Negative Off-Site Impacts of Ecolofical Restoration: Understanding and Addressing Conflict

Buckley, MC; Crone, EE. Conservation Biology, 22 (5): 1118 - 1124 OCT 2008

This article raises important issues about long-term negative effects for the practice of ecology arising from conflicts between ecologists/restoration advocates and other stake-holders and constituents in a given area. The authors advocate a process of transparency and direct acknowledgement of project pros and cons to all stakeholders, and a willingness to negotiate and compromise in order to achieve (adjusted) ecological goals without entirely losing the good will of other constituents in the process.

I found the article usefully provacative in its basic content, but lacking in its own acknowledgement of the complexity of this kind of conflict resolution and negotiation process. Who, for example, is sufficiently skilled on both sides to resolve conflicts successfully? Are some negative perceptions a matter of cultural bias rather than actual experience (of negative outcomes)? What kind of long term education might help with negative perceptions that may be incorrect? The authors seem to take a lot at face value, leaving room for much further thought, discussion, and information.

A review of their many citations may be useful in discovering what has been effective in the process of conflict resolution at a large community scale. There is no doubt that the stakes are high.

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