Abstract # 2364 Event # 61:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 09:30 AM-11:30 AM: Session 6 (Meeting Room 1DE) Workshop

People, Projects, and Poverty: ASP and the Human Element in Conservation

C. Kuhar and K. Leighty
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA
     While the effectiveness of Integrated Conservation and Development Programs (ICDPs) continues to be debated, the importance of working with the people living around conservation areas remains unquestioned. Determining the best way to involve local people and improve livelihoods, while at the same time promoting a conservation agenda is challenging. Best practices in this area are not well documented, yet many conservation programs are striving to include a “human component” in their conservation initiatives. Conservation programs may incorporate the human element from a variety of perspectives including: education programs, capacity building, ecotourism, economic development/poverty alleviation, and human and animal health programs, to name a few. This roundtable will serve as a forum for conservation professionals to discuss the benefits and challenges of melding conservation goals directed at saving species and habitats with the need to assist people living in close proximity to wildlife. Presentations will be given by Beth Armstrong of the Brevard Zoo, Tammie Bettinger of Disney’s Animal Kingdom®, Mike Cranfield of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project/Maryland Zoo, Doug Cress of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, and Katherine Leighty of Disney’s Animal Kingdom®. Presentations will focus on initiatives that combine conserving species and habitat with empowering local people. The presentations will be followed by group discussion on best practices and lessons learned as we move forward in developing holistic conservation programs.