Participatory Research in Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Doing Science Together starts from the understanding that all people create knowledge and that the creation of sustainable livelihoods and of conditions that protect and sustain rural ecosystems are interrelated. Interdependent science, that is, science undertaken collaboratively by local and professional scientists, can create new knowledge to achieve conservation goals.
Here local experts and professional researchers write independently about the participatory research processes through which they created new knowledge together. They demonstrate that interdependent science can produce more accurate and locally appropriate data, while frankly addressing persisting issues such as unequal power, whose knowledge and what ways of knowing count, whose voice can be heard or appear in print, and other dilemmas of this practice. Conservation scientists and practitioners will both benefit from reading this book.
I would recommend this book for all researchers and students about to undertake research that involves local communities.
- Austral Ecology and Ecological Management & Restoration, 2011
"The true strength of the book lies in its focus on the quality of research partnerships and the power of these relationships to address social justice issues as they relate to conservation and rural livelihoods." - Ecoscience, June 2010
"Overall, the book is an engaging collection of convincing cases for participatory methods in resource commons research. The book will be especially useful for graduate students as the cases clearly address pros and cons of participatory approaches, and were written by student practitioners."
- The International Journal of the Commons, October 2009
"'Participatory Research in Conservation and Rural Livelihoods' is brilliant, passionate, and inspiring. Fortmann and her contributors carefully qualify and complicate the distinctions between knowing and doing, between civil science and conventional science, and between communities and researchers. In so doing, they impart new richness and complexity to discussions of participatory research and forge a model of deep collaboration that tirelessly confronts difficult questions of power, inclusion, reciprocity, voice, and expertise while successfully blurring the border between natural and social sciences."
- Richa Nagar, University of Minnesota, co-author of "Playing with Fire"
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