Title of symposium:
Role of Local Community in the Conservation of Tomorrow’s Biodiversity

Principal organizer:
Tapan Kumar Nath

Symposium summary:
Local communities and biodiversity are closely interconnected. Their bonding is so strong that they are not separable. The survival of local communities depends largely on the sustainability of biodiversity which provides the daily necessities of the communities. On the other hand, these communities have been nursing the neighbouring ecosystems for generations. This harmonious presence has been broken mainly through commanding approaches of resources management, inappropriate policy interventions, ignorance of co-existence, deforestation, mono-culture plantations, and so-called (unsustainable) development. With their best approaches the state agencies in many countries have failed to achieve the goals of conservation and revenue generation. Most conservation activities are still happening in silos with lack of interaction and collaboration between local community and other stakeholders including agencies and researchers. The dilemma for biodiversity, the emphasis is more on the natural resources and species conservation; meanwhile the human element is still not given more prioritisation. How can we address this in a sustainable manner?

This symposium aims to showcase some of the community-based biodiversity conservation initiatives being practiced in tropical and sub-tropical countries. This focuses on the strategies of community participation, conservation outcomes, challenges and policy implications. The synthesis of diverse findings would help to sort out the strength and weakness of community initiatives, and that might assist to suggest relevant policy implications for better biodiversity conservation.