Bridging the research-practice gap: Conservation research priorities in a Central and Eastern European country

Barbara Mihók, Eszter Kovács, Bálint Balázs, György Pataki, András Ambrus, Dénes Bartha, Zoltán Czirák, Sándor Csányi, Péter Csépányi, Mónika Csoszi, György Dudás, Csaba Egri, Tibor Eros, Szilvia Gori, Gergo Halmos, Annamária Kopek, Katalin Margóczi, Gábor Miklay, László Milon, László PodmaniczkyJános Sárvári, András Schmidt, Katalin Sipos, Viktória Siposs, Tibor Standovár, Csaba Szigetvári, László Szemethy, Balázs Tóth, László Tóth, Péter Tóth, Katalin Török, Péter Török, Csaba Vadász, Ildikó Varga, William J. Sutherland, András Báldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Halting biodiversity loss is a critical aim for the forthcoming decades, but is hindered by the gap between research and practice. Bridging this gap is a significant challenge in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where, compared to Western European countries, biodiversity is higher but the research budget is lower. Approaches to address bridging this gap include participatory research prioritizing exercises. These demand-driven collaborative ranking processes have proven to be a useful tool in providing a research agenda derived from a review of critical challenges based on stakeholder engagement. However, for research agendas to be effectively realized, they are best developed and implemented at the operative level of research financing and implementation. This paper shows the process and the outcome of an exercise conducted in Hungary aiming to compile the most important conservation research questions at the country-level and outlines a set of further measures and tools required for dissemination and advocacy for the research agenda. During the process 792 research questions were collated from conservation practitioners and natural resource managers based on interviews and via an online questionnaire; the final 50 most important questions were identified by practitioners and policy makers during an expert workshop. Questions are embedded in global and EU biodiversity targets and imply a pragmatic approach with the aim of identifying research that supports policy- and decision-making regarding habitat management, land-use and regional development, while also focussing on conflicting issues. The outcome of the process includes the potential for lobbying, therefore post-publication activities and dissemination strategies are outlined as an integrated part of the exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Conservation management
  • Dissemination strategy
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Participatory research
  • Research priority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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    Mihók, B., Kovács, E., Balázs, B., Pataki, G., Ambrus, A., Bartha, D., Czirák, Z., Csányi, S., Csépányi, P., Csoszi, M., Dudás, G., Egri, C., Eros, T., Gori, S., Halmos, G., Kopek, A., Margóczi, K., Miklay, G., Milon, L., ... Báldi, A. (2015). Bridging the research-practice gap: Conservation research priorities in a Central and Eastern European country. Journal for Nature Conservation, 28, 133-148.