Transforming Stakeholder Conflict at the Human-Animal Interface
Dates: March 18-22, 2013
Location: Oakland Zoo, Oakland, California
Trainer: Francine Madden
Training Sponsors: (Visit their websites by clicking on the logos.)
- Course Overview
- Learning Outcomes
In this five-day course, HWCC will work with a group of approximately 16-20 participants to build their capacity to analyze and address the human conflicts that underpin and exacerbate conservation/welfare conflicts, facilitate their efforts to work more effectively with diverse stakeholders to build trust and reach sustainable solutions, and to create a receptive atmosphere within the local context to promote positive, sustainable change and successful integration of scientific research in policy decisions. HWCC’s collaborative learning process addresses the theory, principles and practice of transforming complex conflicts into sustainable, positive change. Participants will draw on best practices from both conservation/welfare and identity-based (deep-rooted) conflict transformation, and as such will improve their capacity to analyze complex conflict dynamics, anticipate and address conflicts as they arise, and address long-standing conflicts that may impede new progress. By accurately analyzing conflicts and facilitating appropriate processes for addressing them, these participants will be afforded a new way of working together and with the larger community more effectively. They will be able to better determine root causes of conflict, build a foundation for trust and respect among stakeholders, and unearth fertile ground for sowing and cultivating innovative and sustainable actions. This course is relevant to professionals, students and academics working with multiple stakeholders in the areas of animal conservation or welfare.
The intensive capacity building and planning process draws upon best practices from the peace-building field to address complex conflicts and cultivate truly sustainable, visionary solutions. The process will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the participants in the workshop. The course culminates in the development of Conflict Intervention Plans (CIPs) in which the participants address a key conservation or welfare-related conflict they face. Conflict Intervention Plans (CIPs) are a culmination and targeted application of the learning that participants experience throughout the training. Participants work in peer-to-peer support teams to develop their plan for implementing critical short and long term actions for transforming the conflict at a site or in a project area. The team approach allows participants to begin working together in ways that allows for honest and respectful dialogue and ensures that each participant has a neutral sounding board for brainstorming ideas, predicting and trouble-shooting potential problems and deciding on appropriate “next steps.” CIPs are designed to be practical, flexible tools that participants begin using immediately after the training.
The planning process will begin with a thorough grounding in the conceptual and practical skills and strategies of understanding and addressing the human side of animal-related conflict, while also providing for a cooperative and supportive environment. Stakeholder participants will learn how to apply a variety of tools to conduct a multi-level conflict analyses and will demonstrate those tools first using a tailored and “neutral” case study before applying these skills to their own conflict situations (or other conservation/welfare challenge). Over the five-day course, participants will learn essential theory, skills, strategies and processes, all of which are critical to dealing effectively with a variety of conflict situations. Participants will be afforded opportunities to test their learning and practice in a supportive setting. They will also investigate the principles of designing long-term conflict transformation strategies. This will include exploring how to use interventions addressing conservation/welfare conflict as entry points to transform the longer-term, structural and systemic conflicts that may undermine conservation, welfare and livelihood goals. Even though the roots of these conflicts may have their beginnings in different sectors of society, their impacts are felt profoundly in conservation, welfare and management realities.
A note on diversity and transformation among the training participants: Diversity is one of the hallmarks of participation in the HWCC training. The design and content of HWCC’s training means that individuals with varying levels of education and experience, as well as those individuals operating from different philosophical and ideological perspectives, can work creatively and constructively together to expand their own individual capacity and growth as well as that of the entire group. While the training is focused on building participant capacity to transform conflict, a typical result of going through this workshop process is that the transformation also occurs among diverse participants in the room and results in greater understanding across disciplines and perspectives, as well as an improved capacity to work together post-training.
- Apply the principles, theory, skills and practices of conflict transformation
- Understand identity-based conflict and the effect of values and beliefs on animal/wildlife-oriented programming
- Recognize individual reactions to conflict and develop strategies for effective responses
- Work more effectively together and with the broader community post-training with a more solid foundation of trust and respect
- Analyze the complex, diverse and deep-rooted conflicts encountered in animal-oriented work
- Lead a variety of conflict resolution/transformation processes
- Develop site or context-specific Conflict Intervention Plans for understanding and addressing a conflict situation of their choosing
- Design and lead multi-stakeholder processes for addressing conflict and co-creating sustainable conservation/welfare solutions
- Implement strategies to engage multiple sectors and resources to address animal/wildlife challenges
- Co-create an ongoing peer-to-peer support network and community of practice with their cohort and course instructors
- Improved stakeholder relations resulting in increased efficiency and sustainability of conservation/management/welfare solutions
- Tactical and financial solutions to animal-related conflicts will bring a higher return on investment due to the positive change in social conditions underlying the conservation context
- Improved ability of participants to anticipate and address early and quickly any new conflicts or potential conflicts that may arise
- Reduction in negative perceptions of diverse stakeholders and their actions
- Less resources needing to be diverted to address legal, media, political and other backlash tactics that may result from unpopular or misconstrued projects/actions
- Increased effectiveness and a higher likelihood of reaching project goals
- Improved cooperation and collaboration and enhanced capacities across the state