Research project

Wildlife, Values, Justice

Reconciling conservation and sustainability in African protected areas

For humans and wildlife, land is an increasingly limited resource that faces multiple pressures imposed by climate change, human population growth, and the industrialization of agriculture. As a consequence, the loss of biodiversity and ecological functions threatens human well-being. Protected areas are considered cornerstones to counteract this trend.

However, protected areas may place burdens on people living in their surroundings. Inadequate governance of this challenging paradox may undermine the ecological, social, and social-ecological success of protected areas.
Thus, solutions are needed to integrate conservation and human well-being for increased sustainability of protected areas.

Through a holistic view on this integrative potential of protected areas as social-ecological systems, the interdisciplinary research project “Wildlife, Values, Justice” investigates ecological, social, and social-ecological conditions, their relations, and their respective contribution to sustainability. Specifically, we explore two African protected areas and their adjacent land: North Luangwa National Park in Zambia and Katavi National Park in Tanzania.

Conceptual framework

work package 1 - scoping

work package 2 - social assessments

work package 3 - ecological assessments

work package 4 - integration

work package 5 - inter and transdisciplinarity

Funded by

With contributions from