Pettorelli, J. Baillie and S. Roe, J. Elliott, C. Sandbrook and M. Lindenmayer and R. Davies and D. Dickson, J. Hutton and W. Hayward and M. Kock and J. Muller, P. Werner and J. Leader-Williams, W.
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Adams and R. Ewen, D. Armstrong, K. Parker and P. Clark and J. Amphibian chytridiomycosis. ZSL is at the forefront of research on amphibian Find out more. We met as a whole group each day to discuss emergent themes and ideas, clarify scheduling, and coordinate our efforts in numerous minor ways. Other smaller meetings were frequent; a cluster of beanbag chairs in the convention centre lobby became an impromptu drop-in spot, where one or two team members could usually be found. Evenings included participant observation at the many receptions, book launches, and other informal events.
It was only because of our collaborative approach to this research that we were able to distil from the continual rush of encounters and events at the WCC a series of key themes that have continued to inform our analysis. For example, a remark at one of our daily meetings by one researcher concerning the performativity of events at the congress became a major interest of the group when others responded with similar observations. This unexpected insight emerged as a key theme as we subsequently discussed how 'performance' was often disciplining. As a group, we became interested in how the event itself was structured including issues like which sessions were translated into other languages, and which were not , how the agenda was organised, and where we saw protest or lack thereof.
The politics of performance is now one of our core theoretical interests MacDonald this issue. As we move forward with developing this method, we are focusing on how to maximise the benefits from this kind of group insight and analysis. The advisory committee guided the initial conceptual development of the project, and solicited applications from graduate students and other researchers who we believed could contribute to the project.
Applicants were asked to describe their interest in the project, and the topical focus they would pursue at the WCC. After an initial selection process, we specifically solicited participation by additional researchers interested in climate change. In total, the project supported the participation of 16 researchers.
An additional six researchers joined the group with other sources of funding. Activities of the group began with a series of online webinars hosted by the Center for Integrative Conservation Research at the University of Georgia. During these weekly meetings, we logged into a project website where we could communicate audibly and look at project documents on a shared screen. We discussed common research questions, individual project interests, ethical protocols, logistics and scheduling.
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While we experienced occasional technical glitches, the system was an excellent way of uniting a diverse and geographically dispersed team. All meetings were digitally archived so they could be accessed at a later time. We arrived in Barcelona a day prior to the meeting, to get acquainted in person, settle into our shared accommodation, get oriented at the meeting site, and to coordinate logistics.
Once the Forum started, we held daily meetings at lunchtime, and smaller groups convened throughout the event. Once the Forum ended and the Assembly began, we spent the day in the Assembly Hall following the discussion of the motions and spent the evening in 'contact groups', where specific motions were modified, merged, or fought over until they were presentable to the General Assembly. To focus our efforts towards a common goal while allowing for the kinds of new insights that come from a diverse group of collaborating researchers pursuing a range of research topics, the research programme was divided into two parts.
First, each of the researchers was responsible for addressing a common set of questions aimed at achieving a broader synthesis of the WCC and reflecting the interests of ACSC. Second, researchers selected to participate in the WCC CEE pursued research on conservation trade-offs through a more specific focus on topics they proposed. These focused topics included topical or conceptual issues displacement, climate change, biofuels , debates biodiversity vs.
Throughout the congress, researchers set up interviews and took notes on what they were observing. In doing so they observed interview subjects and other actors interacting in meetings, in panels and forums, in floor debates, and in other contexts in ways that provided a broader perspective on the opinions expressed in interviews. Following the WCC, we reconvened in webinars to further discuss our experiences, and to strategise on writing up our results.
For the most part, our efforts have focused on papers written by individuals related to their individual research interests, and nine of these papers comprise this collection. These were some of the issues we identified during our group discussions at the WCC and afterwards, and capture the utility of our approach. Observed by one of us, we may have passed some of these over; our shared observations across different sessions, days, events, and interviewees gave us confidence that a theme was, in fact, a theme, or that a particular process was important!
This summary of four of our general observations provides further context for the individual papers that follow. This struck us from the first day, when we entered the conference centre through the pavilions hall, where each 'journey' was physically manifested in a booth, with staff, seating, wall-sized illustrations, and sometimes refreshments. Later that day, we sat through opening ceremonies, complete with larger-than-life slideshows featuring images of spectacular nature, performers, dignitaries, and even some off-script protesting such was the orchestrated nature of the event that the protesting seemed staged, rather than real.
The kind of performance we saw at the opening ceremonies was not restricted to the organisers of the event.
Indigenous peoples were often present in full traditional dress, marking their presence in visible and often colourful ways. A structural characteristic that greatly affected the meeting for participants, ourselves included, was the organisation of 'journeys', an interesting experiment in facilitating communication and helping attendees navigate a complex schedule.
The 12 'journeys' produced hard copy guides, colourfully illustrated, for attendees to follow. Rather than sift through the entire programme, someone interested in 'protected areas' needed to only follow the predefined programme. At the pavilions in the main entrance hall, IUCN staff could be found, journey guides could be collected, book signings and other events were held, and attendees could sit and relax when needed. While attendees undoubtedly appreciated the organisation the journeys provided, journeys were also disciplining; most of us noted that, consistently, the same people showed up to similarly themed sessions.
Thus, the journey structure acted as a barrier to the kind of communication and interaction that might encourage dialogue between actors with different ideological orientations toward conservation. Although this disciplining may have been an unintended consequence of trying to make Forum navigation easier, for at least some groups the desire that like-minded participants 'travel' together was overt, and the guides served as more than a practical navigation tool MacDonald this issue.
MacDonald this issue tackles the 'performativity' of the meeting most directly, describing his own experience following the 'markets and business journey', and in doing so he provides a convincing argument for the need to study meetings not just for their content, but for the way that content is performed. As a multi-national, multi-lingual research team, we quickly noted how issues of access, and particularly language translation, was sometimes problematic.
Trade-offs in identifying global conservation priority areas: Deciding What to Save
Some events had translators, while others did not. Where this seemed particularly problematic was in contact groups associated with the Resolutions for consideration before the Assembly. For example, at one contact group meeting, three motions related to the same issue were eventually consolidated into one. The three original motions were in English, French, and Spanish, while the consolidated motion was only available in English. At the beginning of the meeting, the chair asked if it was acceptable to everyone to proceed in English, and everyone agreed that it was.
However, as discussion of the motion proceeded, significant changes were suggested to the English text by one of the sponsors of the original English motion. Someone in the group a fluent English speaker, not an original sponsor, who had already recorded several objections to various parts of the motion asked if all of the new language being proposed was incorporating the content of all three original motions, or just the preferences of one of the sponsors of the original English motion.
Sponsors of the French and Spanish motions were present and both agreed that they accepted the new additions by the English-speaking sponsor, but the Spanish speaker observed that it was an 'uneven scenario'. She said that while she did not object to the new language being introduced, it was a lesson for the contact group process-that the process as it was proceeding all in English, with no official translation was unfair. Changing Ideas About How to Undertake Conservation Ideas about implementing conservation come and go, and it was hardly surprising that some ideas were promoted at the WCC while others popular in the past were absent.
However, some of what we saw deserves attention as it reflects more general shifts, not just in topics, but in the mechanisms and actors best suited to achieve conservation goals, and the scale at which these are pursued. In terms of mechanisms, market-based approaches to conservation captured centre stage at the WCC. Arguments about the necessity of making conservation 'pay for itself', thus allowing conservation to compete with other land and resource uses, are not new to conservation, and have been gaining traction since at least the s MacDonald However, the idea of valuing resources or nature has expanded to include the idea of valuing 'ecosystem services'.
Once such services are identified and properly valued, they can then be paid for, preferably via market mechanisms. This more recent extension of market logic to conservation was not only evident at the WCC, it eclipsed past approaches to making conservation pay for itself, e. The types of programmes discussed included 'payments for ecosystem services', 'biodiversity and carbon offsets' and 'conservation agreements'.
Broadly, these have been considered as mechanisms to enable the transfer of funds from global actors e. Unlike past market-based approaches, in which incentives to conserve were indirect, e. Numerous presentations at the WCC from conservation organisations and the private sector aimed to share know-how and to promote the implementation of such market-based or economic instruments.
For example, we observed practical toolkits for designing payments for ecosystem services PES mechanisms, technologies for visualising and mapping ecosystem services as part of policy-making, and the demonstration of new instruments for buying and selling ecosystem services such as auctions and trading schemes.
These ideas and technologies are largely theoretical, and conservationists agree that there is little implementation experience so far-they expect to make some mistakes too; as one practitioner said 'it's like riding a bike'. PES schemes were seen as particularly promising for mitigating climate change, the high profile environmental concern at the WCC Hagerman et al.
Trade-Offs in Conservation: Deciding What to Save by Nigel Leader-Williams
REDD was widely seen as presenting 'both a risk and an opportunity' and debates about it have engaged diverse actors, including private companies, multilaterals especially the World Bank , indigenous people, NGOs, carbon brokers, conservation biologists, and governments. A number of issues emerged during REDD discussions. First, a strong message emerged from global conservation investors that combined enthusiasm-'this is the moment we have been waiting for' Conservation International representative -with pragmatic opportunism-'if we don't act now, we will miss the boat' World Bank representative.
Third, specific groups have specific concerns. For example, conservation biologists question the logic of relying solely on economic rationales for conservation Monfreda this issue , while indigenous peoples resist what they see as the neo-colonial underpinnings of REDD and the potential for it to serve the interests of the North over the South Doolittle this issue. More generally, we noted a discussion about how local communities will be affected by and compensated via these new market-based mechanisms.
These concerns reflect our related observations about actors and scale. In terms of actors, we noted an underlying tension about what the rise of market-based mechanisms implies for what kinds of knowledge and thus actors are required for conservation. Conservation will need more economists, and specifically people with expertise in finance, marketing, and even stock markets.
What role does the traditional species biologists the Species Survival Commission is one of the oldest and largest arms of the IUCN play in this new vision of conservation? How will indigenous people influence conservation when it arrives in the form of carbon credits generated through a global market?
Market-based approaches also reflect a general trend in the IUCN towards a closer relationship with the private sector, and this too, is resisted by some as reflected by a controversial resolution about the IUCN's relationship with Shell Oil MacDonald this issue. Resistance is both to the specific agreement with Shell and to the general change in the IUCN that the agreement reflects. In terms of scale, we note that, again, the trend toward 'scaling up' conservation has already been documented, for example through approaches like ecoregional planning see Brosius ; Zimmerer At past WCCs, governments and conservation organisations have used the event as a platform to make announcements about the establishment of large, often transboundary protected areas, e.
We saw little of this at this WCC, and the lack of attention to place-based conservation parks or networks of parks was striking.
We suggest that new market-based initiatives 'scale-up' conservation even further than past initiatives. A global carbon market, for example, is an economic transformation at a structural level, the conservation implications of which are targeted to be broader than those of even the largest transboundary protected area. While such a market will clearly have an impact on a variety of places where conservation is done, it will itself be somewhat placeless, tied perhaps to a UN office or a stock exchange.
From the many slides of marine life projected during the opening ceremonies, to the marine pavilion that hosted book signings by people like Sylvia Earl, to high profile events like the launch of Google Oceans, the marine agenda proceeded apace, often seemingly unencumbered by the issues and debates that are challenging in terrestrial conservation. While only two of the participating researchers were specifically following marine issues, the mood among participants in the marine journey was noted by all of our researchers. As a theme, marine contrasted with many others.
While climate change was one of three themes at the IUCN and dominated in many places, only five of 35 sessions on the marine journey addressed climate change, with proportionately more attention paid to fisheries, MPAs, and ocean governance. Ecosystem services, again, were absent in most discussions on marine issues, and even old trends in conservation, like the need to include local people in protected areas planning, were overlooked in some of the marine resolutions, which the Assembly sent back to contact groups as a result Gray this issue. Though there was some dismay over high seas fisheries and what to do about protecting areas outside of national jurisdictions, these concerns did not dampen the mood.
As one participant at the MPA Synthesis session said, this was 'the most blue congress… finally marine has come of age'. And What, After All, of Trade-offs? As a research team, we were interested in how and when the concept of trade-offs was addressed both explicitly and implicitly. Aware of the different ways in which the term is used, we did not ourselves adopt a definition of what constituted a trade-off, since we were less concerned with recognising the presence of a pre-defined type of trade-off, than we were with cataloguing the diverse ways the language of trade-offs was used.
Perhaps not surprisingly, we found all of the 'messiness' one would expect. While our interview script began with questions about trade-offs, many interviewees themselves saw the concept as problematic, noting its varied definitions and meanings. In this collection of papers, we find the same varied language and different levels of attention to the trade-offs concept, invoked by the individual authors to reflect the treatment of trade-offs in relation to the topics they were pursuing. For example, the concept of triage-as discussed among conservation biologists confronting the prospects of climate change-is an explicit recognition of trade-offs that leads Hagerman et al.
Thus, while the genesis of this CEE was in a project devoted to exploring the conceptual clarity and coherence that the idea of trade-offs might provide in envisioning new approaches to conservation, this collection falls short of that goal; it does, however, illustrate the types of challenges that will confront ACSC as it continues to work with the trade-off concept see Brosius , Hirsch et al.
He tackles the 'performativity' of the meeting most directly, and in doing so provides additional argument for understanding the importance of meetings as moments in conservation policy-making. In building on his on-going work on the relationship of the IUCN with the private sector and its market logic, MacDonald also provides contextual background for understanding where the current emphasis on market-based conservation is coming from; following the 'Business of Biodiversity' journey, MacDonald illustrates the ways that this journey can be read as a further step in the ongoing transformation of IUCN.
This more general overview of change sets up a number of papers that examine the specifics of it. Monfreda provides one of these. Monfreda explores how three types of knowledge-of economics, of biodiversity conservation, and of traditional, indigenous peoples-are invoked, enrolled, and sometimes challenged in the discussion of TEEB, but ultimately reconciled to its purposes. While he documents some dissent among participants in TEEB sessions, he illustrates how the programme's promoters sought to align these knowledge types in order to secure the authority and legitimacy of TEEB. In doing so, Monfreda illustrates the micro-political work done, some of it through meeting structure and performance, to push broad changes in how conservation is conceived in the international community.
Initiated in , REDD is 'an endeavour to create an incentive for developing forested countries to protect, better manage and wisely use their forest resources, thus contributing to the global fight against climate change. While the ultimate form REDD will take remains unknown, it combines the popularity of economic approaches with the leading environmental concern of climate change; thus, the attention it received is not surprising.
Doolittle examines the responses of indigenous leaders to REDD, and contextualises this response in the overall efforts of indigenous peoples to gain a voice in international climate change negotiations. She points to the strategic use of a 'shared identity' that draws on the relation of indigenous people to their natural environments and their rights to traditional lands and resources, to claim authority and gain access to such negotiations. Although the scale at which REDD and NTFP are conceived and the types of incentives they provide are different, on the ground, both programmes can promote the conservation of standing forests.
Hagerman et al. The threat is to the species conservation biologists care about, but climate change can also be seen as threatening the tools they use, and even their own roles in conservation. Their results show a contrast between the public and private discussion of possible responses to climate change at the WCC.
In formal WCC sessions, new policy innovations are resisted trade-offs avoidance , while, during interviews, individuals acknowledge that 'tough choices' will need to be made and express openness to experimentation trade-off recognition. One of the more striking features of Hagerman et al. Maclin and Dammert examine the treatment of biofuels at the WCC, an issue that clearly illustrates how programmes to solve one set of conservation and development challenges climate-related impacts of fossil fuel-generated energy; development impacts of relying on oil imports create new sets of problems conversion of forests to biofuel monocrops; competition between biofuel crops and food crops.
Of all the topics covered, biofuels perhaps most clearly illustrate the messy nature of trade-offs-both how complex trade-offs are and how difficult it is to pin down exactly when and how trade-offs are made, and who makes them. Maclin and Dammert trace the emergence and evolution of energy as an issue in the IUCN over the last 10 years, and illustrate how decisions taken at the IUCN must be understood as part of an evolving discourse on energy.
However, rather than negate the importance of the meeting, they reinforce it, by showing how a community of practice intervened spontaneously and somewhat informally, at particular moments and in particular places, to ensure the discourse stayed on track. Hitchner uses issues debated at the WCC, particularly the roles and rights of indigenous people and those of the private sector and extractive industries in conservation, to contextualise her research on a large trans-boundary protected area, the Heart of Borneo Initiative.
Hitchner's paper exemplifies the kinds of problems these large-scale initiatives often face in practice, with multiple interests operating across multiple scales, and with ambiguous and sometimes contradictory outcomes. In showing how trades-offs are defined and negotiated differently depending on the interest group and scale at stake, she illustrates their plurality. While the Heart of Borneo project appears problematic from a number of perspectives, Hitchner also suggests the ways in which issues and resolutions taken at the WCC provide opportunities for NGOs and indigenous communities to achieve some of their own conservation goals, to some extent enabled by the ambiguity of the overall initiative.
Gray takes us into the world of marine conservation and illustrates the importance of scale in framing conservation debates. Gray's paper offers some background on the growth of MPAs, and how debates about their utility and function have always incorporated concerns of both science and local participation; gaining popularity only in the last decade, the MPA movement arguably benefited from the experiences and lessons learned in terrestrial conservation, where the consequences of ignoring or excluding local resource users are well documented.
This proved problematic at the WCC, when a resolution forwarded in support of the goal was immediately critiqued for lack of attention to the process of establishing MPAs and the need to involve local people. Gray finds that even some attendees associated with organisations pushing the goal wonder if there is too much unchecked momentum behind the global project to protect the world's oceans. They find natural and social scientists in many ways echo what has been written on these topics: that social science and interdisciplinary work are needed; that barriers to achieving interdisciplinarity are philosophical, epistemological, methodological, and practical; and that social scientists remain somewhat marginalised within conservation organisations.
However, they also find that the main source of tension identified is not between natural and social scientists, but between social scientists working within conservation organisations and those working within academia. Like MacMynowski they argue that efforts to overcome barriers e. They suggest the need for such recognition is increasingly urgent, given the way that trends in conservation, for example towards market-based approaches, will challenge what has traditionally counted as the 'right' kind of knowledge for conservation.
We are grateful to project Principal Investigator, Tom McShane, for investing in this work, an experiment to be sure. We are especially grateful to Ken MacDonald and Noella Gray, who have influenced our thoughts on this work greatly in the post-WCC writing and analysis phase. This was resisted by the Swiss, Belgians, and Dutch however, who had been the main countries running its predecessor, the International office for the Protection of Nature, which was formed in , but derailed by World War II.
These countries did not want to lose independence by association with the UN McCormick This does not imply global environmental governance is easily done. While the need for it may be recognised, the details of the means to achieving it are hotly contested, as the recent negotiations under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change illustrates.
As social scientists, our instincts were to write up our results and analysis as individuals, producing the sole authored publications valued in our disciplines. In hindsight, we recognise that in many ways, these instincts served to undermine the real value in the CEE approach; CEE is not just a means of gathering additional data by having more people covering more events. The unique value of our group collaboration lies in our shared insights across events, topics, and themes.
Adams, W. Conservation and community: Changing narratives, policies and practices in African conservation. In: African wildlife and livelihoods: The promise and performance of community conservation eds. Hulme, D. Oxford: James Curry Ltd. Agrawal, A. The role of community in natural resource conservation.
In: Communities and the environment: Ethnicity, gender, and the state in community-based conservation eds. Brosius, J. Seeing communities: Technologies of visualization in conservation. In: The seductions of community: Emancipations, oppressions, quandaries ed. Creed, G. Santa Fe: School of American Research. Conservation trade-offs and the politics of knowledge. In: Trade-offs in conservation: Deciding what to save eds. Leader-Williams, N. Adams and R. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Conservation from above: An anthropological perspective on transboundary protected areas and ecoregional planning. Tsing and C. Zerner eds. Communities and conservation: Histories and politics of community-based natural resource management. Chapin, M. A challenge to conservationists. World Watch Nov-Dec: Crate, S. Gone the bull of winter? Current Anthropology 49 4 : Fox, D. An ethnography of four non-governmental organizations. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press. Gray, N.
Waves of change? Politics of knowledge and participation in marine protected areas. PhD Dissertation. Duke University, Durham, NC. Science, policy advocacy, and marine protected areas. Conservation Biology 23 2 : Goldman, M. Imperial science, imperial nature: Environmental knowledge for the World Bank. In: Earthly politics: Local and global in environmental governance eds. Jasanoff, S. Gusterson, H. Studying up revisited.
Research and Markets: Trade-offs in Conservation: Deciding What to Save
Hannerz, U. Being there. Ethnography 4 2 : Harper, R. Inside the IMF: An ethnography of documents, technology and organizational action. San Diego: Academic Press. Hirsch, P. Adams, J. Brosius, A. Zia, N. Bariola and J. L Dammert. Acknowledging conservation trade-offs and embracing complexity.