Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management

Harriet Downey*, Tatsuya Amano, Marc Cadotte, Carly N. Cook, Steven J. Cooke, Neal R. Haddaway, Julia P.G. Jones, Nick Littlewood, Jessica C. Walsh, Mark I. Abrahams, Gilbert Adum, Munemitsu Akasaka, Jose A. Alves, Rachael E. Antwis, Eduardo C. Arellano, Jan Axmacher, Holly Barclay, Lesley Batty, Ana Benítez-López, Joseph R. BennettMaureen J. Berg, Sandro Bertolino, Duan Biggs, Friederike C. Bolam, Tim Bray, Barry W. Brook, Joseph W. Bull, Zuzana Burivalova, Mar Cabeza, Alienor L.M. Chauvenet, Alec P. Christie, Lorna Cole, Alison J. Cotton, Sam Cotton, Sara A.O. Cousins, Dylan Craven, Will Cresswell, Jeremy J. Cusack, Sarah E. Dalrymple, Zoe G. Davies, Anita Diaz, Jennifer A. Dodd, Adam Felton, Erica Fleishman, Charlie J. Gardner, Ruth Garside, Arash Ghoddousi, James J. Gilroy, David A. Gill, Ashley Lyons, William Sutherland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


1. To be effective, the next generation of conservation practitioners and managers need to be critical thinkers with a deep understanding of how to make evidence-based decisions and of the value of evidence synthesis. 2. If, as educators, we do not make these priorities a core part of what we teach, we are failing to prepare our students to make an effective contribution to conservation practice. 3. To help overcome this problem we have created open access online teaching materials in multiple languages that are stored in Applied Ecology Resources. So far, 117 educators from 23 countries have acknowledged the importance of this and are already teaching or about to teach skills in appraising or using evidence in conservation decision-making. This includes 145 undergraduate, postgraduate or professional development courses. 4. We call for wider teaching of the tools and skills that facilitate evidence-based conservation and also suggest that providing online teaching materials in multiple languages could be beneficial for improving global understanding of other subject areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12032
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalEcological Solutions and Evidence
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2021


  • critical thinking
  • education
  • evidence
  • open access


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