Public Participation: How representative are the participants of the public?

Monday’s lecture on public participation got me thinking about cases in which I would have wanted to have a say in environmental decisions, but was never asked. At least in Chile, where I come from, members of the public rarely have an opportunity to participate in environmental decisions, its always the experts, the politicians and…

What do the arts bring to environmental governance?

I started out on this research journey thinking that ‘connectivity’ would be a key motif for understanding what the arts could bring to environmental governance. It turns out that connectivity is critical to more levels of the enquiry than I had anticipated. From connecting people to their physical environments, to bridging the philosophical divide between…

The Gross Anatomy of Climate Denial

In a recent blogpost on Conservationbytes, CJA Bradshaw laments the fact that despite widespread and higher quality science communication, there is still so much “nonsensical political extremism, religiosity, declining educational standards, scientific denialism, conspiracy theories and evidence-free dogmas.” Bradshaw’s own theory is that that “we have finally entered a phase of compensatory resource competition (human…

Connecting Habitats, Connecting Disciplines

James Lee and Simon Nicholas are undertaking research projects as part of the Environmental Management Research Internship. Although at first glance the two projects would appear to be very different in subject matter and approach, a closer look reveals a common theme of ‘connectivity’. Simon’s project is concerned with the isolation of the Blue Mountains…

Stakeholder analysis and intercultural dialogue: an insight from Colombia

It is commonly agreed that stakeholder participation in environmental decisions offers many benefits, but there is some level of concern that this tool may not be living up to some of its expectations. In particular, there is some level of concern that the interaction with ethnic minorities – especially when there are sizeable differences in…

Can administrative bottlenecks undermine Stakeholder Participation?

Lack of adequate administrative capacity could be contributing to the creation of a culture of negotiated patronages that could undermine the democratic and transparency goals of stakeholder participation. When governments and investors have an interest in quick participation processes, and local communities face administrative bottlenecks for advancing them, there is a clear incentive for offering…

Citizen science – using people power to fill the conservation data gap

Effective conservation strategies require a detailed understanding of ecosystem functions and trends. However, these occur over such large scales that it is often impossible for scientists to gather enough information to understand them. Scientists are increasingly recruiting members of the public to help fill this data gap – resulting in a boom in the popularity…