Transforming conservation science and practice for a postnormal world

Matthew J. Colloff (Lead / Corresponding author), Sandra Lavorel, Lorrae E. van Kerkhoff, Carina A. Wyborn, Ioan Fazey, Russell Gorddard, Georgina M. Mace, Wendy B. Foden, Michael Dunlop, I. Colin Prentice, John Crowley, Paul Leadley, Patrick Degeorges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
320 Downloads (Pure)


In this essay we highlight issues to consider when reframing conservation objectives and outcomes in the context of global change. We discuss (1) new framings of the links between ecosystems and society; (2) new relationships and roles for conservation science; (3) new models of how conservation links to society and social change and (4) new approaches for implementing adaptation for conservation outcomes. We argue that reframing conservation objectives requires conservation scientists and practitioners to implement approaches that are no longer constrained by discipline and sectoral boundaries, geopolitical polarities, or technical problematisation. We consider that a stronger focus on learning and inclusive co-creation of knowledge, and its interaction with societal values and rules, is likely to result in conservation science and practice that will be able to meet the challenges of a post-normal world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1017
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number5
Early online date22 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2017


  • Adaptation pathways
  • adaptation services
  • adaptive governance
  • coproduction
  • global change
  • learning
  • transformation
  • values-rules-knowledge

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