Research Topic

Planning and Decision-Making in Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence

About this Research Topic

The management of human-wildlife interactions (HWI), including damage to property and agricultural production, collisions with vehicles, zoonotic diseases, and the use of animals as a resource, is becoming more challenging. Behind this trend are the rapid and profound changes in the physical environment and ...

The management of human-wildlife interactions (HWI), including damage to property and agricultural production, collisions with vehicles, zoonotic diseases, and the use of animals as a resource, is becoming more challenging. Behind this trend are the rapid and profound changes in the physical environment and societal values associated with the Anthropocene and modernization, including factors such as economic globalization, urbanization, and the digital revolution. In a growingly complex and interconnected human-dominated world, the key to turning HWI into large scale coexistence is thorough planning.

Planning for Coexistence (Plan4Coex) is the process of making informed decisions regarding HWI. Like any other strategic planning, it will follow the adaptive management components of situation assessment, goal-setting, strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation. What distinguishes it from how conservation planning and negative HWI (e.g. human-wildlife conflict) have been traditionally addressed is rather the breadth of its goal and basis for decision making.

Whereas the ultimate goal of conservation planning is to save species, in Plan4Coex the emphasis is on improving the interactions between people and wildlife, and among stakeholders. More precisely, the goal is to shift HWI toward a condition of greater mutual benefit or whereby, at the minimum, none of the parties involved - wildlife and people, individuals and institutions - receives a significant negative impact from the other, so that their 'existing together' can be sustained.

Regarding the basis for decision-making, decisions in HWI management have been based mostly upon the ecology and economics of wildlife damage and the drivers of hostility towards wildlife at small scales (e.g. individual/farm level). This approach has provided localized and temporary solutions. However, in the pursue of coexistence rather than a truce between people and wildlife, we often deal with problems that involve (1) multiple species, including endangered and abundant, native and exotic, wild and domestic, (2) a growing set of stakeholders holding ever stronger interests in governance and different views on the costs and benefits of different situations, and (3) dynamic patterns and processes that take place at broader spatial and temporal scales and at higher hierarchical levels of decision (e.g. institutional rather than individual) than what has been usually examined.

We are calling for submissions that consider the complexity behind coexistence and address - from a practical standpoint - the processes to produce the desired changes. We particularly encourage submissions in topics including:

· Situation assessment frameworks aiming at integrating and synthesizing ecological and social dimensions, e.g. systems thinking,
· Novel mechanisms for data sharing and sources of data, e.g. citizen science and social media,
· Modeling as a planning tool, e.g. incorporating social data into spatial modeling to predict current and future HWI,
· Planning approaches that connect actions and outputs to early and intermediate outcomes to the desired long-term change, e.g. Theory of Change,
· Perspectives on monitoring, evaluation and learning,
· Workshop processes and facilitation techniques for model-based, structured, and participatory decision-making,
· Processes that enhance participation and social justice, e.g. transdisciplinary collaboration,
· Case studies from the governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Please Note:
• Abstracts are not compulsory and failing to submit an abstract will not prevent a full manuscript submission. However, they enable the Guest Editors to perform a preliminary assessment and are therefore highly encouraged.
• Guest Editors will evaluate each abstract and provide feedback to the authors, including recommendation to transfer to a different Research Topic or journal section based on the relevance of the content.
• While submissions of abstracts are encouraged before the deadline, abstracts will be considered for evaluation also after it (the submission link will remain active).
• Abstracts have a maximum word count of 1000.
• Authors can find the full list of article types accepted for this collection here.


Keywords: human-wildlife conflict, conservation planning, theory of change, monitoring and evaluation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

17 March 2021 Manuscript
30 April 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

17 March 2021 Manuscript
30 April 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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