Compassionate Conservation Symposium at International Congress for Conservation Biology
On Weds 24th July, the Society for Conservation Biology’s International Congress for Conservation Biology in Baltimore, USA, featured a Symposium on Compassionate Conservation. The following presentations were followed by a panel discussion:
Compassionate Conservation: a Synthesis Between Animal Welfare and Conservation
Compassionate Conservation as a Unifying and Integrative Movement: Who Lives, Who Lives, and Why
Understanding the Individual and Their Welfare in Wildlife Conservation: How Personality Type Affects Translocation Success
Bringing Compassion to the Ethical Dilemma in Killing Kangaroos for Conservation
[Lori Marino, neuroscientist and cetacean expert, was scheduled to present on - The Critical Role of Psychology in the Conservation of Nonhuman Animals - but was unfortunately unable to attend]
The Symposium introduced the Compassionate Conservation initiative to a number of global conservation biologists and practitioners, encouraging them to consider and adopt a new and compassionate approach to tackling conservation problems.
We are very grateful to the organisers of the ICCB for allowing us to hold this Symposium.
Slow Loris Champion Wins 2nd Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation
We are delighted to announce that Professor Anna Nekaris of Oxford Brookes University and the Little Fireface Project (www.nocturama.org) has been awarded the 2nd Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation.
Prof. Nekaris was selected to receive the award for her work in exposing the cruel and destructive trade in slow lorises as pets in South East Asia, and for raising awareness of the plight of these secretive and fascinating animals through academia, the media and field work.
The Little Fireface Project (LFP) began officially in December 2011, building on work carried out by the Nocturnal Primate Research Group at Oxford Brookes since 1993. In response to a burgeoning demand for illegally traded wild slow lorises as pets, fuelled by YouTube videos, LFP launched a formal programme to halt this trade. The Project initiated the first long-term field study of Javan slow lorises, providing vital data to rescue centres to improve success of reintroduction of ex-pet trade victims. It provides training materials and workshops on taxonomy, helping to reduce reintroduction of non-native loris species; conducts market surveys and reports illegal loris sales to authorities; operates a community-based conservation project in Garut, with conservation education and training schemes for trackers, enforcement officers and students; provides alternative incomes to villagers producing loris handicrafts; and actively uses social media to promote its activities, resulting in the removal of the ‘notorious’ Tickling Slow Loris video from wired.com in 2012.
Virginia McKenna OBE, founder of the Born Free Foundation, who met with Prof. Nekaris in Oxford to present the Award, said "I am so delighted that Anna has won this award. I think her work has brought international attention to this little-understood species and her commitment to the individuals she encounters is exactly what Compassionate Conservation is all about."
The award, sponsored by the Born Free Foundation, is intended to provide support and recognition for researchers, practitioners, organisations and projects that promote and develop the consideration of animal welfare in conservation practice.
Prof. Nekaris intends to use the Award funding to produce an information book in Bahasa Indonesia to educate and empower local people to save slow lorises.
The Born Free Foundation has, at its heart, the interface between animal welfare and conservation, and is keen to promote its agenda of Compassionate Conservation, where the welfare of individual animals is a central consideration in conservation actions.
Compassionate Conservation Workshop, London 29-30th November 2012
On 29-30th Nov 2012, an invited group of international experts and practitioners in animal welfare and conservation met at the Royal Geographical Society in London to further develop a practical framework for Compassionate Conservation. The meeting was coordinated by the Born Free Foundation and followed on from the hugely successful Compassionate Conservation Symposium, held at the University of Oxford in 2010. The meeting involved consideration of decision-making in conservation, the role of legislation and the tensions between animal welfare, animal rights and conservation theory and practice. The meeting participants have agreed to work together over the coming months to create, as far as possible, the basis for an effective and useful framework to guide future decisions and actions taken in the name of conservation, and to ensure that animal welfare is given greater consideration as a key component in conservation. This exciting work is ongoing.
First Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation Announced
Heartfelt congratulations to Shivani Bhalla of the Ewaso Lions Project on being awarded the first Virginia McKenna Award for Compassionate Conservation! The award, sponsored by the Born Free Foundation, is intended to provide support and recognition for researchers, practitioners, organisations and projects that promote and develop the consideration of animal welfare in conservation practice. Shivani was selected to receive the award for her work with local communities to conserve lions and other large carnivores in northern Kenya by reducing conflict and helping them understand the importance of lions and other wildlife.
Compassionate Conservation Guiding Principles
Since the groundbreaking Compassionate Conservation Symposium in Oxford in 2010, we have been working with a group of key individuals to develop the following Guiding Principles for Compassionate Conservation. We hope that you will join us in signifying your support:
RECOGNISING that wild animals, whether free-ranging or in captivity, may be affected by the intentional or unintentional actions of humans as well as the natural processes within ecosystems and the wider environment;
CONCERNED that many human activities, including those undertaken for a conservation purpose, may directly or indirectly cause harm to individual wild animals, populations, species, or ecosystems;
RECOGNISING that both conservation and wild animal welfare should implicitly respect the inherent value of wild animals and the natural world, and that both disciplines should try to mitigate harms caused by humans to other species;
BELIEVING that all harms to wild animals should be minimised wherever and to the extent possible, regardless of the human intention and purpose behind them;
PROPOSING that the principles and actions that underpin Compassionate Conservation, by combining consideration of animal welfare and conservation, will lead to a reduction in harm and in the suffering of individual wild animals, and will improve conservation outcomes;
BELIEVE that we can accomplish more than could be achieved by applying either animal welfare or conservation practices without consideration of and, where appropriate, application of the other;
AND AGREE THAT we shall, in our professional lives, seek to: identify, enhance and promote the commonalities between animal welfare and conservation; pursue, to the extent possible, best practice in these disciplines; and thereby work to achieve shared principles and undertake practical Compassionate Conservation actions.
If you would add your name as a signatory, please send an email with your full title, name and affiliation, and whether you are willing for your name to appear on this website, to email@example.com