Esther Turnhout will give a key note lecture entitled 'Global knowledge and the challenge of biodiversity governance' on October 23 for the international conference 'Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century'.
In the field of biodiversity conservation, knowledge assumes a central position and is seen as a condition for effective action. As biodiversity conservation is increasingly shaped at the global level, biodiversity knowledge must be globalized as well; there is a wide variety of initiatives that currently work towards monitoring the earth's biodiversity and generating global, policy relevant biodiversity knowledge. These initiatives are informed by a specific view of the science policy interface, also known as the linear model, which considers knowledge production to be separate from decision-making. Since knowledge is considered necessary for rational decisions, it follows that knowledge must be translated into policy relevant terms. However, both the prominence of the global scale and its emphasis on policy relevant knowledge have important implications for conservation in practice. In this talk, I will use the newly established Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) to discuss these implications.