Evidence-based approaches to sustainability challenges must draw on knowledge from the environment, development and health communities. To be practicable, this requires an approach to evidence that is broader and less hierarchical than the standards often applied within disciplines.

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We thank I. Fazey for extensive input that thoroughly improved the manuscript and Z. Burivalova for input on the design of Fig. 1. This collaboration was supported by a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to H.T., E.T.G. and L.O. S.M.A. acknowledges support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center through NSF grant no. DBI-1052875. W.J.S. is funded by Arcadia.

Author information


  1. The Nature Conservancy, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    • Edward T. Game
  2. University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia

    • Edward T. Game
  3. The Nature Conservancy, Santa Cruz, CA, USA

    • Heather Tallis
  4. Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

    • Lydia Olander
  5. National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, University of Maryland, Annapolis, MD, USA

    • Steven M. Alexander
  6. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

    • Steven M. Alexander
  7. Environmental Change and Governance Group, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada

    • Steven M. Alexander
  8. Center for Global Development, Washington DC, USA

    • Jonah Busch
  9. Philosophy Department, Durham University, Durham, DH1 3HN, UK

    • Nancy Cartwright
  10. University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

    • Nancy Cartwright
  11. The Nature Conservancy, Durham, NC, USA

    • Elizabeth L. Kalies
  12. The Nature Conservancy, Seattle, WA, USA

    • Yuta J. Masuda
  13. Department of Biometry and Environmental System Analysis, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

    • Anne-Christine Mupepele
  14. Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106, Freiburg, Germany

    • Anne-Christine Mupepele
  15. School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Florida, FL, USA

    • Jiangxiao Qiu
  16. Division of the National Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

    • Andrew Rooney
  17. Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

    • Erin Sills
  18. Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

    • William J. Sutherland


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Correspondence to Edward T. Game.

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