“Does Information Matter?” – Special Session at Coastal Zone Canada 2014 Conference presented by EIUI

Coastal-Zone-Canada-2014The Environmental Information: Use and Influence research initiative (EIUI) will present a special session entitled “Does Information Matter? A Critical Question for the Future of Coastal Zone Management” at the 2014 Coastal Zone Canada conference to be held in Halifax on 15-19 June 2014. This session will offer interdisciplinary perspectives on the challenges of communicating scientific information to users, such as policy makers, decision makers, and resource managers, for integrated coastal and ocean management (ICOM).

For several decades, coastal and ocean managers have developed the theory and practice of ICOM. While ICOM is regarded as highly complex, the vital role of information in solving environmental and societal problems receives much less recognition. Furthermore, in spite of the increasing quantity of available scientific information published as primary and grey literature, in print and digital formats, the ability to solve coastal and marine environmental problems appears to be decreasing. Why? Will this situation worsen or can it be turned around? What characterizes the information activities occurring at the science-policy interface? What factors influence awareness and use of information and knowledge in policy-making contexts? An international line-up of speakers will draw upon their expertise to address these and other questions aimed at resolving a seeming disconnect between the availability and potential use of information and problem resolution.

The session will include the following speakers:

1) “Bridging the Science-Policy Gap in Marine Environmental Management”
Bertrum H. MacDonald,1 Peter G. Wells,1 Elizabeth De Santo,2 and Suzuette S. Soomai 1
1Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; 2Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

2) “Inducing More Effective Stakeholder Searches for Sound Environmental Information”
William Ascher, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California

3) “In the Eye of the Beholder: Scientific Uncertainty and Information Flow in Fisheries and Land-Use Governance Networks”
Troy Hartley, College of William and Mary, Gloucester, Virginia

4) “Designing Outcome-Oriented Research to Improve the Relevance of Environmental Science for Policy”
Elizabeth McNie, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

5) “Communicating Complex Environmental Information in Political Contexts: Lessons Learned from the IPCC for IPBES and Marine Biodiversity Conservation”
Elizabeth De Santo, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

6) “Measuring Use of Fisheries Information in Policy-Making for Fisheries Management”
Suzuette S. Soomai, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

7) “Just Evidence: Governing Knowledge by Opening Data”
Janice Graham, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

8) “Awareness and Use of State of the Environment Reports: A Case Study of the State of the Scotian Shelf Report
James D. Ross1 and Heather Breeze2, 1Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 2Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Halifax, Nova Scotia

In addition to plenary and concurrent sessions, poster and interactive sessions, field trips and excursions, the Coastal Zone Canada conference will feature keynote speakers Dr. Francis Zwiers, a Bureau member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Hon. Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada, and presently Commissioner on the Global Ocean Commission. Further details about the conference are available at this link.




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