Can we identify and overcome barriers to the implementation of mitigation measures?

Image Credit: Yuri G. G. Ribeiro

Written by Yuri G. G. Ribeiro

October 25, 2022

A recent initiative of the Wild Animal Conservation Institute (ICAS) is shedding light on what barriers are involved in the process of implementing mitigation measures. Generally, research tends to be more focused on what effects vehicle collisions have on wildlife, and the different ways of predicting wildlife-vehicle collision events. This new research conducted in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, aims to execute an overview of what are the bottlenecks for the effective implementation of mitigation measures.    

 

Due to the severity of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, the Wild Animal Conservation Institute has been working since 2013 to collaborate in the process of mitigation. Since then, more than 12,400 WVC have been recorded, 40% capable of causing accidents (over 12,500 systematically monitored). After extensive efforts in data gathering that involved the participation of many collaborators, ICAS entered its second phase where the substantial amount of information is now used to influence public and private authorities. The second phase has a clear objective of lobbying authorities for the implementation of mitigation measures.

 

Considering this objective, the first question posed was, what and why is there a gap between science related to WVC and its implementation on the ground? We then realized that there was a long journey ahead in understanding how a mitigation measure is actually accomplished. This process can be influenced by multiple factors, including social and institutional, different scales, as well as national and state procedures.

 

We understood that the key to mapping and describing the best paths to actually accomplishing mitigation was through understanding people, mainly people’s perception of the barriers to mitigation. We started an initiative that includes three main methodologies. First, a literature review to define barriers to mitigation implementation based on papers related to mitigation measures. We could not find literature explicitly addressing barriers to implementation. Secondly, we started an expert elicitation, considering researchers and theoretical authorities in the road ecology management field in Brazil to define, in the same way, categories for mitigation implementation. Finally, we have been working with AGESUL (State Agency for Enterprise Management) to develop a timeline with all the initiatives conducted in the state up until now, to describe and understand any barriers to their implementation.

 

At the moment, we are still conducting the interviews. We have already defined six categories based on the literature review, which include barriers related to (1) cost or economics; (2) ecological or biological aspects of biodiversity; (3) lack of knowledge of different parts of the mitigation process including measure efficiency; (4) technical aspects; (5) political and institutional aspects; and (6) road user behavior. As a next step, we want to map and investigate how different stakeholders’ roles can influence the process for mitigation measure implementation. Currently, this is a component of the MSc. Yuri G. G. Ribeiro’s doctoral research idea. However, the study does not yet have a supervisor and the institute is looking for potential collaborators, not only in Brazil but abroad.

 

If you want to help ICAS enable this Ph.D. research, don’t hesitate to contact

Yuri G. G. Ribeiro – yuri.ggribeiro@gmail.com

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