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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 136-145

Transforming Convivial Conservation: Towards More-Than-Human Participation in Research

1 School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
2 Bear at Work, Nijmegen; Management Sciences, Open University, Heerlen, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Severine van Bommel
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Queensland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_29_21

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Convivial conservation requires a deep structural shift in research methods and methodology. Although convivial conservation calls for moving beyond the dichotomy of the human and the non-human, this dichotomy is often reproduced in the research methods and methodologies that are used. Most (conservation) researchers have been trained to investigate what non-humans might 'mean' to humans, thereby inevitably silencing the voices of non-humans. This research article identifies a number of threshold concepts and methodologies by turning to multi-species work in nature conservation and challenges the historical anthropocentric framings in this field. It critically challenges the convivial conservation concept by questioning who or what is counted as a research participant from this perspective. Additionally, the article outlines different multi-species research methods and methodology and puts forward the need for threshold and promiscuous methods developed with collaboration between social and natural scientists and non-humans to bring about transformative change in conservation as envisaged by the proponents of convivial conservation. It concludes by offering ways to promote greater conviviality in nature conservation research through a more expansive sense of research participants, recognition of their inter-subjectivities, and multi-sensory communication of their situated knowledges.

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