The Need for science to policy based research to underpin decision-making frameworks to protect urban rivers and riparian systems

Peter J. Davies, Christopher D. Ives, Mark P. Taylor, Sophia J. Findlay

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Urban rivers and riparian systems are increasingly under threat from processes associated with urban developmnt. However, the efficacy of the environmental policy instruments and management practices in place to protect and manage them depends on the degree to which these policies reflect locally relevant scientific evidence and collective community values. Given the emphasis placed on the maintenance and enhancement of ecological processes within an Ecologically Sustainable Development framework, there is an urgent need for greater research on how catchment land use affects the function of urban waterways and riparian environments. Moreover, this research must contribute to an adaptive management framework that seeks to test the effectiveness of pragmatic land use policy objectives and modify them in accordance with scientific evidence. This paper highlights the challenges commonly encountered in the application of science informed policy, drawing on various urban riparian and river research case studies from northern Sydney. A case is proposed for policy relevant research based on ‘practical science' that can assist legislators, regulators and the courts to make evidence based decisions. A number of specific recommendations are outlined in regards to current challenges faced in the application of this approach in urban landscapes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference
    Subtitle of host publicationManaging for Extremes, Canberra, A. C. T., 6-8 February, 2012
    EditorsJames R. Grove, Ian Rutherford
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherRiver Basin Management Society
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)9780734047625
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventAustralian Stream Management Conference (6th : 2012) - Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 6 Feb 20128 Feb 2012


    ConferenceAustralian Stream Management Conference (6th : 2012)
    CityCanberra, Australia


    • Legislation
    • policy
    • urban
    • riparian
    • science
    • definition
    • Sydney
    • New South Wales


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