Interdisciplinarity in biodiversity project evaluation: a work in progress

Ross Cullen, Piran C. L. White
2013 Wildlife research (East Melbourne)  
Decision--makers and managers responsible for biodiversity conservation need to prioritise between competing objectives. Summative ex post evaluations can provide important information on what works and what does not, and can also distinguish between actions that are cost--effective and those that are not. Over the last 25 years, a range of methodological frameworks has been established to assist decision--makers with evaluations, but their uptake has been limited. Some researchers suggest a
more » ... rchers suggest a lack of research interest as being one factor contributing to the lack of more rapid progress in the area. In particular they suggest that interdisciplinary approaches to biodiversity project evaluation are infrequent, despite the insights that such approaches can bring. We evaluate this assertion by examining the provenance of current research in this area. Specifically, we examine the reference lists of three recent papers concerning the summative evaluation of biodiversity conservation projects, two published in a conservation journal and one in an interdisciplinary journal. We find that, of 63 papers cited across all three focal papers, only two were cited in common by two of the three papers, and no paper was cited in common by all three papers. Our results suggest that research in biodiversity project evaluation is currently developing along at least three, relatively distinct, pathways rather than as a genuinely interconnected research theme. This is likely to hinder progress in Environment 8,
doi:10.1071/wr12205 fatcat:ebfen3sqsjgopmyjwy6cj55r4q