Thursday, July 06, 2006

Should you open your mouth?

Read Noss recently made the point at the Society for Conservation Biology meeting in San Jose (California), that conservationists should approach law makers and suggest policies. Not everybody agreed, but about 70% of the participants questioned supported it. The reminder objected because good conservation and science is what is changing the world (Nature 442, July 6, 2006)

If conservation would be perfect science, and its policy suggestions would immediately become law, then conservationists ought to be very restrained in entering the field of policy making. However, there are so many other forces entering the path of the creation of a new law, that it is rather important, that policies should be drafted and entered from the conservation community. They even ought to be present and sreening emerging new laws on its impact on the environment. Why else is lobbying such an important instrument in policy making?

Within this process, it is clear, that poor science or biased conservation has its own corrective. If the industry or any body else can pick apart an initiative easily, the creator of it will loose quickly his credibility - one she had to build up over the years and of which she is probably very protective. Again, the conservationists do not have the huge financial interests and the necessary resources to be present in the policy making arena, which furthermore limits the influx of environmental interests: thus if one has the urge, one should go ahead.


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