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Global mismatch of policy and research on drivers of biodiversity loss


The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for urgent actions to reduce global biodiversity loss. Here, we synthesize >44,000 articles published in the past decade to assess the research focus on global drivers of loss. Relative research efforts on different drivers are not well aligned with their assessed impact, and multiple driver interactions are hardly considered. Research on drivers of biodiversity loss needs urgent realignment to match predicted severity and inform policy goals.

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Fig. 1: Trends in research on drivers of biodiversity loss.
Fig. 2: Alignment of research and policy with driver impact.


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We thank the CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowships that supported T.M., C.D., D.W.G. and M.D.M. We also thank R. C. Babcock, S. Ferrier, S. Kark and A. J. Richardson for providing critical feedback before submission. G. Stewart, C. Wordley and P. Batáry provided constructive assessments that improved the quality of the work.

Author information




C.D. and T.M. initiated and led the working group. T.M., C.D., F.S., D.W.G., N.K., K.M. and V.G. designed the study. T.M. extracted the data. T.M. and D.W.G. analysed the data. T.M., C.D., F.S., D.W.G., N.K., K.M. and V.G. verified the model outputs. C.D. and T.M. co-wrote the paper. F.S., N.K., K.M., M.D.M. and V.G. significantly contributed to revisions.

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Correspondence to Tessa Mazor or Christopher Doropoulos.

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Mazor, T., Doropoulos, C., Schwarzmueller, F. et al. Global mismatch of policy and research on drivers of biodiversity loss. Nat Ecol Evol 2, 1071–1074 (2018).

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