Conservation Translocation initiatives, including Reintroductions and Rewilding, promote the recovery of biodiversity following a positive, pro-active approach to conservation. International directives recognise their value, since the Convention on Biological Diversity obliges signatory countries to “Adopt measures for the recovery and rehabilitation of threatened species and for their reintroduction into their natural habitats under appropriate conditions.” (CBD 1992 Article 9c) .
In practice, however, the return of species that have been absent in an area (due to human pressure or persecution or other) is accompanied by a wide range of issues, many derived from human-wildlife interactions. While the IUCN’s Guidelines for Reintroductions (2013) state that to establish a viable, free-ranging population in the wild it is necessary to enlist public support, the success of conservation translocations requires cooperation between scientists, practitioners, governmental and non-governmental agencies, as well as the public.
The Human-Wildlife Interactions Working Group (HWIWG) was formed in 2018 by members of the IUCN/SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group who were interested in exploring the role that such interactions play at different stages of conservation translocations, their scope and importance to program success. The HWIWG creates connections between field practitioners and researchers to collectively address key issues concerning translocation programs.
Our vision aligns with the CTSG vision (2022) where conservation translocations have an active role to play in repairing past damage that results from people’s relationship with nature, securing against future threats. We see every CT project integrating HWI aspects to ensure its success. In keeping with the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we include the conservation translocation of plants in our scope, to restore degraded or deforested sites, assisted or through natural regeneration, aimed at reducing biodiversity loss by securing habitats for wild flora and fauna.
We recognize that indigenous communities and local indigenous knowledge have an important role to play in conservation translocations and HWI arising from conservation translocations.
The Human-Wildlife Interactions Working Group discussion forum that takes place online, creates opportunities for reintroduction practitioners and researchers from across the globe to discuss key issues concerning the relationships between people and wildlife within programs involving translocations for conservation purposes. We propose to expand and develop our portfolio to offer more resources and actions that integrate the CTSG’s science, guidance, training, action and outreach aims.
We contribute to the CTSG’s mission to ‘empower responsible conservation translocations that save species, strengthen ecosystems, and benefit humanity’. We propose to do so by promoting knowledge exchange and supporting practitioners in identifying human-wildlife interaction issues that may affect the success of conservation translocations and finding solutions towards coexistence.
As a pragmatic forum, the HWIWG works as a resource, rather than an exercise, aiming:
To promote discussion of key issues; to aid practitioners in finding solutions based on the experience of practitioners and expert advice; to help develop networks and collaborations; to provide advice to projects in all stages of development
To support and inform the IUCN Conservation Translocation Guidelines
To share related resources with the wider conservation translocation community
Dr Adriana Consorte-McCrea
Education for Sustainability Lead
Academy for Sustainable Futures
Canterbury Christ Church University
North Holmes Road
Canterbury CT1 1QU, UK
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