Conservation conflicts: Behavioural threats, frames, and intervention recommendations



Baynham-Herd Z, Redpath S, Bunnefeld N, Molony T & Keane A (2018) Conservation conflicts: Behavioural threats, frames, and intervention recommendations. Biological Conservation, 222, pp. 180-188.

Conservation conflicts are widespread and are damaging for biodiversity, livelihoods and human well-being. Conflict management often occurs through interventions targeting human behaviour. Conservation interventions are thought to be made more effective if underpinned by evidence and a Theory of Change – a logical argument outlining the steps required to achieve goals. However, for conservation conflicts, the evidence and logic supporting different types of interventions has received little attention. Using conflict-related keywords, we reviewed trends in behavioural intervention recommendations across conflict contexts globally, as published in peer-reviewed literature. We developed typologies for conflict behaviours, intervention recommendations, and conflict frames and identified associations between them and other geographical variables using Pearson's Chi-squared tests of independence. Analysing 100 recent articles, we found that technical interventions (recommended in 38% of articles) are significantly associated with conflicts involving wildlife control and the human-wildlife conflict frame. Enforcement-based interventions (54% of articles) are significantly associated with conflicts over illegal resource use, while stakeholder-based interventions (37% of articles) are associated with the human-human conflict frame and very highly developed countries. Only 10% of articles offered “strong” evidence from the published scientific literature justifying recommendations, and only 15% outlined Theories of Change. We suggest that intervention recommendations are likely influenced by authors' perceptions of the social basis of conflicts, and possibly also by disciplinary silos.

Human-wildlife; Conflict; Interventions; Behavioural change; Evidence

Biological Conservation: Volume 222

Publication date30/06/2018
Publication date online19/04/2018
Date accepted by journal08/04/2018

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Professor Nils Bunnefeld

Professor Nils Bunnefeld

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences