Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation

Date

2017

Authors

Bennett, Nathan J.
Roth, Robin
Klain, Sarah C.
Chan, Kai
Christie, Patrick
Clark, Douglas A.
Cullman, Georgina
Curran, Deborah
Durbini, Trevor J.
Epstein, Graham

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Biological Conservation

Abstract

It has long been claimed that a better understanding of human or social dimensions of environmental issues will improve conservation. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can attain that better understanding. Yet, a lack of awareness of the scope and uncertainty about the purpose of the conservation social sciences impedes the conservation community's effective engagement with the human dimensions. This paper examines the scope and purpose of eighteen subfields of classic, interdisciplinary and applied conservation social sciences and articulates ten distinct contributions that the social sciences can make to understanding and improving conservation. In brief, the conservation social sciences can be valuable to conservation for descriptive, diagnostic, disruptive, reflexive, generative, innovative, or instrumental reasons. This review and supporting materials provides a succinct yet comprehensive reference for conservation scientists and practitioners. We contend that the social sciences can help facilitate conservation policies, actions and outcomes that are more legitimate, salient, robust and effective.

Description

Keywords

Conservation social science, Environmental social science, Conservation science, Human dimensions, Conservation biology, Environmental management

Citation

Bennett, N. J., Roth, R., Klain, S. C., Chan, K., Christie, P., Clark, D. A., Cullman, G., Curran, D., Durbini, T. J., Epstein, G., Greenberg, A., Nelson, M. P., Sandlos, J., Stedman, R., Teel, T. L., Thomas, R., Veríssimo, D., & Wyborn, C. (2017). Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation. Biological Conservation, 205, 93-108.