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Conservation and Development in Latin America and Southern Africa: Setting the Stage

Claudia Romero, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida.
Simone Athayde, Tropical Conservation and Development Program and Amazon Conservation Leadership Initiative, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida.
Jean-Gael E. Collomb, Wildlife Conservation Network
Maria DiGiano, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
Marianne Schmink, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida.
Sam Schramski, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
Lisa Seales, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04863-170217

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Abstract

The articles in this Special Feature stem from a 2010 conference (Bridging Conservation and Development in Latin America and Africa) organized by the University of Florida’s Tropical Conservation Development Program, Center for African Studies, and Center for Latin American Studies. The conference involved researchers and practitioners from Africa and Latin America focused on the complex and evolving relationship between conservation and development. The conference provided bridges between academics and non-academics, conservation and development, and theory and practice. The resulting comparative analyses focus on: empowerment of local institutions; enhanced capacity of local and regional stakeholders through a recognition and validation of local knowledge systems and the creation of knowledge networks; understanding of social and natural landscapes, history, contexts, and their evolution; and the roles of economic and market forces in shaping opportunities for using market-based incentives to promote conservation and development. In this introductory article we propose a conceptual framework based on the six connected pillars of natural resource characteristics, interactions of social actors, governance and participation, politics, information exchange, and economic issues that support spaces for both conflicts and synergies between conservation and development goals. Our goal is to foster informed dialogue and social learning to promote sustainability.

Key words

Africa; complex social-ecological systems; conservation; development; knowledge networks; local institutions; economic incentives; Latin America
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087