By the Brazilian CONVIVA team
Interdisciplinarity as a goal and starting point. The Brazilian team implementing the CONVIVA – convivial conservation project is a highly diverse group of enthusiastic researchers from different institutions and disciplines, working in collaboration towards jaguar conservation in the Atlantic rainforest through a convivial perspective. Coordinated by Dr. Katia Ferraz, the leader of the Wildlife Ecology, Management and Conservation Lab (LEMaC) at the University of São Paulo, the team is composed of ecologists, conservation biologists and social scientists. One of our main goals is to build bridges across scales of analysis, from individual-centred approaches such as the ‘Human dimensions of conservation’, to political ecology which looks at broader societal-environmental relations with a justice focus. By interweaving analysis at different scales and with different disciplinary foci, we aim to work towards a new theoretical basis to improve current conservation practices and policies.
We are not starting from scratch! Our activities build on two ongoing projects in the context of LEMaC: the project “Onças do Iguaçu” on mammal conservation in Foz do Iguaçu National Park in the state of Paraná, and “Mammals in the Mata Atlântica” in Serra do Mar Green corridor in the state of São Paulo. Our focus regions are two of the only three areas in which there is a higher probability of jaguar populations persisting in the longer term (highlighted in red in the map below), based on the most recent analysis of species viability in the Atlantic Forest.
Connections beyond academia. The Brazilian branch of the CONVIVA project is bringing together environmental policy, NGO advocacy and research to develop sustainable paths for a just and healthy environment for future generations of both humans and jaguars. Our meetings bring together practitioners, scientists from different fields, and public policy managers, turning our meetings into spaces both for research and knowledge exchange at the same time. We engage in comprehensive debates about the future of conservation, the limits and possibilities of interdisciplinary research, and possible alternatives for current Brazilian policies for nature conservation.
Activities under way. This year has been full speed ahead for us. In March, our team hosted the first CONVIVA workshop. The entire international team was present in Foz do Iguaçu National Park, enjoying the backdrop of the breathtaking landscape of the Iguaçu Falls. The meeting in Foz do Iguaçu established a number of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Hopes for the jaguar, the Atlantic Forest and the people who live in it. We aspire to build a sound and viable basis for healthy relationships between people and the fascinating jaguar species in its remaining habitats within this rich and endangered hotspot. On that basis, we hope that we can contribute to longstanding and effective convivial conservation, taking into account both the needs of people and wildlife.