How to improve policy and decision making for nature by mainstreaming.
This paper answers four critical questions: (1) What is the added-value that mainstreaming provides for environmental policy and practice?; (2) What insights emerge from mainstreaming and related literatures?; (3) How can we advance our understanding of mainstreaming processes?; (4) How can we improve future environmental mainstreaming interventions? The literature review reveals a research and policy gap on the way mainstreaming processes evolve and change over time. So a framework that adapts ideas from collaboration, sustainability and diffusion of innovation theories is built to model mainstreaming pathways resembling a game of snakes of ladders; where progress is made through distinctive phases of innovation, persuasion and adoption, depending on encounters with hooks (ladders) and barriers (snakes) and desired behaviour change. It is concluded that more attention needs to be focused here with more positive communication of key environmental messages.