SPI-CIS WFD: Using knowledge exchange to improve end-user participation

Warnaars, Tanya A.. 2012 SPI-CIS WFD: Using knowledge exchange to improve end-user participation. [Poster] In: Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) Science Policy Interface (SPI) Conference: "Water science meets policy: How to streamline knowledge to address WFD challenges?", Brussels, 14-15 November 2012. European Commission. (Unpublished)

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Too often the knowledge resources of research scientists are under exploited, and there is a need for better engagement with policy makers, industry, and other stakeholders. Water scarcity, both quantity and quality, is an issue facing many end-users and the tools for prediction and management need to be based on the most recent and relevant science available. A strong cooperation between the research community and end-users is needed and this role can be filled by coherent knowledge exchange. This concept is at times poorly recognised but can be a quite powerful means to deliver science results to key users. There is a need for changing the perception of research outputs as peer review work and the correct language is important here. By providing the peer review journal results in a readily readable format opens the door for more general discussions on the needs of the end-users. At present we are fortunate to have a wide variety of communication tools to call on, from social media (YouTube, twitter etc.) to traditional print publications in order to communicate with diverse audiences. A recently finished 5 year project WATCH (Water and Global Change) has used a number of these media to communicate projects findings. This approach of summarising the findings in one report plus YouTube and specialised websites has greatly increased the visibility of the project and its impact. The result of this extra effort has led to a significant amount of global attention. This greater awareness of the project results and findings has facilitated dialogues between researchers and end-users. New partnerships have been established with industry that has previously not had a history of functioning with researchers directly. The benefits of more traditional meetings that unite different end-users in a common dialogue or workshop event should not be under estimated. Researchers are providing scientific information to underpin future policy however, industry and other key players in the chain need to work alongside researchers to integrate these findings. Bringing together policy makers, industry, retail and research communities in a single discussion aimed at establishing and promoting a constructive dialogue between these different sectors, can lead to greater understanding and generate lasting solutions. A recently completed workshop on Nitrogen pollution provides a case study of how such an event can drive action and highlight the research needs for industry, but also ensure relevance of future policy. Such an open dialogue is immensely valuable as its outcomes are based on the views from different sectors. Uniting these different sectors can be challenging but providing a platform where researchers, retailers and policy makers can discuss their points of view is indispensable for addressing the environmental challenges of today. The benefits of sound Knowledge Exchange should be recognised as a two way discussion with the research community providing data and understanding of the issues and stakeholder/managers helping to drive the future questions and new areas of research.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 2 - Biogeochemistry and Climate System Processes > BGC - 2.3 - Determine land-climate feedback processes to improve climate model predictions
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Reynard
NORA Subject Terms: Data and Information
Date made live: 11 Apr 2013 14:37 +0 (UTC)

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