Table 2. Summary of responses from the first Integrating Water and Agricultural Management (IWAM) workshop.


Question Summary from breakout groups
How to improve the links between research scientists and policy makers? To generate policy relevant science, policy makers need to communicate their needs to the research community. We require greater participation by policy makers for two-way exchange. Defra science and policy staff require assistance from the research community to make sure they are up to date with high quality policy relevant science. Policy relevance of a Defra final report (SID 5) needs to be included in an upfront specific section. There is a need for a greater awareness of work carried out in Scotland. Future Defra projects must have the policy implications stated clearly, so that the researcher is aware of what the policy maker may need and how they plan to use the outputs. Adoption of a “Milk round” type approach to get across key facts to policy makers. Interface with Defra Science Advisory Council. Science-policy translators/intermediaries have an important role.
How could the evidence base be improved? We have made progress in understanding the drivers, states, and impacts of environmental policy issues. Defra science and policy staff need to carefully define what evidence is required. Greater integration with relevant research in Defra and external research is required e.g. RELU and Living with Environmental Change (LWEC). Research outputs should be framed in terms of activities that end users will need to do to improve the quality of the environment. There is a need to improve the scientific basis of current policy instruments e.g., environmental stewardship based on the best available science. There is a need to relate what scientists see as gaps and uncertainties to current and future policy needs. How to rank gaps in different subject areas?
Feedback on WQ0109 Integrating Agricultural and Water Management Defra coordination activities are a welcome activity. There is a need for more integrated activities as well as more detailed subject specific assessment of the gaps and uncertainties in key policy science areas. Science theme leaders need to have a policy contact, so what they do is policy relevant. Greater involvement of ecologists, social scientists and water resource hydrologists is essential.