Using science for better policies

Scientists and researchers from the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute of Conservation and Environment Research (UWICER) and abroad are working on how to reach their findings to the public and policy makers in the most effective and easiest way possible.

A four-day workshop is underway to train how to formulate tailor-made science messages for various stakeholders, including policy-makers.

One of the resource persons, Dr Michael Kleine said: “In recent times, interactions between science and politics have developed new qualities and at unprecedented levels of intensity,” he said.

Expert scientific advice has been increasingly called upon to inform decision-making, for instance like the International Panel on Climate Change, he said.

Dr Michael Kleine, is the deputy executive director of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations and is acting as the team leader and in specific aspects, guides the translation of research results into policy relevant communication.

The event is organised under the framework of Climate Change Adaptation Potentials of forests in Bhutan – building human capacities and knowledge base projects (BC-CAP) by UWICER.  Past PhD and MSc students, who worked on the above two topics (core team) will prepare scientific summaries of their research.

Two foresters completed doctorates and numerous others studied masters programmes with the support of the project.

UWICER director Nawang Norbu said that the lack of expertise hampered the generation and transfer of scientific knowledge.

“With training of staff that we have received over the years, how things are done on the ground should improve,” he said.

The researchers after completing the programme are expected to disseminate scientific information and find ways how best to benefit society with the information.

The researchers will produce printed communication materials and identify a plan of action on communicating science to achieve policy changes.

The exercise is expected to bridging the gap between those generating knowledge or researchers and policy makers or other users and influence policy.

Tshering Palden

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