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WP 1: Interface Stocktaking

SPIRAL is going to gain insight into how biodiversity research is connected to policy making processes in order to identify additional actions needed and good practices for the development of science-policy interfaces. This will be achieved by taking stock of experience with biodiversity science-policy interfaces at various levels and in various contexts and by exploring the factors facilitating or hindering their effectiveness.

Science-policy interfaces for biodiversity issues exist at all levels, in very different contexts, and have a variety of purposes, functions and forms. To get an overview of the different approaches to science-policy interfaces, we will start our work with a study to map the landscape – mainly on the European scale, but also, as a complementary insight, at international and national levels. We want to learn from as many different and contrasting experiences as possible, including experiences in newer Member States, resulting in the development of a map and categorization of science-policy interfaces.

The main aim of a number of case studies is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different practices in relation to their actual and/or perceived impact on policy processes, including stakeholder involvement and feedback into the formulation of research strategies, the organisation of research and the policy process itself. This will help develop recommendations, and we expect that engagement with biodiversity science-policy interfaces will, of itself, increase interaction between them and promote their development.

We will produce a synthesis report on lessons learnt, hindering and enabling factors for effective biodiversity science-policy interfaces, and overall results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.