Photo Credit: Hannah Trantner

Building Community Conservation Success Globally

Species are not declining because they forgot how to breed, eat, or otherwise secure what they need to survive. Species are declining because of human activity and our choices. As such, because people are the problem, people need to also be the solution. This has led many to realize that conservation is not a biological science, rather, conservation is a social science.

The Living Desert’s Building Community Conservation Success (BCCS) social science training workshops are transforming how conservation is being done around the world. Our week-long workshops introduce conservation biologists to what they must know to successfully learn from their communities, understand the efficacy of their programs, and determine the best ways to structure their conservation activities to ensure communities, species, ecosystems, and economies can all succeed together. Thus far, our team has completed 9 week-long workshops in 11 countries for a total of over 241 people. The Living Desert has also offered a dozen shorter one- or two-day courses for an additional 230 people from a total of 31 countries.

Dr. James_BCCS Workshops
Photo Credit: Chris Llewelyn

Why do conservationists need social science training? Most people who go into conservation do so because they love nature, animals, and plants — not because they love working with people. However, when they begin working where species live, they quickly learn that addressing the root causes of species decline requires working with people. Unfortunately, because conservationists are usually biologists, they are ill-equipped to learn from and work with people living near conservation projects. They need the skills and support to do social science research. This is where The Living Desert has become a world leader.

By helping local conservation organizations around the world, The Living Desert is helping them address the root causes of species decline, while improving the lives and livelihoods of people living in and around invaluable natural areas.

The BCCS social science training workshops are the best thing that I have ever created. If I succeed in helping save species in my life, this will be the biggest contribution I will make.

Building Community Conservation Success Participants Include:

  • Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT), Zimbabwe
  • Community Rhino Conservation Initiative, Zimbabwe
  • Imvelo Safari Lodges, Zimbabwe
    National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe
  • College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, Tanzania
    Wild Nature Institute (WNI), Tanzania
  • Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB)
  • Botswana Wildlife Training Institute, Botswana
  • Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Namibia and Somaliland
  • Action for Cheetahs Kenya (ACK)
  • Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT), Kenya
  • South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO), Kenya
  • Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF), India

Your support empowers transformative conservation initiatives like the Building Community Conservation Success (BCCS) workshops, which are reshaping conservation practices globally by integrating social science. Donate now to make a difference.

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