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Lack of decision on diversity in the Baltic Sea

Published: 10 April 2014

Scientists Annica Sandström and Carina Lundmark, Luleå University of Technology, study how regulations that govern the conservation of various species in the Baltic, are applied and how the understanding of genetic variations can be strengthened.

Genetic diversity , that is, the variations that exist within a given species, affect ecosystems greatly .The Baltic Sea is a unique environment with many unique species. However, it is unclear to what extent the authorities responsible for the management of the environment of the Baltic Sea, makes decisions based on the regulations and guidelines regarding genetic diversity.

Studies decicion-making in protected areas

Political scientist and researcher Annica Sandström study the protected zones in the Baltic Sea, and in what extent the decisions about the management of that area are based on the Helsinki Convention and the EU regulations Natura 2000.

–  We need to know more about, and how, decision-makers on a lower level apply policy objectives into action, something that can often be difficult to interpret, she says. We will examine the management plans for the protected areas, how they fit with the ambitions expressed at higher levels, as well as conduct interviews with officials who work with these issues.

New model for knowledge transfer

The researcher Carina Lundmark examines the effectiveness of different models of how to reach out with new knowledge about the genetic diversity to policy makers and officials. In knowledge transfer experiments with policy makers and officials, she tests the dialogue form to raise decision-makers  knowledge. The dialogues are designed as round table discussions and controlled by scientists.

After discussions, the level of knowledge, before and after the dialogues, are measured. In the current situation transfer of knowledge usually take place through seminars and officials taking own initiatives to update their knowledge.

The political science research at Luleå University of Technology has so far, focused on fisheries and wildlife management , protected areas, policy and management in the mining sector, minerals processing , renewable energy and water sector.

Contact Annica Sandström

Contact Carina Lundmark