This spring the journal Conservation and Society published a special issue on community-based conservation, inspired by a symposium hosted by Bowdoin College a few years back.
The introductory article – “Conservation As If People Mattered: Policy and Practice of Community-based Conservation” – was written by former Mellon Global Scholar Ashish Kothari, Rusack Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Earth and Oceanographic Science Philip Camill, and conservation professional Jessica Brown.
“Rather than trying to conserve natural areas by taking people out of them, we looked at ways of using participation by local groups to actually aid in conservation efforts,” Camill said. Camill and Kothari were instrumental in developing and running the 2008 symposium, which brought together experts from Maine and around the world.
The introduction was followed by four case studies written by symposium participants, focusing on conservation in Costa Rican protected areas, Himalayan national parks, New England forests, and the Maine lobster industry.
By bringing these discussions to the pages of a major journal, Camill and Kothari showed that Bowdoin symposia can reach far beyond campus limits. “We realized that this was a really nice synthesis that we were putting together, and it just made sense to try to capture it and publish it,” Camill said. “It took on a life of its own.”