This Editorial to the BESAFE special issue introduces the project and its approach and case studies. The BESAFE (EC 7th Framework programme) project investigated how the effectiveness of different types of arguments for biodiversity conservation depends on the context in which they are used. Our results show that tailoring of argumentation to audience within the course of decision processes is the main factor determining effectiveness. We consistently found arguments linked to intrinsic value (e.g. moral or ethical obligation arguments) as shared and supported widely, and thus offering common ground between parties. Economic arguments are effective as additional ones, but not as replacements. Next generation biodiversity conservation strategies can probably improve their effectiveness by emphasizing and better explaining the synergies between traditional conservation and especially regulating and cultural services.
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