Launching to coincide with World Forestry Day is T20Q – top twenty questions for forestry and landscapes – a global project that allows everyone to have a say about issues of importance.
There is growing interest in widening public participation in environmental decision-making and an awareness of the importance of asking research questions which reflect real policy needs. Collecting scientific data is no longer performed only by professional scientists but embraces all sorts of people involved in citizen science projects. But what about the questions that inform those research projects or the issues that emerge as policy priorities? How easy is it to engage with those processes?
The Top Twenty Questions for Forestry and Landscapes (T20Q) is just such an exercise. It builds on earlier work that identified key forestry priorities through a participatory process and invited large numbers of people with an interest in forestry and integrated landscapes to suggest questions they felt had high priority for research and policy. We expect to receive thousands of questions from around the world, thanks to our partnership with several global partners (see below). Through a process of repeated discussion – both online and in workshops – these questions will be grouped into themes that emerge as the most commonly cited issues. The project is called ‘top twenty’, but this reflects only one of the outputs (namely a list of the top twenty questions) that will come out of discussions of the thousands of questions suggested.
T20Q is a project within the broader Evidence-Based Forestry (EBF) initiative, led by CIFOR and its Partners. EBF is a “collaboration without walls” that aims to improve the quality and relevance of science and policy in forestry and landscape management. Systematic reviews of evidence are the cornerstone of this initiative and a number of these have been underway for the last 12 months. Topics for these reviews were chosen by a panel of experts, but they want to hear what other people active in the field think are important topics. The Evidence-Based Forestry initiative is funded primarily by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through their KNOW-FOR grant to CIFOR. Read more
The questions received in T20Q will be used to determine what systematic reviews of evidence are needed within EBF, but will also be used for many other purposes – to suggest new research or policy agendas, reveal knowledge gaps, and open up areas for further discussions across disciplines.
The project will use an iterative internet survey approach, coupled with workshops, to determine what the priorities are for forestry and landscapes research and policy. It will also foster conversations between individuals and organisations with an interest in setting priorities for research, policy and ultimately practice.
The homepage for the new T20Q project is www.forestryevidence.com/t20q. You can also follow the project on Twitter @Forestry_Q