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Accepted Paper:

Opportunities and risks to advancing justice in conservation areas through SAGE and the data it provides  
Naira Dehmel (King's College London) Phil Franks (International Institute for Environment and Development) Kate Schreckenberg (King's College London)

Paper short abstract:

SAGE is a tool to assess equitable governance in conservation areas. This presentation offers learnings from conducting a meta-analysis of SAGE data across 37 sites and discusses the opportunities and risks to advancing justice in conservation through the use of SAGE for upward reporting.

Paper long abstract:

Area-based conservation has been prone to unjust power dynamics and often inequitable outcomes for local people. The new CBD’s Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), whilst setting the target to drastically expand conserved areas worldwide, also recognises the importance of doing so under more ‘equitable governance’. Accordingly, the GBF guidance encourages its Parties to report against this target by conducting ‘site-level assessments for governance and equity’, SAGE for short. After presenting the findings from a meta-analysis of 37 SAGE assessments conducted in different contexts worldwide, this presentation discusses the opportunities and risks to advancing social justice in conservation through the use of SAGE for upward reporting and the data it provides. Whilst SAGE was in the first place developed to allow site-level actors to come together to collectively recognise and address governance challenges, a meta-analysis of the data sheds light on commonalities and differences of equitable governance across sites and in this way could guide higher-level action to support just processes in conservation. However, shifting the incentive to conduct SAGE assessments as a tool for upward reporting does not only provide an opportunity to upscale a methodology with potential to shape discourse, agendas and decision-making, but brings with it an array of ethical concerns over the motivation, process, data ownership and deployment of results. Beyond bringing our own reflections from working with SAGE and SAGE data, this space seems a unique opportunity to learn from debates on data justice in other domains.

Panel P04
Data justice and development [Digital Technologies, Data and Development SG]
  Session 1 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -