ICCS at ICCB 2021

ICCS team at ICCB - What we will be doing.

Symposium: Aligning incentives for blue economy and biodiversity

Hollie Booth, Rodrigo Oyanedel, Sofia Castello y Tickell and Trisha Gupta 14th of December, at 10am GMT.

 

Hollie Booth: Bycatch levies could reconcile trade-offs between blue growth and biodiversity conservation

Economic activities in the ocean (that is, the ‘blue economy’) provide value to society, yet also jeopardize marine ecosystems. For example, fisheries are an essential source of income and food security for billions of people, yet bycatch poses a major threat to marine biodiversity, creating trade-offs between economic growth and biodiversity conservation. This presentation explores bycatch levies as a market-based polluter-pays approach for reconciling these trade-offs. We outline the theory and practice of bycatch levies to demonstrate how they could incentivize bycatch prevention and raise revenue for compensatory conservation, provided they are well designed, as part of a policy mix for sustainable and equitable ocean governance. We then explore ways forward for mainstreaming bycatch levies into the blue economy. While compensatory bycatch mitigation has been controversial, increasing adoption of net outcome approaches to biodiversity conservation suggests they could become mainstreamed within the next decade. Bycatch levies could raise billions of dollars towards closing global biodiversity financing gaps, delivering net outcomes for biodiversity under the United Nations Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework while enabling a sustainable and equitable blue economy, and moving towards win–wins for economic welfare, environmental justice and biodiversity conservation.

Trisha Gupta: Mitigation of shark and ray bycatch in Indian fisheries

India is among the top elasmobranch fishing nations globally, but lacks effective policies and enforcement for conservation of this threatened species group. Although elasmobranch capture is largely incidental, they contribute to food and livelihood security in coastal communities, necessitating a holistic approach for elasmobranch management.

We use the mitigation hierarchy (MH) framework for interdisciplinary risk-based decision making to explore measures for reducing elasmobranch capture, with a focus on a trawler fishery in Malvan, on India’s west coast, as a case study. Data were collected through landing surveys, interviews and a literature review, to evaluate several potential mitigation options in terms of their technical effectiveness and socio-economic feasibility: (1) Spatio-temporal closures; (2) Net restrictions; (3) Bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) and (4) Live release.

We found that live release may be viable for species like guitarfish, with moderate chances of survival and low economic costs to fishers. Such interventions can therefore be used as a step towards ameliorating bycatch, while initiating engagement with the fishing community. While closures, net restrictions and BRDs may reduce elasmobranch catch, implementation will be challenging under the present socio-economic context due to potentially high impacts on fisher income. However, these measures could be developed through a bottom-up approach over the long term. Therefore, our study provided insights on aligning coastal livelihoods with conservation objectives in developing countries.

Rodrigo Oyanedel: A dynamic simulation model to support reduction in illegal trade within legal wildlife markets

Abstract: Sustainable wildlife trade is critical for biodiversity conservation, livelihoods, and food security. Regulatory frameworks are needed to secure these diverse benefits of sustainable wildlife trade. However, regulations limiting trade can backfire, sparking illegal trade if demand is not met by legal trade alone. Assessing how regulations affect wildlife market participants’ incentives is key to controlling illegal trade. Although much research has assessed how incentives at both the harvester and consumer ends of markets are affected by regulations, little has been done to understand the incentives of traders (i.e., intermediaries). We built a dynamic simulation model to support reduction in illegal wildlife trade within legal markets by focusing on incentives traders face to trade legal or illegal products.We used an Approximate Bayesian Computation approach to infer illegal trading dynamics and parameters that might be unknown (e.g., price of illegal products). We showcased the utility of the approach with a small-scale fishery case study in Chile, where we disentangled within-year dynamics of legal and illegal trading and found that the majority (77%) of traded fish is illegal. We utilized the model to assess the effect of policy interventions to improve the fishery’s sustainability and explore the trade-offs between ecological, economic, and social goals. Our model provides a novel tool for promoting sustainable wildlife trade in data-limited settings, which explicitly considers traders as critical players in wildlife markets. Sustainable wildlife trade requires incentivizing legal over illegal wildlife trade and consideration of the social, ecological, and economic impacts of interventions

Covering the biodiversity crisis from a solutions lens 

Friday 17th 11am-11.50 GMT

Conservation Optimism is a programme built on the belief that empowering everyone to make a difference for nature, while also learning from successes and failures within the conservation sector, is key to securing our planet’s future. We want to empower everyone to act for nature by promoting under-represented voices and by shifting the narrative away from doom and gloom.

In this workshop, you will get practical tips from the Conservation Optimism team on how to craft your messages using a solutions lens! They will take you on a deep dive into their Positive Communication Toolkit and will help you identify and avoid the most common communication traps so that you develop solutions-based content in a range of formats. This workshop will be divided into two parts. The first one will consist of an introduction to the toolkit. It will then be followed by practical exercises that will allow the participants to craft blog posts and social media posts around their research topics using the positive communication tips covered in the first part of the session.

Julia Migné  and  Munib Sajad Khanyari

 

Digital Games for Conservation: Promises and Perils

Diogo Verissimo: "Beyond installs: Understanding the impact of digital mobile games". 

Image removed.

 

The True Impacts of Conservation Interventions: From Case Studies to Conceptual Advances and Policy Applications

Weds 15th Dec at 16:00 GMT

Molly Grace: "Conservation Legacy: Using counterfactuals to measure past conservation impact for the IUCN Green Status of Species."

 

Organizer: Johanna Eklund, University of Helsinki (on behalf of the working group)

Symposium abstract

We currently lack adequate knowledge of how different conservation strategies and other development interventions actually impact biodiversity and human wellbeing. Understanding true impact is crucial, both in terms of knowing which conservation interventions are effective and in terms of deciding where best to direct conservation funding. Although impact evaluation is well established in fields such as medicine and economics, it is still conceptually underdeveloped and relatively rarely applied in nature conservation. As a result, there have been numerous calls for more rigorous evaluation of conservation impacts. Recent methodological advances have resulted in an increasing use of counterfactual approaches (e.g. matching, randomized controlled trials). This symposium aims to present the recent advances in relation to impact evaluations of different conservation interventions (ranging from cash transfer schemes to alleviate poverty, to community-based species conservation programs, to protected areas). This will be achieved by (1) providing insights into different approaches for evaluating their environmental and social impacts, (2) discussing the strengths and limitations of these different approaches, and (3) exploring how new IUCN conservation standards and tools will mainstream such counterfactual measures of impact. The final panel session of the symposium will provide a platform for discussion on methods and best practice, research priorities, and how turn research results into policy and practice.

 

Abstract for Molly's presentation

In 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will launch the IUCN Green Status of Species, an extension of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Green Status of Species adds new metrics of species recovery and conservation success to complement the Red List's traditional measures of species extinction risk. One of these measures of conservation success is a species' Conservation Legacy, that is, the impact of past conservation actions on the species' status. Conservation Legacy is evaluated using a counterfactual, and it has the potential to counter pessimistic narratives about the utility of conservation. Here, we discuss the methods that IUCN recommends to evaluate counterfactuals for the Green Status of Species, identify potential pitfalls and how to avoid them, and review examples of Conservation Legacy and discuss how they can be so powerful for incentivizing conservation.

 

Thursday 16th 1-2pm GMT

Wildmeat and preventing future pandemics

In Central Africa, wildlife is hunted at an alarming rate and traded across vast distances to satisfy consumer demand for wildmeat. Both provincial towns and large cities are important demand centres, yet the drivers of demand differ. The lack of alternative proteins can be an issue in rural towns, while in large cities, consumption of wildmeat is a luxury. As urban populations grow, hunting pressures on wildlife increase, with significant impacts on forest ecosystems and consequences for threatened species such as pangolins and great apes. Although the growth in urban demand for wildmeat has presented an economic opportunity to rural communities, unsustainable offtake threatens rural food security in the long term. The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a reminder of the zoonotic disease risks associated with hunting and butchering wildmeat for consumption. Pathogens that have spread to humans from wildmeat in Central Africa include HIV, Ebola and monkeypox. The need to readdress our balance with nature has been brought to the fore, and reducing the scale of wildmeat offtake and trade is central to ensuring ecosystem and public health in Central Africa and globally. The scale of wildmeat offtake, how COVID-19 has changed perceptions of wildmeat and the potential for different intervention options to address the situation will be discussed. 

To conserve wildlife hunted for food and income, to maintain the lifeways and wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples who depend on wildlife, and to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease spillover and spread requires an interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach. Previous efforts to address wildmeat hunting, trade and consumption have often been piecemeal, with limited evidence of effectiveness. In learning from collective experience, efforts are now being made to innovate and scale up interventions in order to conserve wildlife and maintain their ecological roles while respecting and protecting the wellbeing and cultural identities of Indigenous hunters, and reducing the risk of zoonotic disease spillover and spread. To do this, we need to understand: a) why people hunt, trade and eat wildmeat, b) whether the ongoing zoonotic disease pandemic has influenced people's perceptions about handling and consuming wildmeat, c) how to permanently change urban wildmeat consumer behaviour, d) whether it is feasible to sustainably produce alternative animal source foods that are both affordable and desirable substitutes for wildmeat, and e) whether policies such as wildmeat bans in urban markets are practical and effective.

This symposium will present prior and ongoing research and field implementation experience to provide a multi-faceted understanding of the key elements required to halt the unsustainable hunting of wildlife for food in Central Africa.

Research leads and topics - presentations by African co-authors to be encouraged:

Lauren Coad.  

Building an evidence-base to track the hunting, consumption, and trade of wildlife 

Stephanie Brittain.

Why Eat Wild Meat? Exploring the Drivers of Wild Meat Consumption for Improved Alternatives Project Design 

Liliana Vanegas.

Reducing large-scale demand for wildmeat in urban areas of Central Africa: experiences from Pointe Noire and Kinshasa 

Sarah Olson.

Wildmeat, zoonotic viruses and One Health: understanding dynamics, risks, and strategies to prevent another pandemic 

Yuhan Li.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Public Perceptions of Wildmeat in Central Africa

 

 

ICCS Researchers at ICCB

Click on each researcher to find out what they will be presenting at ICCB

Symposium: Digital Games for Conservation: Promises and Perils Diogo will be presenting the talk " Beyond installs: Understanding the impact of digital mobile games".

Symposium: The True Impacts of Conservation Interventions: From Case Studies to Conceptual Advances and Policy Applications Diogo will be presenting the talk: TBC

Workshop: Covering the biodiversity crisis from a solutions lens

Friday 17th 11am-11.50 GMT

Conservation Optimism is a programme built on the belief that empowering everyone to make a difference for nature, while also learning from successes and failures within the conservation sector, is key to securing our planet’s future. We want to empower everyone to act for nature by promoting under-represented voices and by shifting the narrative away from doom and gloom.

In this workshop, you will get practical tips from the Conservation Optimism team on how to craft your messages using a solutions lens! They will take you on a deep dive into their Positive Communication Toolkit and will help you identify and avoid the most common communication traps so that you develop solutions-based content in a range of formats. This workshop will be divided into two parts. The first one will consist of an introduction to the toolkit. It will then be followed by practical exercises that will allow the participants to craft blog posts and social media posts around their research topics using the positive communication tips covered in the first part of the session.

Julia Migné  and  Munib Sajad Khanyari

 

Talk in Symposium: Evaluating the Impacts of Payments for Ecosystem Services on People and Behaviour in Cambodia

GS6 : 11am.16th Dec

Communities and PAs.

Payments for ecosystem services have often been heralded as a means of incentivising the protection of forests while providing opportunities to improve the livelihoods of local communities. Yet these benefits are by no means assured and evidence in support of such claims remains scant. In Cambodia, an agri-environmental payment scheme called Ibis Rice has been implemented by the Wildlife Conservation Society and partner organisations since 2008. This programme was designed to reduce encroachment into forests inside protected areas and support livelihoods by incentivising local people to sign conservation agreements committing farmers not to clear forest for agriculture. Our study used a quasi-experimental design to show that Ibis Rice directly increases the material wellbeing of participating farmers relative to similar non-participating households. We also used a randomised control trial to assess the conservation impact of Ibis Rice. This showed that, in their first year of participation in the scheme, Ibis Rice farmers were four times less likely to clear forest than non-participating farmers. Findings of impact evaluations such as this not only help implementing organisations to understand their impact and identify where improvements can be made, but also add to the emerging literature of studies applying causative methods to provide a rigorous evidence base for conservation interventions. In this case, our study is one of the first uses of randomised control trials to assess the impact of conservation interventions on behaviour at the household level, whilst also demonstrating that the programme improves the livelihoods of participating farmers.   

 

Symposium: Aligning incentives for blue economy and biodiversity 14th of December, at 10am GMT.

Hollie Booth's talk : Bycatch levies could reconcile trade-offs between blue growth and biodiversity conservation

Economic activities in the ocean (that is, the ‘blue economy’) provide value to society, yet also jeopardize marine ecosystems. For example, fisheries are an essential source of income and food security for billions of people, yet bycatch poses a major threat to marine biodiversity, creating trade-offs between economic growth and biodiversity conservation. This presentation explores bycatch levies as a market-based polluter-pays approach for reconciling these trade-offs. We outline the theory and practice of bycatch levies to demonstrate how they could incentivize bycatch prevention and raise revenue for compensatory conservation, provided they are well designed, as part of a policy mix for sustainable and equitable ocean governance. We then explore ways forward for mainstreaming bycatch levies into the blue economy. While compensatory bycatch mitigation has been controversial, increasing adoption of net outcome approaches to biodiversity conservation suggests they could become mainstreamed within the next decade. Bycatch levies could raise billions of dollars towards closing global biodiversity financing gaps, delivering net outcomes for biodiversity under the United Nations Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework while enabling a sustainable and equitable blue economy, and moving towards win–wins for economic welfare, environmental justice and biodiversity conservation.

 

Thursday 16th 1-2pm GMT

Symposium: Wildmeat and preventing future pandemics, Lauren will be presenting the talk: "Building an evidence-base to track the hunting, consumption, and trade of wildlife".

Symposium: The True Impacts of Conservation Interventions: From Case Studies to Conceptual Advances and Policy Applications. Molly will be presenting the talk: "Conservation Legacy: Using counterfactuals to measure past conservation impact for the IUCN Green Status of Species."

Workshop: Covering the biodiversity crisis from a solutions lens

Friday 17th 11am-11.50 GMT

 

Conservation Optimism is a programme built on the belief that empowering everyone to make a difference for nature, while also learning from successes and failures within the conservation sector, is key to securing our planet’s future. We want to empower everyone to act for nature by promoting under-represented voices and by shifting the narrative away from doom and gloom.

In this workshop, you will get practical tips from the Conservation Optimism team on how to craft your messages using a solutions lens! They will take you on a deep dive into their Positive Communication Toolkit and will help you identify and avoid the most common communication traps so that you develop solutions-based content in a range of formats. This workshop will be divided into two parts. The first one will consist of an introduction to the toolkit. It will then be followed by practical exercises that will allow the participants to craft blog posts and social media posts around their research topics using the positive communication tips covered in the first part of the session.

Julia Migné  and  Munib Sajad Khanyari

 

Symposium: Aligning incentives for blue economy and biodiversity

14th of December, at 10am GMT.

Rodrigo Oyanedel: A dynamic simulation model to support reduction in illegal trade within legal wildlife markets

Abstract: Sustainable wildlife trade is critical for biodiversity conservation, livelihoods, and food security. Regulatory frameworks are needed to secure these diverse benefits of sustainable wildlife trade. However, regulations limiting trade can backfire, sparking illegal trade if demand is not met by legal trade alone. Assessing how regulations affect wildlife market participants’ incentives is key to controlling illegal trade. Although much research has assessed how incentives at both the harvester and consumer ends of markets are affected by regulations, little has been done to understand the incentives of traders (i.e., intermediaries). We built a dynamic simulation model to support reduction in illegal wildlife trade within legal markets by focusing on incentives traders face to trade legal or illegal products.We used an Approximate Bayesian Computation approach to infer illegal trading dynamics and parameters that might be unknown (e.g., price of illegal products). We showcased the utility of the approach with a small-scale fishery case study in Chile, where we disentangled within-year dynamics of legal and illegal trading and found that the majority (77%) of traded fish is illegal. We utilized the model to assess the effect of policy interventions to improve the fishery’s sustainability and explore the trade-offs between ecological, economic, and social goals. Our model provides a novel tool for promoting sustainable wildlife trade in data-limited settings, which explicitly considers traders as critical players in wildlife markets. Sustainable wildlife trade requires incentivizing legal over illegal wildlife trade and consideration of the social, ecological, and economic impacts of interventions

 

Symposium: Aligning incentives for blue economy and biodiversity

14th of December, at 10am GMT.

 

Talk: Mitigation of shark and ray bycatch in Indian fisheries

India is among the top elasmobranch fishing nations globally, but lacks effective policies and enforcement for conservation of this threatened species group. Although elasmobranch capture is largely incidental, they contribute to food and livelihood security in coastal communities, necessitating a holistic approach for elasmobranch management.

We use the mitigation hierarchy (MH) framework for interdisciplinary risk-based decision making to explore measures for reducing elasmobranch capture, with a focus on a trawler fishery in Malvan, on India’s west coast, as a case study. Data were collected through landing surveys, interviews and a literature review, to evaluate several potential mitigation options in terms of their technical effectiveness and socio-economic feasibility: (1) Spatio-temporal closures; (2) Net restrictions; (3) Bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) and (4) Live release.

We found that live release may be viable for species like guitarfish, with moderate chances of survival and low economic costs to fishers. Such interventions can therefore be used as a step towards ameliorating bycatch, while initiating engagement with the fishing community. While closures, net restrictions and BRDs may reduce elasmobranch catch, implementation will be challenging under the present socio-economic context due to potentially high impacts on fisher income. However, these measures could be developed through a bottom-up approach over the long term. Therefore, our study provided insights on aligning coastal livelihoods with conservation objectives in developing countries.

 

Thursday 16th 1-2pm GMT

Symposium: Wildmeat and preventing future pandemics, Steph will be presenting the talk: "Why Eat Wild Meat? Exploring the Drivers of Wild Meat Consumption for Improved Alternatives Project Design".

PRIORITY AREAS AND ACTIONS TO CONSERVE GLOBALLY SIGNIFICANT ECOSYSTEMS IN SULAWESI 

Symposium: Wildmeat and preventing future pandemics, Yuhan will be presenting the talk: "The Impact of COVID-19 on Public Perceptions of Wildmeat in Central Africa".