The three most dangerous narratives in conservation

So important to think about the narrative we use in Conservation! A great article by Chris Sandbrook. Check it out! and visit his blog!

Thinking like a human

Emery Roe, an American policy scholar, first developed the idea that ‘narratives’ – stories about the world and how it works – are used in policy making processes to cut through complexity and justify a particular course of action. We are a storytelling species, and people find it easy to understand and get behind a compelling story with strong internal logic and a beginning, middle and end. Once a narrative has taken hold they can be very difficult to shake off, at least until an even more compelling ‘counter-narrative’ arrives on the scene. A classic example from resource governance is the ‘resources will be over-exploited unless they are in private ownership’ narrative, based on Garrett Hardin’s 1968 Tragedy of the Common’s article. It took decades of careful scholarship, and ultimately a nobel prize for Elinor Ostrom, to demonstrate that this narrative was compelling, influential, and wrong.

There are numerous narratives…

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Urban biodiversity conservation

Why bother with urban biodiversity? … I can mention at least four reasons for knowing, caring and doing something to protect  all the species in our cities….

1.- cities offer an enormous niche and an opportunity for biodiversity conservation

2.-  urban settlements are inevitably growing in size and density and are one of the major threats to nature conservation.

3.- cities tend to be located in important biodiversity hotspots

4.- urban ecosystems provide a platform for citizens to understand the natural processes that govern global sustainability and provide them with several different social and psychological benefits.

Wanna do something about it? Get involved in urban planning and development in your home city! There is a lot of room for biologists, ecologist and conservationists in general. For example, green infrastructures such as green roofs and walls for food production, carbon sequestration, regulation of temperature could be the perfect scenario for the restoration of ecosystems, and the reintroduction of some native plants, birds, small mammals, insects that otherwise would not have a chance to co-exist with cities. It is true that many native species won’t resist to urban conditions but such technologies have the potential to restore the ecosystem’s functioning and to reconnect cities with the natural cycles.

How many species live next you? do you know them? Go out and explore!!!!! See below a beauty you can find in the North of Quito-Ecuador  😉

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Creative science communication

 

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Have you ever thought about how much scientific knowledge remains frozen in very complicated scientific papers?

Don’t you think that science could be way more accesible and FUN for everybody?

Well! The Cambridge “Pint of Science”  does a great job communicating science in a very lively way.  They bring together around 50 local artists that create an artwork related to the scientific talks held in pubs around the city of Cambridge, UK.IMG_5756

 

Last night, I had the chance to drink a pint at the Boathouse, discuss about climate change resilience in Quito , answer a pub quiz and present Wendy Bohme’s  amazing art piece inspired by my work. It was a great experience! What a fun way to communicate science! Don’t you think 😉 ?

 

The festival takes place in over 100 cities in 12 countries around the world during the course of the three days, 23-25 May. Find some interesting facts about the history of Pint of Science here. Check it out!

pint of science

 

#‎creativereactions‬ ‪#‎sciencecommunication‬ bringing together ‪#‎art‬ and‪#‎science‬ ‪#‎pintofscience‬ ‪#‎cambridge‬

 

No estaba muerto… andaba de parranda ;)

Increíble pero cierto! El Jambato negro del páramo de Ecuador que se pensaba estaba extinto fue recientemente encontrado! Lee más sobre la historia del Atelopus ignescens que resucitó aquí 

“Un apasionado cura Salesiano y una familia campesina, llenos de fé, sonaron las campanas que anunciaban la presencia del Jambatiug, Caballito de Dios o Castillo en tierras que por ahora conviene mantenerlas en el anonimato y que oportunamente serán conocidas. A su llamado acudimos, incrédulos, Giovanni Onore y el autor de este artículo, luego se sumó Elicio E. Tapia. Ahí estaba el jambatito negro azabache, tal y como lo vimos en aquellos tiempos de juventud” (Coloma, 2016).

 

 

‪#‎conservacion ‪#‎Ecuador

 

Art and Conservation

“ Drawing strength and inspiration from Nature ” -Gunther Pauli-

How important is to understand that conservation needs to be tackled from all the possible angles you can think of. Conservation is by nature interdisciplinary but we still tend to believe that it can be achieved by hard sciences alone. The truth is that the issue is so complex, that it needs the understanding and the contribution  from all us, no matter the position you are in or the subject you studied at college.  Everybody can make a difference from wherever they are. I find that one of most engaging, colourful and fun approaches to conservation is through visual arts. From scientific illustration to photography, video, documentaries, street art to name a few.  The purpose is to  make conservation more inclusive. To make the matter visible to non-experts, catch their attention,  INSPIRE them and invite them to contribute. When these visual arts are combined with the intuitive wisdom from my female  entrepreneur fellows it becomes even more motivating to me 🙂 (sorry if I am biased)

Diana Troya

Diana Troya-Visual Communicator

I am proud  and happy to introduce you all to Diana Troya and Noemi Cevallos, ecuadorian biologists, artists, innate communicators and friends. They are both doing an amazing job by organising workshops to spread the word about conservation through visual arts in Ecuador.

If you want to know about their work, like their Facebook page and check out the videos about their last two workshops held in Quito.

Botanical Illustration

chiqui

Noemi Cevallos-Scientific Illustrator

 

 

 

 

 

Do NO Harm…

Lake Malawi Malawi

Lake Malawi-Malawi

Too many times I have heard that development aid implements millionaire programmes to tackle one issue and accidentally causes another problem. This time, I want to share with you the case of mosquito nets, lake Malawi and the endemic endangered Chambo fish. Imagine for a second this amazing lake full of fishes…. thousands of people  depending on Chambo as a source of protein and as a source of income. Imagine now,  a huge amount of mosquito nets impregnated with toxic pesticides (to kill the mosquito) been distributed in the country to prevent Malaria and other mosquito-transmitted diseases.  Not a direct relation between these two facts right? well, these facts are very closely related…. People are sleeping without mosquito nets and are using the nets to capture baby Chambo fishes in the breeding areas.  Such practice has almost driven the specie to extinction. Ooooops!!!?

Chambo Fish

Chambo fish

I am not saying that a strategy for preventing Malaria is a bad thing, because it is not! .. but c’mon people! let’s pay attention to the implementation process of such strategies. The solution is not to distribute mosquito nets without proper education and communication about how to use the nets appropriately.  Let’s always be aware and prepared to mitigate the unintended consequences of our actions in any field. Luckily some actions have been taken to conserve the breeding grounds of the fish and people are now actively involved in the process. Local people are aware of the importance of protecting the baby Chambo fishes to ensure their food security and their jobs.

Country-Views--Chambo