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TERRANOVA White Paper 2. AN EXPLORATIVE OPINION PAPER: 'WHY DO WE NEED STAKEHOLDERS' ENGAGEMENT IN KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION: TERRANOVA'S VISION ON LANDSCAPE TRANSFORMATION'

Fayet, Catherine. M. J.; Felix, Leen J. B.; Quintero Uribe, Laura C.; Rigo, Roberta; Houet, Thomas; Lindholm, Karl-Johan; Kluiving, Sjoerd J.

This is the second out of three white papers from the TERRANOVA project, The European Landscape Learning Initiative an Innovative Training Network consortium of the European Union’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Between 2019 and 2023, fifteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs - ie. PhD students) are trained within this project to envision ‘nature-based' landscape developments for Europe, relying on an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. TERRANOVA seeks to outline the necessity to promote good communication skills in research to transfer efficiently ‘landscape knowledge’ to policymakers and the public. This white paper presents TERRANOVA’s vision on landscape transformation and stakeholders’ engagement in knowledge production. First, we reflect on the relevance of engaging with stakeholders in research. Second, we present the outcomes of a workshop conducted with practitioners in nature conservation and reflect on the challenges they reported to integrate interdisciplinarity in their practice. We conclude that the inclusion of stakeholders and practitioners at every stage is key to ensure that research outcomes have a societal impact. Strengthening this approach will ensure that TERRANOVA ESRs’ research outputs are understandable and useful for land managers and decision-makers.

HIGHLIGHTS: RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Establishing connections between TERRANOVA and stakeholders involved in landscape management is crucial to ensure the relevancy and usefulness of ESRs’ research.
  • TERRANOVA researchers and stakeholders met to discuss how research can be tailored to stakeholders’ needs during a workshop on Friday 26th February 2021.
  • TERRANOVA’s ESRs collected recommendations for their own research practices that reinforced their willingness to engage with stakeholders, connect with practitioners and rely on participatory methods for landscape management interventions.
  • Stakeholders identified the engagement of different local stakeholders, the coexistence of diverging visions about conservation goals, the unexpected outcomes of top-down policy incentives, and the difficulty of setting conservation goals priority as main challenges in conservation practices.

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