No other line of practice requires application of science more urgently than conservation. Here we explore several elements that must be put in place to establish lines of communication between scientists and managers of protected areas. First, it is necessary that scientists are aware of the information needs of managers, that they produce the relevant information, and that this information is available to managers. Second, it is necessary that managers not only know how to access, process, and incorporate the information, but that they also internalize their need for that science and the clear advantages of incorporating it into their practice. We propose several mechanisms to ensure an adequate flow of information between the two groups: active dialogue between the parties, translators of science located both in academia and government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and execution of joint projects. In particular, we argue that science-oriented NGOs can play a major role in bridging the gap between basic science and on-the-ground conservation. We finish by describing three case studies in which some of these models have been explored in Colombia and how science has been applied to address conservation and management concerns.
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