We want you to know what is going on in the BOD, our meetings, our actions, members leaving, the new ones elected,... but text written in this blog cannot be taken an official position or statement of the Society for Conservation Biology. Probably it is not even an official statement of the section... as these need to be approved by the members.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Why is ECCB2012 interesting for a social scientist?

Conservation biology belongs to natural sciences however, conservation biology intends to go beyond being a pure scientific field and seeks to have an impact on nature conservation.
There are many questions relevant to conservation biologists, which need the participation of social scientists, e.g.: What is behind the conflicts of hunters, other land users and nature conservationists? What is the motivation of farmers to engage in agri-environmental schemes? Can we calculate the benefits of ecosystem services, such as pollination in a certain biodiversity rich area in economic terms? 

In this conference many presentations referred to social-ecological systems which  can be a powerful conceptual framework to discuss nature conservation issues both from scientific and from management point of view. It opens room for interdisciplinary research and science-policy plus science-society dialogue.  Involvement of stakeholders in conservation management and good governance were also among the frequently used terms.

Many sessions included social science perspectives as well: e.g. conservation in the socio-economic context, land sharing-land sparing, ecosystem services, nature conservation in agricultural areas, just to mention a few. Some of the speakers in these sessions were  social scientists.

I think social scientist could learn a lot from natural scientists in this conference, and I hope that the presentations given by social scientists were also useful for natural scientists. The dialogue has started.

Eszter Kovács, PhD
Szt István University, Hungary

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