Environmental Conservation is one of the longest-standing, most highly-cited of the interdisciplinary environmental science journals. It includes research papers, reports, comments, subject reviews, and book reviews addressing environmental policy, practice, and natural and social science of environmental concern at the global level, informed by rigorous local level case studies.

Environmental Conservation publishes several themed issues a year based around key conservation issues. The editorial board have recently put out a call for papers on ‘Politics, science and policy of reference points for resource management’.

For more information see below.

Call for Papers: Environmental Conservation Themed Issue on Politics, science and policy of reference points for resource management

Exceptional effort has been put into developing sound science around biological reference points, quantities that can be measured, monitored, and reported to make sustainable resource management decisions. Demand for reference points has soared among western environmental science and management institutions due to sweeping ecosystem-based legislation and consumer-based certification programmes, yet there is growing concern that many of the reference points being established may have little impact on sustainability.

This themed issue asks what is the current state of reference points for sustainable resource management? Where and under what circumstances have reference points been established and what is their scientific basis and merit? Have political actors unduly influenced the establishment process and have consumer-based certification programmes been more or less effective than government regulation? While the theory behind reference points is well developed, how effectively these quantities are put into practice has gone largely unexplored. Papers of interest may relate to particular stocks, regions, and ecosystems, or might focus on specific resources (e.g. forestry, invertebrate fisheries), albeit always with an eye to understanding generic issues across different resource management areas with the following sorts of questions:

Science and methodologies

  • How do single and multispecies resource reference points differ and what are their characteristics?
  • Which are the criteria used to evaluate the appropriateness of proposed reference points?
  • Can social-ecological information help inform biological reference points?
  • How do reference points for new and recovering resources differ?

Institutions and management policy

  • Where have reference points been successfully implemented into policy and how did it happen?
  • How can users be integrated in reference point development and what contributions can they provide?
  • How effective has the review process been for biological reference points?
  • What are economic costs and benefits of reference points?

Motives and political setting

  • What has prompted the development of reference points and how general are such motivations?
  • How do government-established reference points differ from consumer-based schemes?
  • How have scientific, political, and commercial actors and agencies affected the establishment process?
  • Do motives and funding affect the kinds of reference points adopted?

Managing Editor: Dr Aaron MacNeil (Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia; )

Submission Guidelines

Only original and unpublished high-quality research papers are considered and manuscripts must be in English.

Instructions for Authors can be found here and papers must be submitted via the journal online submission system.

You must provide a cover letter to indicate that the submission is for “Politics, science and policy of reference points for resource management”. If this is not supplied, the submission is late, or if too many/insufficient papers are accepted for a particular theme, they may be published by the journal as regular submissions. All papers will be submitted to a rigorous peer-review process and the mere fact that they are part of a themed issue (solicited or not) does not guarantee acceptance.

Important Dates

Manuscript submission deadline: 31st September 2012
Publication of themed issue: June 2013 (to be confirmed)

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