Ecology, Conservation and Human Well-Being: Improving Outcomes for Nature and People
Tuesday, August 11, 2015: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
308, Baltimore Convention Center
LeeAnne French, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
Frank Davis, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Attempts to integrate conservation and development efforts that positively impact human well-being are not new. What is new is that ecologists and conservation scientists are now attempting to use ecological and social science to predict and evaluate the impacts of nature conservation efforts on human well-being. Instead of conservation being about populations of rare species, conservation is increasingly about the convergence of ecosystem science, social science, and the resilience of coupled human-natural systems. Only recently, have ecologists made progress in understanding how interventions to advance nature conservation impact the well-being of people either positively or negatively. Understanding the complex interactions between coupled social and ecological systems remains largely a grand research challenge This symposium will bring together leading ecologists, conservation biologists, natural resource economists, and social scientists to: 1) synthesize our current understanding of how natural systems, social systems, and the practice of nature conservation are contributing to human well-being, 2) explore the different ways in which human well-being can be measured relative to conservation interventions, 3) identify the most important gaps in our scientific understanding of the relationship between nature conservation and human well-being, and 4) recommend the most promising approaches to fill those gaps.