An understanding of community issues can be as valuable as knowing the ecology of an area when making environmental decisions, according to new research from the University of Exeter Business School.
Billions of dollars are spent on environmental management each year across the globe but the approach has largely been to focus on a single ecosystem or species. This narrow viewpoint has produced mixed results because it does not always consider the value of other information in the bigger picture.
The research looked at what information would give real value to help decision making in order to achieve the best possible outcome. They examined four socio-ecological systems which represented a range of real-life environmental issues, two from fisheries and two from sustainable agriculture. Study one looked at how to maximise fish populations in an area with existing territorial fishing rights; study 2 was a project to re-stock salmon in a recreational fishery. The third study looked at pest control work within an agricultural production system and the last concerned the clearing of forest areas for agricultural use. MORE