. However, that science is often plagued with dissent and uncertainty. Policy based on the best contemporary scientific thinking may find themselves rapidly dated as knowledge moves on. Even without uncertainties in the world of science, policy makers confront the inherent uncertainty of law, economic behaviour and the shifting sands of public values and politics.This book explores connections between science and policy in managing the world's ecosystems in a sustainable manner. With a primary focus on the role of the ecological sciences and the uncertainties that pervade ecosystem management, it assesses recent experiences in a number of countries across a range of social and ecological contexts.
The contributors to the book bring expertise and insights from the natural sciences, public policy, political science and risk together to suggest better ways of constructing a purposeful, more effective partnership between science and policy.This book demonstrates that scientific inputs are crucial to sustainability, but that scientists must understand the local context of environmental management and build closer links with policy networks and with other disciplines if they are to make useful contributions to policy formulation and management.