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      Uncertainty in biodiversity science, policy and management: a conceptual overview

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The protection of biodiversity is a complex societal, political and ultimately practical imperative of current global society. The imperative builds upon scientific knowledge on human dependence on the life-support systems of the Earth. This paper aims at introducing main types of uncertainty inherent in biodiversity science, policy and management, as an introduction to a companion paper summarizing practical experiences of scientists and scholars (Haila et al. 2014). Uncertainty is a cluster concept: the actual nature of uncertainty is inherently context-bound. We use semantic space as a conceptual device to identify key dimensions of uncertainty in the context of biodiversity protection; these relate to [i] data; [ii] proxies; [iii] concepts; [iv] policy and management; and [v] normative goals. Semantic space offers an analytic perspective for drawing critical distinctions between types of uncertainty, identifying fruitful resonances that help to cope with the uncertainties, and building up collaboration between different specialists to support mutual social learning.

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          Most cited references 23

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            Reframing Public Policy

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                October 09 2014
                October 09 2014
                : 8
                : 27-43
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.8.5941
                © 2014

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