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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Why transforming biodiversity conservation conflict is essential and how to begin

Peterson, M.N.; Peterson, Markus; Peterson, Tarla; Leong, Kirsten


Conserving biodiversity requires productive management of conflict. Currently, wildlife are often portrayed as conscious human antagonists, which must be fought. We suggest using the ‘comic corrective’ to experiment with ways to reframe human–human conflicts over wildlife management and wildlife damage. This requires a deep commitment to change, often made more palatable through humour. This effort to fight the use of the term human–wildlife conflict should not be interpreted as a call to reject human–human conflict as a useful conservation tool. Conservationists, who value wildlife, often misleadingly suggest that conservation can sidestep irreducible value differences and political processes that see proponents of different views as antagonists. Because democracies cannot function without dissent, we suggest that conservation biologists should embrace stakeholder conflicts over wildlife conservation as a way to improve decision making. In particular, we should challenge the view that wildlife are willfully antagonistic to people while recognizing conflict among humans over how biodiversity conservation should occur.

Published in

Pacific Conservation Biology
2013, Volume: 19, number: 2, article number: 94-103

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Wildlife Management
    Public Administration Studies

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)