To be effective, research on natural resource management and conservation must be communicated to practitioners involved in hands-on conservation efforts and to policy makers. However, the results of scientific research are often not readily applied in management. Likewise, many applied conservation schemes do not reflect current research knowledge. The “knowledge-implementation-gap” (Knight et al. 2008) is increasingly becoming increasingly obvious. As a consequence, the 10th Party of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Nagoya held in October 2010, identified a strengthened link between science and policy as an explicit target (http://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/). This requires new alliances between science, economics, policy makers, and natural resource managers (Briggs and Knight 2011).Four years ago the journal Nature Conservation was established to address these challenges (Henle et al. 2012). It had and still has as a major goal to support synergistic interactions among scientists, policy-makers and managers. This is a practical task. The knowledge base of conservation biologists is already extensive, and the numbers of experienced practitioners are increasing around the world. The task is to bring different specialists together and create a forum that supports knowledgeable practices, and to learn from the experience – successes and failures – of all parties. The journal specifically aims at strengthening the link between science, policy and management by publishing timely, innovative papers with clear practical relevance.