Conservation conflicts are increasing and need to be managed to minimise negative impacts on biodiversity, human livelihoods, and human well-being. Here, we explore strategies and case studies that highlight the long-term, dynamic nature of conflicts and the challenges to their management. Conflict management requires parties to recognise problems as shared ones, and engage with clear goals, a transparent evidence base, and an awareness of trade-offs. We hypothesise that conservation outcomes will be less durable when conservationists assert their interests to the detriment of others. Effective conflict management and long-term conservation benefit will be enhanced by better integration of the underpinning social context with the material impacts and evaluation of the efficacy of alternative conflict management approaches.
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We are very grateful to Phil Hulme and Mike Manfredo for their constructive comments. This paper grew out of discussions at the Conference on Conservation Conflicts in Aberdeen, 2011 and a workshop at the Society for Conservation Biology conference in Auckland in 2011. We are grateful to all those involved in debating these issues. The project was supported by funding from a Scottish Research Development Grant to the Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability, Aberdeen University's Principal Fund, the EU FP7 HUNTing for sustainability project and the British Ecological Society.
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