How can an inclusive conservation approach represent different visions for protected area management to achieve socially relevant and environmentally sustainable outcomes?
Landscapes are often patchy mosaics of landowners and managers- with diverse perspectives, values, and use. The decisions they make scale up throughout the landscape to support local to regional biodiversity. Engaging these stakeholders is critical to achieving biodiversity targets.
Inclusive conservation approaches are aimed at facilitating conditions where there are equitable participation and rights, which can shape social norms of environmental responsibility and sustainability.
A recent policy brief by the ENVISION project highlights a few key points where inclusive conservation can specifically inform international policy:
- Different groups of stakeholders hold different visions, it is important to understand and recognize the diverse, interacting groups of actors to represent different interests. Not everyone lives in the world the same way, and recognizing varying perspectives is a key first step.
- Understanding the underlying drivers of the tensions that arise from different visions can improve landscape sustainability in social-ecological systems. Potential drivers include ecological knowledge systems and resident profiles.
- Strengthening the collective capacity of multiple management strategies by clearly articulating and aligning strategies where possible, as well as recognizing the potential alternatives.
- The voices of local stakeholders- including residents and communities, governments, businesses, and NGOS- should be embraced, but their contributions to biodiversity should also be incentivized.
- Inclusive conservation approaches can be used to support policy makers in enabling, understanding, and monitoring participation in conservation governance in order to promote policy or management changes.