New Questions for a New Decade


A recent study on knowledge gaps regarding people-nature relationships offers a glimpse into what sustainability and conservation research might look like in the coming years, showing a possible shift in research priorities. While the functioning of social-ecological systems will remain an important focus, indigenous and local knowledge for the sustainable use and management of nature’s contributions to people are set to increase in importance in future research.

Changes in the importance of policy-relevant knowledge gaps for achieving sustainability from 2005 to 2018
according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform
for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Mastrangelo et al. 2019, 5).

In the study by Mastrangelo et al. (2019) published at the end of last year, a group of social-ecological systems researchers from all over the world identify 708 knowledge gaps and assess their relevance for global sustainability goals. The paper draws on recent assessments by the

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