Science for achieving sustainable development
Conservation of biodiversity is among the top priorities to ensure a sustainable future. Since decades, scientists shed light on complex, often contentious and value-laden, nature-society interactions, while generating usable scientific knowledge for sustainable development. The use of transdisciplinary approaches, bringing together scientific, practical and indigenous knowledge help tackle the trade-offs and issues involved in implementing conservation projects (e.g. risks, uncertainty, ethical issues and appropriate use of the precautionary principle).
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets (United Nations Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020) is a key initiative within global efforts to halt and eventually reverse the loss of biodiversity. No single organization or sector has the knowledge or resources to “go it alone”, and the One Plan approach proposed by the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) promotes integrated species conservation planning, which considers all populations of the species, inside and outside their natural range, under all conditions of management, engaging all responsible parties and all available resources from the very start of any species conservation planning initiative (WAZA).
With meta-population management (i.e. within more than one regional zoo association, on a continuum of intensive management strategies, rescue/rehabilitation centres, breeding centres, and those in the wild), the concepts of in situ and ex situ are no longer relevant to the world we inhabit.
The emerging set of changes brought about by climate change, the increasing control humans are exerting on the natural world and the rise of new genetic technologies such as synthetic biology are all working to turn change the world, with new threats but also with opportunities. Thus, it is time for creative solutions for species conservation success to emerge from blending between once distinct endeavours.
Collaboration is one of the keys for unlocking sustainability. SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is “an inspiring example of global collaboration and partnerships, and the positive impact they can have on research and conservation projects around the world” (Dan Ashe, AZA)
Akongo’s team contributes through planning and implementing innovative projects, involving integrated partnerships, making optimal utilization of technical and human resources, taking advantage of the collaborating network of experts.
- Manage and critically review small-medium projects with multiple inputs and collaborators, ensuring timely delivery of on-budget projects
- Summarize scientific evidence relevant to your conservation objectives and the actions you could take to achieve them
- Undertake surveys for protected species and habitats
- Mitigation advice and development of mitigation plans