Deadline: 15 July 2022
The Institute of Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is hosting a 5 day course with Wageningen University, aimed at transforming conservation ideas and practices in Southern Africa in biodiverse rural, urban, land and ocean spaces. This is part of the Oak Foundation Funded Living Landscapes in Action project. The course will be convened by:
- Prof Moenieba Isaacs: Professor and Academic Coordinator at PLAAS
- Prof Bram Büscher: Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change Group at Wageningen University
The key themes and concepts covered in the course will be as follows:
- Histories and paradigms of conservation, in South(ern) Africa and globally and the current biodiversity crisis and how this is unequal
across space and time;
- Political ecology in relation to conservation: how to understand conservation in a broader context focused on tackling both the extinction
crisis and urgent issues of social justice?
- Alternatives to mainstream conservation and possibility for sustainable transformation;
- Themes in conservation: rights, violence, law, gender, livelihoods, biodiversity.
- Fieldwork trip to contextualise the conservation challenges in key living landscapes field sites.
- The short course is fully funded by the Oak Foundation and will be held in Cape Town.
- Funding is available for small number of participants to attend the short course training in person in Cape Town.
- Selected participants must ensure they have access to good internet infrastructure to attend the course if they will make use of the hybrid option.
Participants will be assessed by means of a pre-contact assignment, a virtual field report and a final submission of a learning portfolio. Participants will receive a certificate on completion of the course.
- Participants working in biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and governance (land, water and ocean), including
government agencies, and conservation organisations, private organisations and, community based organisations working on
conservation issues, conservation NGOs, and related agencies in Southern Africa.
- A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a minimum of 3-4 years of work experience in natural resource management, biodiversity
conservation, or environmental governance in Southern Africa.
- Applicants interested in new and innovative ways to tackle the biodiversity crisis in Africa and beyond and doing so in a way that puts
social justice front and centre.
- Applicants interested in building lessons from the history of conservation and applying new ways of thinking going forward.
V. How to apply?
Please complete the online form HERE
For enquirie, please contact: Ms Lee Saul [email protected] 021 959 9279
VI. Why this course?
Have you ever wondered why current conservation paradigms do not seem to be able to halt the global biodiversity extinction crisis? Or why many conservation approaches find it so hard to do justice to people and integrate new ideas of ‘living with’ biodiversity rather than separating people and nature? Or why conservation always gets so caught up in politics? Then this is the short course for you!
Despite the concern over certain species groups e.g. amphibians, the main problem with conservation in the South(ern) African context is the continuing (racial, gender and other) inequities that remain highly persistent, and are at times getting worse. Social and environmental justice issues still receive too little systemic attention and need urgent action. This short course provides a holistic overview of global conservation paradigms, their strengths and weaknesses and why new, more transformative paradigms are currently gaining ground. It does so with specific reference to how the biodiversity crisis takes on connotations in the Southern African context where conservation has been quite successful, yet major issues still remain.