From conservation theory to practice: crossing the divide

Madhu Rao and Joshua Ginsberg

in Conservation Biology for All

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199554232
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720666 | DOI:
 From conservation theory to practice: crossing the divide

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Madhu Rao and Joshua Ginsberg explore the implementation of conservation science in this chapter. Integrating the inputs of decision‐makers and local people into scientifically rigorous conservation planning is a critically important aspect of effective conservation implementation. Protected areas represent an essential component of approaches designed to conserve biodiversity. However, given that wildlife, ecological processes and human activities often spill across the boundaries of protected areas, designing strategies aimed at managing protected areas as components of larger human‐dominated landscapes will be necessary for successful conservation. Identifying strategies that simultaneously benefit biodiversity conservation and economic development is a challenge that remains at the forefront of applied conservation. Biodiversity use may not be able to alleviate poverty, but may have an important role in sustaining the livelihoods of the poor, and preventing further impoverishment. Strong institutions and good governance are prerequisites for successful conservation interventions. Capacity needs for practical conservation in developing countries occur at many levels from the skills needed for management of natural resources to the compliance requirements of multilateral agreements. Filling gaps in capacity involves a diversity of approaches from on‐the‐job training of individuals to restructuring academic and professional training programs. Prioritizing capacity needs is vital to a longer‐term vision of enabling responsible stewardship of biodiversity. The engagement of local communities in planning and implementation is critical for effective conservation. Carefully designed social marketing approaches have proved to be successful in capturing the interest of local people while achieving conservation goals. Monitoring is a central tenet of good conservation management. Conflicts between the scientific ideals and practical realities of monitoring influence the implementation and effectiveness of monitoring systems. Many of the key issues and barriers to effective conservation that face conservation biologists are inherently political and social, not scientific. Thus efforts to close the gap between conservation biologists and conservation practitioners who take action on the ground will require unprecedented collaboration between ecologists, economists, statisticians, businesses, land managers and policy‐makers.

Keywords: conservation implementation; human‐dominated landscapes; livelihoods; policy‐makers; protected areas

Chapter.  17048 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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