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The Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation has selected ‘Integrating Conservation and Development: Bringing People and Wildlife Together’ as the topic for this year’s symposium. Since the 1990s, biodiversity conservation and economic development have both become international societal goals. However, there is considerable divergence of opinion at the practical level as to the nature and scale of biodiversity-development links and the role and responsibilities of different interest groups in addressing them. This symposium will explore the rationale for focussing on a link between conservation and development, by highlighting some of the claims and counter-claims that are made about it, and by noting some of the issues which constrain our understanding – particularly in terms of clarifying what we mean by biodiversity conservation and economic development. The symposium will bring together experts in the field, with arguments for and against various approaches, and how they are applied in different parts of the world.
The main aims of the symposium are largely two-fold: i) to unpack the long-running debate on the links between biodiversity conservation and economic development, and ii) to clarify how various different approaches can go hand in hand with the conservation of biodiversity in different countries, cultures, and contexts.