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Scientists call policy-makers to be scale-aware
Date:8/30/2012

To be successful, nature conservation measures must account for the complexity of the human impact and how nature responds to them, at different spatial and temporal scales. "Scale-sensitive research" emerges as a new, interdisciplinary field in nature conservation where researchers adjust concepts, analyses, and tools to the scale in which these might be used. Policy-makers, on their side, must ensure that the decisions they take resolve ecological problems at the relevant administrative and spatial scales.

Scientists involved in SCALES, a large-scale integrating project funded by the 7th Framework Program (FP7) of the European Union, have identified a series of mismatches between the scale of research at which conservation biologists study how best to protect biological diversity and the need for implementation of scale-based approaches in policy and management, especially in the design of Natura 2000, Green Infrastructure and biodiversity monitoring.

These concerns and new findings have been discussed at a dedicated SCALES symposium at the 3rd European Congress of Conservation Biology (ECCB) in Glasgow on 28th-31st of August 2012. Dr Klaus Henle from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in Leipzig, Germany and coordinator of SCALES opened the discussion: "It has long been known that scale issues play an important role in ecological research. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that scale-awareness is also crucial in designing and implementing conservation practices. Conservation in a rapidly-changing world requires systematic and dynamic approaches to shorten the time from research findings to policy implementation."

Prof. William Kunin from the University of Leeds, UK, added: "Policy-makers should consider not only or mainly the need to protect species richness (that is what scientists call
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Contact: Dr. Klaus Henle
Klaus.Henle@ufz.de
49-151-122-00472
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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