Most of the world´s biodiversity is not in protected areas but on lands used by people. Therefore, biodiversity conservation requires an understanding of social systems and their interactions with ecological systems.
In involving people in conservation, attention must be paid to political and social objectives, such as livelihoods, and creating a local stake for conservation. It also requires maintaining cultural connections to the land, and at times restoring and cultivating new connections.
Traditional conservation and management systems, such as sacred groves and agro-forestry systems in the Western Ghats biodiversity ‘hotspot´ in southern India, are an integral part of conservation strategies.
Experience with two new indigenous-led protected areas in subarctic Canada (a World Heritage Site in northern Ontario and a Biodiversity Reserve in northern Quebec) can be used to illustrate how local and indigenous knowledge can be combined with science, indigenous rights and livelihoods taken into account, and local-level planning integrated into national and international conservation planning.
About Prof. Berkes
Prof. Berkes is interested in commons, social-ecological systems and resilience. His work on the conditions under which ‘the tragedy of the commons´ may be avoided has led him to the study of community-based resource management and conservation in northern Canada and internationally.
His recent publications include the books, Sacred Ecology (Routledge, 2008), Adaptive Co-Management, with Armitage and Doubleday (University of British Columbia Press, 2007), and Navigating Social-Ecological Systems, with Colding and Folke (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Please note the location: Room 312, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Kräftriket 2 B, Stockholm University.