On November 20-24, 2017 International Compassionate Conservation Conference will take place. Great progress has been made in developing the discipline of Compassionate Conservation in the seven years since the first Symposium was organised by the Born Free Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford in 2010, and the 2nd International Conference at the University of British Columbia in 2015.
The 3rd International Compassionate Conservation Conference provides an opportunity to hear progress from experts from around the world and take part in setting the agenda for compassionate conservation into the future.
Hosted by the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology Sydney and supported by the Born Free Foundation, Alley Cat Allies, and Voiceless, the conference will be held in the spectacular Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area west of Sydney, home to an array of unique flora and fauna and our stunning conference venue, The Fairmont Resort.
Click here to REGISTER
Expanding Conservation Horizons
In the newly recognised age of anthropogenic influence, now labeled the Anthropocene, how we should engage with nature has become one of the biggest questions of our time. Wildlife are experiencing unprecedented extinction rates and population decline, driven both by intentional harms and as by-products of human activities. At the same time, some wildlife are flourishing in rapidly changing habitats and places, challenging our fundamental concepts of nature.
The protection of nature has historically prioritised the conserving of collectives (populations, species, and ecosystems) in their pre-Anthropocene state. As a consequence, conservation has often been indifferent to the welfare of individuals and averse to emerging ecological configurations. The societal norms that shape the context of these underlying positions remain murky, entrenched, and often not transparent to the wider community. Rather than finding conservation solutions that deliver benefits across all levels of biodiversity, the lives of individuals are frequently traded-off for the greater good of species or ecosystems, without considering the ethical challenges this presents. A new paradigm is required to address the ethical challenges of engaging with nature in the 21st Century. Click here to read about the speakers
Novel ecosystems: promoting native-non-native coexistence
Human mediated biotic migration is a hallmark of the Anthropocene. Populations of recently arrived species (‘invasive species’) elicit alarm, in part because some eat or compete with valued local species, but also because they exemplify Anthropogenic change. Conservationists traditionally apply lethal suppression and attempt eradication. But such approaches are costly, risky, indifferent to animal welfare, and often ineffective. This session will discuss the emergence of novel ecosystems from a compassionate conservation perspective. Presentations will include: promoting native-non-native coexistence; critical analysis of invasion biology; conservation values of introduced species; and fundamental ideas on nature, wildlife, and our own ecological roles. Click here to read about the speakers
What our speakers are saying
“Compassionate Conservation brings together the most important evidence available: credible science and informed popular sentiment. An overpowering combination” Will Travers, Born Free Foundation
Welfare in the wild
Challenges of putting animal welfare science theory into practice
Scientific evaluation of animal welfare is a key component of compassionate conservation; such evaluations contribute critical information to ethical, legal and political debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. In keeping with the overarching vision, Expanding Horizons, the welfare theme expands on the theoretical considerations presented at the last conference and begins to tackle the practical application of scientific principles to assess wild animal welfare. As a growing number of researchers attempt to undertake real-life welfare assessments on free-living populations, a range of scientific and practical challenges have become evident. Exploring these challenges and discussing potential solutions will facilitate and expedite valid scientific assessments of wild animal welfare to support the goals of compassionate conservation. Click here to read about the speakers
We welcome abstracts on the following topics:
Scientific and practical challenges associated with collecting data to inform welfare evaluations on free-living wild animals.
Legal or political challenges associated with implementing information about animal welfare into policy and practice.
Transitioning to predator-friendly ranching
In many parts of the world, imperiled predators are killed to protect livestock from predation. For predator conservation to be effective in these areas, conflicts must be proactively prevented and cooperatively by stakeholders, policy makers, and practitioners. There are a growing range of tools and management methods designed to accomplish coexistence of wild predators and livestock. We encourage abstract submissions focusing on nonlethal and humane solutions to proactively preventing or minimizing wild predator and livestock conflicts. Topics could include, but are not limited to, specific types of deterrents, livestock husbandry methods, or community based projects to collaboratively address protection of wildlife and domestic animals. Click here to read about the speakers
Developing compassionate laws and policies
Law and policy applying to “invasive alien”, “invasive”, or “pest” species emphasises lethal methods of control with insufficient attention to animal welfare; in addition, it is often driven by agricultural concerns rather than conservation ones. How could policymakers and legislators respond to these issues? The conference organisers welcome abstracts on the following topics:
The relationship between animal welfare and law and policy applying to “invasive alien”, “invasive” or “pest” species.
The role of environmental ethics in regulating “invasive alien”, “invasive” or “pest” species.
Agriculture and the regulation of “invasive alien”, “invasive” or “pest” species.
Indigenous perspectives on the regulation of “invasive alien”, “invasive” or “pest” species. Click here to to read about the speakers
Conservation ethics in the Anthropocene
In the newly recognised age of anthropogenic influence, now labeled the Anthropocene, questions of how we should engage with nature and how we ought to rectify our global impacts are increasingly important. There is considerable urgency needed in addressing these questions as wildlife are experiencing both unprecedented extinction rates and decline in numbers. Conflicts between people and nature are increasing in frequency as space becomes limited, while frameworks for encouraging mutualistic coexistence are lacking. Symptomatic of this, attempts to design and implement projects to address conservation concerns have been subject to considerable backlash worldwide because of a perceived failure to be ethically robust and transparent. This has given rise to major tensions around aims, methods, and values in conservation. In this symposium, we seek speakers to address these tensions by exploring how compassionate conservation might provide a scientifically-robust, practical, and inclusive model for future-proofing conservation in the Anthropocene. Click here to read about the speakers
Sharing agricultural lands with wildlife in Asia and Australia
The expansion and intensification of agricultural activities in Asia and Australia affect the survival and welfare of wildlife and their efficiency in providing essential ecosystem services. Large scale intensification projects including peatland conversion in Kalimantan, Palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia, and land-chaining in Queensland, have received considerable recent scientific and media attention. However, intensification practices on established agricultural lands have generated less concern, despite the habitat value of agricultural lands and the negative effects of agricultural intensification on wildlife. This theme examines agricultural policy in Asia and Australia and examines how pressures to increase agricultural productivity for food security and economic growth are balanced against incentives for wildlife protection and biodiversity conservation. The theme brings together experts from the two regions to present case studies and to build a framework for a greater inclusion of wildlife conservation in agricultural development. The theme will be supported with a dynamic workshop that reflects on lessons learned and develops recommendations for gainful dialog with stakeholders including farmers and policy makers. Click here to read about the speakers
To register click here
Early bird registration open until 31st August
Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin believes Compassionate Conservation is the future, developed first by Born Free Foundation
First, do no harm as a commitment to prioritising non-invasive approaches in conservation research and practice, and an acknowledgement that invasive interventions may harm individuals, populations, and ecosystems.
Individuals matter in conservation research and practice, not merely as units of species and populations, and should be treated with compassion both in the wild and in captivity
Valuing all wildlife as worthy of conservation effort, whether native or introduced, whether common or rare, and regardless of perceived usefulness to humans
Peaceful coexistence with wildlife is the ultimate aim guiding compassionate conservation practices