Seminar – Reframing the conservation narrative by embracing conservation science: Perspectives from Zimbabwe

The complexity of contemporary wildlife conservation emanates from the fact that there are different ways in which people perceive conservation issues. Furthermore, there seems to be competing conservation agendas at various at levels from local to global platforms. The existence of different levels of influence and capacities to negotiate and resist or promote certain policy propositions exacerbates this complexity. In most developing countries endowed with wildlife species, it is acknowledged that conservation can be a success if people support conservation goals. Crucially, getting the support of people requires a paradigm shift in attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of both the people living with the resource as well as those responsible for management and decision-making in conservation.

In this talk, I will explore a paradigm shift that has occurred in the philosophy of wildlife conservation and how this shapes current and future approaches to conservation, using Zimbabwe as a case study. First, I will give a brief outline of the conservation setting in Zimbabwe and situate it within a conservation science perspective. Second, the role that conservation science can play in answering the following key questions will be explored:

  1. how conservation sustainability in human mediated landscapes could be attained;
  2. ways in which conservation beyond biodiversity could be promoted to achieve economic development, poverty alleviation and environmental justice;
  3. various approaches of engaging corporations and conservationists for partnerships;
  4. options aimed at jointly maximising conservation and economic objectives to accelerate progress in conservation initiatives.

I will conclude the talk by suggesting strategies that conservationists and practitioners in Zimbabwe could embrace to achieve sustainability.

All welcome to attend this seminar.

Victor K. Muposhi worked as a Teaching Assistant from 2006 to 2009 in the Wildlife Unit of the Environmental Science Dept., Bindura University of Science Education and then as a lecturer in the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Dept., Chinhoyi University of Technology. Currently he is a staff development fellow with Chinhoyi University of Technology for a Doctor of Philosophy in Conservation Biology. His research is focusing on the molecular and ecological trade-offs of trophy hunting and their implications on conservation of wildlife species in Zimbabwe.