Supervisor: Sophie Calmé
Biodiversity conflicts have recently attracted both management and research interest. Whilst we recognize the contested nature of the concept, our understanding of biodiversity conflict is that it emerges when “the interest of two or more parties towards some aspect of biodiversity compete, and when at least one of the parties is perceived to assert its interest at the expense of another party’s interest (Young et al. 2005; Marshall et al. 2007; White et al. 2009)”. While some biodiversity conservation studies focus on the consequences of conflict, we acknowledge the importance of understanding multiple drivers. Our position is not neutral in that we seek better biodiversity outcomes and focus on conflicts with a negative impact on particular species of biodiversity concern. Our approach recognizes that the drivers and the management of those conflicts are often influenced by social aspects: for example, the power balance between the stakeholders, their attitudes or the values they attach to the species concerned. The aim of this interdisciplinary research will thus be to study how social aspects influence and interact with economic and ecological factors in the causation and management of biodiversity conflicts. Jaguar populations are in decline worldwide and are of high biodiversity interest. Calakmul region supports one of the largest populations in Mexico, but a conflict has arisen through stakeholder interests and behaviors in this area. This case study thus constitutes an excellent opportunity for empirical research.