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Conservation Genetic Resources for Effective Species Survival (ConGRESS): Bridging the divide between conservation research and practice
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Policy makers and managers are increasingly called upon to assess the state of biodiversity, and make decisions regarding potential interventions. Genetic tools are well-recognised in the research community as a powerful approach to evaluate species and population status, reveal ecological and demographic processes, and inform nature conservation decisions. The wealth of genetic data and power of genetic methods are rapidly growing, but the consideration of genetic information and concerns in policy and management is limited by the currently low capacity of decision-makers to access and apply genetic resources. Here we describe a freely available, user-friendly online resource for decision-makers at local and national levels (http://congressgenetics.eu), which increases access to current knowledge, facilitates implementation of studies and interpretation of available data, and fosters collaboration between researchers and practitioners. This resource was created in partnership with conservation practitioners across the European Union, and includes a spectrum of taxa, ecosystems and conservation issues. Our goals here are to (1) introduce the rationale and context, (2) describe the specific tools (knowledge summaries, publications database, decision making tool, project planning tool, forum, community directory), and the challenges they help solve, and (3) summarise lessons learned. This article provides an outlook and model for similar efforts to build policy and management capacity. (C) 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Journal: Journal for Nature Conservation
Number of pages: 5