New Narratives in Protected Areas: Changing Models and Social Roles

Session co-organizers: Heidi Karst, University of Waterloo; Luisa Ramirez, Wilfrid Laurier University; Windekind Buteau-Duitschaever, Wilfrid Laurier University

Protected areas (PAs) globally are expanding in size and number, taking on new roles that increasingly challenge their original design as focal points for conservation and environmental protection. The gradual transformation of PA governance and management models has significantly altered how stakeholders are included in decision-making, and the functions of and benefits that PAs provide. This has resulted in a change of social values, the creation of new expectations among actors as well as challenges to governance measures and institutional design. A deeper understanding of PA policies and practices that contribute to our understanding of complex social-environmental relationships, such as community participation, wellbeing of nature and society, ecosystem service valuation, ecotourism and social equity, is warranted.  

Based on the premise that "a picture is worth a thousand words", we examine these tensions and realities within PAs through strong images and narration of case studies, theoretical reflections and personal experience in this Pecha Kucha-style session. Each presentation will consist of 10-15 images with one-minute narrative per image, no text. We welcome submissions from Canada and abroad that may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Protected area governance
  • Social and environmental change
  • Development vs. conservation
  • Ecotourism and other integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs)
  • Biodiversity hotspots and environmental degradation
  • Livelihoods and wellbeing
  • Local participation and empowerment, conflict and resolution
  • Connecting people with nature

Please send your abstract (200 words) to Heidi Karst, Luisa Ramirez, or Windekind Buteau-Duitschaever by March 13, 2015. Conference registration and final abstract submission must be completed separately by March 20, 2015.