Invasive Species Research and Stakeholder Engagement

Invasive alien species are a major driver of global environmental change, requiring a range of management interventions to ameliorate their impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, human well-being, and local livelihoods. Researchers in invasion science commonly engage stakeholders in order to integrate diverse knowledge and perspectives in the management of invasive species. However, stakeholders are often not treated as active participants in the research; therefore, the two-way flow of knowledge can become restricted.

A study carried out by the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University, in conjunction with several local and international research institutions, looked at ways in which to make stakeholder engagement more integrative and collaborative. Stakeholder engagement in the context of invasive species research can be defined as the process of involving stakeholders in decision-making, management actions, and knowledge creation.

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