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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 225-235

Science-based Stakeholder Dialogue for Environmental Policy Implementation

1 University of São Paulo, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, Piracicaba, Brazil
2 University of São Paulo, Institute of Biosciences, São Paulo, Brazil
3 Federal University of São Carlos, Center for Nature Sciences, Buri, Brazil
4 Institute of Agriculture, Forest Management and Certification, Piracicaba, Brazil
5 State University of Campinas, Biology Institute, Campinas, Brazil
6 Brazilian Rural Society, São Paulo, Brazil
7 WWF Brazil, Brasília, Brazil
8 São Paulo State Environment and Infrastructure Secretariat, São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Alice Dantas Brites
University of São Paulo, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, Piracicaba
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_20_134

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Science-based stakeholder dialogue is a strategy to bring science closer to decision-making with increasing importance for the design of environmental policies. The need for such an approximation has been stressed, but documented implementations are rare. We present our experience of developing a science-based dialogue for the Brazilian Forest Code implementation and share the lessons learned. We departed from a mix of participatory methods to conduct six meetings with stakeholders. During the process, we were able to reduce the gap between science and practice, meeting stakeholders' expectations and increasing the accessibility of scientific information. Avoiding falling back to top-down science and keeping stakeholders' participation constancy were challenges faced. Despite the project achievements, important scientific outcomes were disregarded by higher instances of decision-making. Thus, although we were able to start the dialogue successfully, we also come across the fact that external political factors impaired its reach. By reporting our experience, we expect to help to establish science-based dialogues applied to environmental policy implementation, narrowing the science-practice gap and contributing to more effective environmental policies.

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