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Call for Applications

Course dates: 15 – 19 August 2022

Why this course?

Have you ever wondered why current conservation paradigms do not seem to be able to halt the global biodiversity extinction crisis? Or why
many conservation approaches find it so hard to do justice to people and integrate new ideas of ‘living with’ biodiversity rather than
separating people and nature? Or why conservation always gets so caught up in politics? Then this is the short course for you!

Despite the concern over certain species groups e.g. amphibians, the main problem with conservation in the South(ern) African context is the
continuing (racial, gender and other) inequities that remain highly persistent, and are at times getting worse. Social and environmental justice
issues still receive too little systemic attention and need urgent action. This short course provides a holistic overview of global conservation
paradigms, their strengths and weaknesses and why new, more transformative paradigms are currently gaining ground. It does so with
specific reference to how the biodiversity crisis takes on connotations in the Southern African context where conservation has been quite
successful, yet major issues still remain.

What is being offered?

The Institute of Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is hosting a 5 day course with
Wageningen University, aimed at transforming conservation ideas and practices in Southern Africa in biodiverse rural, urban, land and ocean
spaces. This is part of the Oak Foundation Funded Living Landscapes in Action project. The course will be convened by:

What is the course content?

The key themes and concepts covered in the course will be as follows:

  1. Histories and paradigms of conservation, in South(ern) Africa and globally and the current biodiversity crisis and how this is unequal
    across space and time;
  2. Political ecology in relation to conservation: how to understand conservation in a broader context focused on tackling both the extinction
    crisis and urgent issues of social justice?
  3. Alternatives to mainstream conservation and possibility for sustainable transformation;
  4. Themes in conservation: rights, violence, law, gender, livelihoods, biodiversity.
  5. Fieldwork trip to contextualise the conservation challenges in key living landscapes field sites.

What funding is available?

The short course is fully funded by the Oak Foundation and will be held in Cape Town. Funding is available for small number of participants to attend the short course training in person in Cape Town. Selected participants must ensure they have access to good internet infrastructure to attend the course if they will make use of the hybrid option.

How will participants be assessed?

Participants will be assessed by means of a pre-contact assignment, a virtual field report and a final submission of a learning portfolio. Participants will receive a certificate on completion of the course.

Who should apply?

  • Participants working in biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and governance (land, water and ocean), including
    government agencies, and conservation organisations, private organisations and, community based organisations working on
    conservation issues, conservation NGOs, and related agencies in Southern Africa.
  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a minimum of 3-4 years of work experience in natural resource management, biodiversity
    conservation, or environmental governance in Southern Africa.
  • Applicants interested in new and innovative ways to tackle the biodiversity crisis in Africa and beyond and doing so in a way that puts
    social justice front and centre.
  • Applicants interested in building lessons from the history of conservation and applying new ways of thinking going forward.

How to apply?

Please complete the online form: https://form.jotform.com/221711974471053

Applications close: Friday, 15 July 2022

Who can I contact?

For enquiries contact:
Ms Lee Saul
LSaul@plaas.org.za
021 959 9279
http://www.plaas.org.za/living-landscapes-south-africa/

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