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Short course materials: Culture, Values and Protected Areas

Cultural Values workshop
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Written by: Mark Infield
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Understanding what connects people and nature is important. Although economic links are well recognised and form the basis of many community-based conservation activities, cultural links are less well understood and often go unconsidered.

Protected areas are seen as the crown jewels of 20th century conservation achievement. Unfortunately, many are hotly contested by the people living around them, and are challenged by critics for their negative impacts on communities.

Understanding and recognising the deep links that often exist between people, place and nature in the design and management of protected areas can therefore help to avoid or overcome the conflicts between parks and people that undermine conservation efforts.

Fauna & Flora International’s short course: Culture in Conservation

This short course is designed to take participants through a range of topics over two days. It aims to:

  • Introduce a cultural values approach to conservation
  • Develop understanding of the approach and its relevance
  • Stimulate thinking on material and non-material values in nature and conservation
  • Provide information and skills

The course examines the changing role of values in conservation policy and practice; the relationships between culture, values and nature and how these affect conservation initiatives; activities for integrating values into protected areas; and ways to represent and communicate protected area values.

Course materials

The below materials will help facilitators customise and replicate this short course to suit their needs and participants:

Written by
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Mark Infield

After graduating with a degree in zoology in 1980, Mark took off for Kenya, thus beginning a 30 year career in conservation. Mark has worked for NGOs, governments, universities and private companies to develop his interest in the connections between protected areas and the communities who effect or are effected by them. Picking up an MSc and a PhD along the way, he's worked to promote innovations in the way conservation managers interact with local communities. In 2002, following ten years as advisor to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Mark joined FFI’s Asia-Pacific programme, returning to the UK in 2011 to design and develop the Cultural Values & Conservation Programme, a further extension of his ongoing commitment to improving conservation delivery through meaningful engagement with communities and their values.

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Understanding and recognising the deep links that often exist between people, place and nature in the design and management of protected areas can help to avoid or overcome the conflicts between parks and people that undermine conservation efforts.

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