I wanted to reiterate that conservation is not at its heart a biology issue. It's a social and economic issue. Biologists, we aren't saviors here. We are there to provide, if wanted, our knowledge and expertise to local communities who also have their own knowledge and expertise.
Successful conservation is not about having a heirarchy where scientists with narrow expertise are at the top dictating what happens in complex socio-economic systems they don't fully understand. We know this often fails in long run and yet here we are still doing it. #ConSocSci
It is pretty well established that community-led conservation efforts lead to better conservation outcomes. Our old model is not the best, and yet we continue to push it on everyone else.
I'm especially troubled by Western scientists doing this in other countries. The narrative of things only being saved or discovered when they get involved is frankly gross. Especially when it ignores contributions of local people and communities or history behind the problems.
This isn't to say biology isn't important to restoring populations but if you've captive bred species or restored populations in wild, yet no one's dealt with the socio-economic dynamics that led to the problems in the first place, you're kidding yourself that anything's fixed.
And ps. As biologists, we don't have an understanding of the culture and issues at play in conservation issues, and yet we often look down on social scientists who could serve as vital partners here. So yeah, do better. #EndRant
I'm so glad to see folks sharing this tweet but want to make it clear that we all need to educate ourselves on these issues and follow and boost voices of those from Global South and Indigenous communities and many others working to #DecolonizeSTEM and #DecolonizeConservation
Here's a recent plenary panel at @NACCB2020 that is of relevance https://twitter.com/naccb2020/status/1294301583660838912?s=21.
Museums and Biology are often tied to a lot of historical atrocities and colonialization, it's important to think about and purposefully reverse that legacy through action. Follow #MuseumsAreNotNeutral for more.
Conservation itself is intimately tied with this same history. There are many articles about this, including some that were recently posted but @am_anatiala's #BloodParks tweets are essential reading.
It is also important to understand the role of gatekeeping and bias in Conservation science journals that hinders scientists from Global South countries, where many conservation hot spots are located, from publishing their work. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01797-0. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/11956860.2019.1645565
On the social science point, follow #HumanDimensions and @ConSocSci for more perspective there. I personally have learned from @ConservOptimism as well.
This is obviously just a small bit of the work and resources out there. Please share more if you would like to add on. Also if you can afford it, please consider financially supporting the individuals doing the work above for their labor. This is too often uncredited, unpaid work
Want to add this VERY important point noted by @SavvyOlogy here to the thread. https://twitter.com/SavvyOlogy/status/1301995063682248715?s=19
You can follow @HellbenderHecht.
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