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Conservation Biology and Real-World Conservation

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In the 20 years since Conservation Biology was launched with the aim of disseminating scientific knowledge to help conserve biodiversity and the natural world, our discipline has hugely influenced the practice of conservation. But we have had less impact outside the profession itself, and we have not transformed that practice into an enterprise large enough to achieve our conservation goals. As we look to the next 20 years, we need to become more relevant and important to the societies in which we live. To do so, the discipline of conservation biology must generate answers even when full scientific knowledge is lacking, structure scientific research around polices and debates that influence what we value as conservationists, go beyond the certitude of the biological sciences into the more contextual debates of the social sciences, engage scientifically with human-dominated landscapes, and address the question of how conservation can contribute to the improvement of human livelihoods and the quality of human life.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460, U.S.A., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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