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Mechanisms to Improve Integrative Research at the Science-Policy Interface for Sustainable Catchment Management

Christopher (Kit) J. A. Macleod, North Wyke Research, Devon, UK
Kirsty L. Blackstock
Phil M. Haygarth

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Abstract

Greater integration between researchers and policy makers is required to provide an evidence base that is transparent, integrated, and adaptive to support the complexities of sustainable catchment management. Opening-up and closing-down mechanisms are equally important in creating and establishing such an evidence base. We provide examples of both types based on our recent research and knowledge-transfer activities at the science-policy interface. Through our coordination role for the United Kingdom government we provide opening up physical and virtual forums for researchers and government science and policy staff to learn about and assess the gaps and uncertainties of the evidence base. Closing-down mechanisms are vital to policy cycles, in that they distil what is known and what is unknown. The Diffuse Pollution User Manual provides a valuable tool for policy and catchment management staff to assess the potential effectiveness of different combinations of remedial diffuse-pollution mitigation methods. It is vital that that opening-up and closing-down mechanisms are iteratively linked given the complexity and uncertainty of the science and policy cycles. Advances in integrative research at the science-policy interface are vital if there is to be a move to more deliberative policy making.

Key words

catchment; diffuse pollution; evidence base; integrative; science-policy; UK.
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087