The conservation of biodiversity and natural resources is unavoidably about managing conflicts between groups of people.
To be able to withstand the additional pressures and impacts from climate change and the pandemic, conservation efforts need to become adept at preventing and mitigating conflicts over protected areas, wildlife, and access to natural resources.
Tensions frequently arise over access to land, resources and benefits from protected areas, the management of wildlife, sustainable use, livelihoods, development, and social justice. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2050 Vision of ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’ envisages a world in which such environmental conflicts are much reduced. However, to reach this aspirational goal, managing and preventing conflicts over biodiversity is essential if global ambitions of nature recovery and sustainable coexistence are to become reality.
Join Dr Alexandra Zimmermann & Professor David Macdonald, from WildCRU, as they discuss the drivers, levels and characteristics of conflicts over biodiversity and explore what can be learned and adapted from the fields of conflict analysis, negotiation and resolution to improve our collective capacity to manage biodiversity conflicts effectively.
This talk is a joint event with the Oxford Martin Programme on Natural Governance.
Dr Alexandra Zimmermann
Senior Research Fellow, WildCRU
Alexandra Zimmermann specialises in biodiversity conflict and human-wildlife conflict, with over 20 years’ experience leading such conflict mitigation initiatives around the globe. Her work has spanned a range of social, political and environmental contexts and included conflicts over jaguars in Brazil and Venezuela, elephants in India and Indonesia, tigers in Nepal, bears in Bolivia, and bats in Mauritius.
Her applied work focuses on community-led solutions and understanding the underlying causes of conflict, as well as training and policy work on conflict analysis, stakeholder dialogue, and negotiation. Alexandra is Senior Research Fellow at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford, as well as Chair of the IUCN SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force and Senior Advisor to The World Bank’s Global Wildlife Program. She is an interdisciplinary scientist, originally trained in zoology and conservation science before she specialised in social research, non-profit strategy, conflict negotiation and multilateral conflict resolution.
Professor David Macdonald
Lead Researcher, Oxford Martin Programme on Natural Governance
Professor David Macdonald CBE DSc FRSE is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) in the Department of Zoology, which he founded in 1986. He researches aspects of fundamental biology relevant to solving practical problems of wildlife conservation and environmental management, and thus to underpin policy formation and public debate of the many issues that surround the conservation of wildlife and its habitats.
He has published over 800 papers in refereed international journals, and written or edited more than a dozen books. His research developed from spatial aspects of carnivore social behaviour, including long-term studies of badgers, lions and Ethiopian wolves, to embrace highly inter-disciplinary approaches to conservation biology.
He has published two taxonomically-based volumes that consolidate much of his research on carnivores: 2004 The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids, 2010 The Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids and a third, The Biology and Conservation of Wild Musteloids is underway. Two volumes cover Key Topics in Conservation Biology, 2007 and 2013. His most recent book Wildlife Conservation on Farmland 2015 is a synthesis of WildCRU’s work on British wildlife over the last 25 years.
David was awarded a CBE for services to natural sciences in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2010 and the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in acknowledgement of WildCRU’s outstanding work in wildlife and environmental conservation in 2011. In 2015 he was voted in the top three most influential conservationists by the BBC’s Wildlife Magazine.