Integrating local knowledge with scientific knowledge can offer significant benefits to improving environmental decision-making. However, this is especially challenging in environmental conflict situations where advice is lacking, and no single approach can foster conflict transformation. To understand stakeholder knowledge and its integration in a conflict transformation process in Scotland, we brought together diverse stakeholder organisations and encouraged power sharing in the project's management. Our mixed-methods approach was based on theories of community science, knowledge co-production, knowledge integration and implementation and conflict transformation. We gathered stakeholder perceptions to see where local and scientific knowledge converged and diverged. Stakeholders holding opposing views mutually prioritised knowledge gaps and identified future collaborative actions. Building upon lessons learned, we present a practical framework and associated considerations to realise knowledge integration goals in conservation conflict situations. This framework is widely applicable, especially in situations where disputes over the evidence-base prevent positive outcomes for people and nature.
We would like to thank all the people who took part in this study and contributed their knowledge, time and energy to the process. This was a very intensive process and we could not have achieved it without their support. We would also like to thank the editor, associate editor and a reviewer for their insights and constructive suggestions to improve on an earlier draft of the manuscript. This paper is based on the results of the Understanding Predation project, set up by Scotland's Moorland Forum for Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Government.
- Community science
- Conflict transformation
- Knowledge integration
- Public benefit