Building more equitable and inclusive practice
Morales, N., Lee, J., Newberry, M. and Bailey, K., 2023. Redefining American conservation for equitable and inclusive social‐environmental management. Ecological Applications, 33(1), p.e2749. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2749
Summary written by Justin Dalaba, edited by Audrey Bowe
In recognition of Black History Month, we’re sharing a recent article that reflects on how we can reframe our thinking and our work to support equitable, inclusive, and just conservation science and practice.
As academics and environmental professionals, we have a responsibility to continue adapting and reframing our thinking to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, belonging, and justice in American conservation. This recent article by Morales et al. explores the historical underpinnings and shortcomings of traditional conservation models that have led to underrepresentation of minoritized groups in environmental practice. They review the seven historical principles of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation (NAMWC) and factors therein that may contribute to underrepresentation. They identify the need for improved representation by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as critical to advancing conservation policies that serve all communities and meet the ever-changing demands of species and habitat conservation. Recommended actions toward this paradigm shift are outlined below.
Wilderness as an inclusive space
- Environmental professionals should critically analyze and change policies and practices to address structural and cultural barriers for BIPOC access in environmentalism
Centering BIPOC narratives
- Practitioners and conservation organizations should establish BIPOC safe spaces to share their issues and views in relation to experiences with nature
- Sharing BIPOC narratives and stories of success can support long-term environmental engagement and culturally responsive research
Inclusive relationships with nature
- Environmental organizations should engage in more culturally sensitive practices, like community-based natural resource management
- Facilitating knowledge transfer through storytelling and inclusive narratives can effectively recruit and retain BIPOC participation in environmental conservation
- Instilling sense of belonging among BIPOC students and youth can have a major impact on motivating engagement with wildlife ecology from an early age
Other ways of knowing (re-conceptualizing Western knowledge)
- Environmental professionals should collaborate with indigenous ecological management and Indigenous Nations
- Ecologists should be conscious of differences of perspectives in data “ownership” and data sharing between Indigenous nations and Western scientists, and develop research protocol agreements, where appropriate
Read more of our research summaries:
Embracing change in policy with a changing climate
Bradley et al. (2023) lay out ideas for better integration of invasive species and climate change policies and practices
Who’s in the driver seat? Reducing stressors not invaders may advance restoration
New research questions our assumptions about invasive plants as the primary drivers of ecological degradation. Restoration success may be limited by interactions of different stressors.
Promising but atypical: New evidence on water chestnut biocontrol host choice and feeding
In addition to documenting a departure from predictions in host-specificity testing, Simmons and Blossey present new evidence on the potential impacts and safety of water chestnut biological control.
Building more equitable and inclusive practice
This article reflects on how we can reframe our thinking and work to support equitable, inclusive, and just conservation science and practice.
Time, patience, and biodiversity: a recipe for biotic resistance?
This article explores a case study of biotic resistance, where over time native species may limit the invasion of other species. A native herbivore learns to consume an invasive alga in less than a decade.
Integrating EDRR surveillance with eDNA metabarcoding
How complete are current eDNA reference libraries for the Laurentian Great Lakes region? Can we confidently integrate invasive species detection with biodiversity sampling?
Missed signals: Invasive species noise disrupts native species communication
Invasive species vocalizations may be a significant avenue for competition among species. This thought-provoking article gives a glimpse into the potential effects of invasive species disrupting a soundscape.
Peering into predictors at the spongy moth invasion front
Shifting temperature regimes can influence the suitability and spread of invasive insects, including spongy moth. How can secondary host plant connectivity support its expansion across the U.S.?
Teasing apart invasive worm impacts on native species
Can invasive worms serve as food for native species? How do they alter leaf litter microhabitat? New research offers insight into the potential effects and trophic interactions of jumping worms (Amynthas spp.) and native reptiles and amphibians.
A Place to Pool Data on Potential Plant Invasions
Public gardens are in a unique position to form a sentinel network to aid in detecting potential invasive species. This study informs how public gardens can collectively contribute data for potential new invaders.
Readability Gap in Biological Invasions Research
How accessible is invasive species literature? A detailed analysis of the leading journal, Biological Invasions, points to a decline in readability for key stakeholders over two decades.