BERC published anew article entitled
'Flawed research, inaccessible research outputs, and biased or poor- quality reporting would misguide conservation actions to curb biodiversity loss'
Citation: Ali-Shtayeh, M. S., Jamous, Rana M., Abu Zaitoun, Salam Y. (2022). Flawed research, inaccessible research outputs, and biased or poor-quality reporting would misguide conservation actions to curb biodiversity loss. Biodiversity & Environmental Sciences Studies Series, 17 (1), 1-12 (ISSN: 1818-3751)
Scientific evidence is essential to guide effective conservation actions to reduce biodiversity loss. Conservation research resources are often wasted due to flawed studies, inaccessible research outputs, and biased or poor-quality reports. In the State of Palestine, the national reports on the Convention on Biological Diversity are the main source on which the national biodiversity strategy and the action plans emanating from it depend, including conservation plans based on sound scientific evidence. We analyzed the studies of plant biodiversity contained in the Sixth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity issued in 2021 by the Environmental Quality Authority (EQA), in order to examine their capacity to enable evidence-informed policy and practice. The analysis was carried out according to the following criteria: the method used to identify the species, the research reporting, the statistical methods used, and the results and conclusions. The results of the analysis of studies of plant biodiversity in the State of Palestine issued from January 2000 to the end of December 2021 in the State of Palestine, and contained in the aforementioned report, showed that some of them were flawed research studies, characterized by low quality of scientific evidence and low reliability of the available data needed to guide action effective conservation to reduce the loss of plant biodiversity in the State of Palestine, which seriously damages the credibility of official national biodiversity reports and the strategies and action plans emanating from them, misleads conservation measures to reduce biodiversity loss, and risks excluding threatened species from public policies for conservation planning. Since the conservation of plant biodiversity depends on cooperation between stakeholders and on the appropriate use of evidence and correct data to make decisions that benefit people and biodiversity, polarization and misinformation hamper and completely disrupt this work. Rather, this handicap directly harms biodiversity, alienates partners and disrupts partnerships, wastes resources, misleads the public, and delegitimizes valid evidence and data. Thus, we suggest that the relevant official bodies (the Environmental Quality Authority) avoid misinformation through a greater commitment to biodiversity conservation efforts that raise the role of evidence and correct information in decision-making and that place the long-term collective benefits of biodiversity above the short-term gains for individuals or groups.