Framework for ‘epistemic governance’ of biodiversity: the discourse on a science policy-interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services
Alice B. M. Vadrot
This article addresses the discourse on the science-policy interface in the field of biodiversity governance within the context of the recently established Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It analyses several narratives and problem perceptions linked to biodiversity science and governance in order to better understand the background to the institutionalisation process of IPBES and related interests and conflicts. It starts from the assumption that the discourse on the need to enhance the science-policy interface relates to the difficulties in assessing the concept of biodiversity, the crisis of biodiversity governance and inefficient policy implementation. Objects and the mode of thinking about them constitute each other mutually; in the same way, political programmes presuppose the order of reality that they describe and challenge. They are both constructed and interwoven. The establishment of IPBES goes beyond institutional rearrangement and needs to be analysed with regard to the epistemic and strategic dimension of science-policy interaction and a non-linear approach to the interrelations between science and policy.