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Challenges and Opportunities for Grassroots Conservation 
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder (MPI-EVA)
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Wednesday 27 October, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

With contributions from indigenous peoples, conservation activists and scholars from developing and developed countries we explore grassroots conservation challenges and opportunities, highlighting indigeneity, capacity, funding, interdisciplinary science, mentorship, neocolonialism and media.

Long Abstract:

Increasingly over recent decades conservation scientists promote their interventions for their grassroots bases, community-based engagement, and concordance with local cultural preferences, livelihoods and economic priorities. The practical limits to these claims, the frequent incompatibilities between project objectives and higher levels of governance, the ambiguity of terms such as indigeneity, and the associated fads or fashions that arise in the academic and applied fields of conservation science to address these problems are all well known. Solutions however are less obvious. Critical challenges continue to face local communities and grassroots activists. These include: a) how they can most effectively manage their natural resources; b) how can the satisfactorily address the heterogeneous interests of different community members; c) what strategies most effectively counter external demand for valuable products; d) how local regulations be aligned with those of higher levels of governance; e) what are the best means of addressing the paternalism within (inter)national NGOs; e) what are effective strategies for interfacing with outsiders for assistance in non-local expertise and funding; f) how can local organizations, with often limited funds for research, provide the robust evidence of success increasingly demanded by donor organizations; g) how to manage the often unrealistic expectations left from foreign interventions. We explore these and related issues, so as to provide a forum in which grassroots conservation leaders can exchange their experiences with a target audience that would include other activists, scholars aiming to support local conservationists, and NGO/donors wishing to make their contributions more effective.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 October, 2021, -
Panel Video visible to paid-up delegates