Sponsored by the QCBS and Concordia University


April 3-4, 2014


Concordia University, Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve W.), Room H763-765


Annie Lalancette, PhD Candidate, Individualized Program, Concordia University

Monica Mulrennan, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Planning & Environment, Concordia University

Peter Stoett, Professor & Director of the Loyola Sustainability Research Center, Concordia University


This event will include a one-day training facilitation workshop followed by a full day of presentations from selected researchers and professionals dealing with human dimension issues. Wildlife, protected areas and natural resource conservation professionals who are dealing directly with programs to mitigate human-environment conflict, as well as those who are encountering the challenge of human-natural resource conflicts in their own research or management activities should benefit from the Symposium. Individuals wishing to learn about facilitation and managing people will also learn valuable skills. The Symposium will feature Dr. Alistair Bath as keynote speaker and leader of the facilitation training workshop. Dr. Bath is an Associate Professor at Memorial University and a member of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (a IUCN/Species Survival Commission Specialist Group). He has more than 25 years of experience in human-wildlife conflicts and in human dimension issues in natural resource management. He has led various research projects in Canada, the US and throughout Europe on issues including reintroduction, control, broader wildlife-human interactions, and key beliefs and attitudes towards species such as wolf, coyote, bear and moose.


Registration required due to limited space (you can register for one or both days)

Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided to registered participants

DAY1 (April 3): Facilitation Training Workshop, with Dr. Alistair Bath

Full day event:9:15am-4:30pm (Maximum 50 participants)

Come join Dr. Alistair Bath as he shares experiences and his tricks of the trade on how to work with people effectively toward consensus. He has a 100% success rate in reaching agreements over the past 25 years with a diverse set of stories to share. This will be an active group participationthroughout the day as Alistair steps in and out of his facilitator role to explain why he is doing what he is doing. Come learn more about Bath1what signals you send to people when you are in the room, how to read people and most importantly how to create a friendly, non-threatening and productive environment to reach consensus on challenging issues. From working with Israelis and Palestinians on urban biodiversity concepts, getting five faiths together in Jerusalem to agree on Green and Accessible Pilgrimage Sites, working with European Alpine countries to manage large carnivores and all play nice in the same sandbox, working on pulling down a border between Armenia and Turkey to create a trans-boundary peace park, learning from Aboriginal groups on buffalo management in the north, and many more experiences at local, regional, national and international scales, come out and have a fun day. Lots of opportunities to ask questions and leave with a few tricks to try with your family, friends, co-workers and interest groups you wish to work toward consensus with.

DAY 2 (April 4): Symposium

Full day event: 9:15am-4:30pm (Maximum 100 participants), FINAL program

porcupine_caribou_herdWe aim to bring together students, researchers and practitioners from different backgrounds and with relevant experience in dealing with human-environment issues to provide a unique opportunity for those involved in biodiversity research, policy design and management to explore the practical applications of the human dimension approach. The goal is to provide some practical knowledge and tools that could later be applied in various contexts. It is hoped that this open symposium will offer a forum that will encourage cooperation and learning among a cross-disciplinary group of participants and contribute to the debate on how to effectively involve people to address and appropriately overcome biodiversity loss. The keynote address by Dr. Alistair Bath (see below) will be followed by selected presentations. The day will end with an informal panel discussion and question period. The full program will be announced once finalized, so please check this website regularly.


Keynote address: Dr. Alistair Bath, Human Dimensions in Natural Resource Management Team Leader, Department of Geography, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, Canada.web page

Involving People in Conservation: The Role of Human Dimensions Research and Applied Approaches

Human dimensions (HD) research is a broad field of exploring human-wildlife interactions by understanding attitudes, beliefs, values, behavioural intentions and behaviours. Such research can help managers understand public attitudes toward various species. In addition, HD can identify beliefs and explore specific weaknesses in knowledge that are most directly linked to attitudes thus leading to targeted messaging and more effective educational and communication campaigns. HD studies can focus on identifying types of conflict, the first step toward conflict resolution. Finally, HD researchers explore behavioural intention to support or oppose certain management actions, thus allowing managers to better understand the various interest group viewpoints and levels of support for proposed actions. Various examples from North America and Europe are used to illustrate this research aspect of HD. Research, however, only provides managers with insights on issues but doesn’t actively resolve challenges. Applied HD work addresses the issues and works toward solutions.

Picture2While there is unanimous agreement that to achieve successful conservation, key interest groups or “stakeholders”, as they are often labelled, need to be engaged in a meaningful way, there are few examples where governments are truly willing to take the time to effectively engage groups, gain trust and build management plans through true consensus processes. Too often, public consultation is merely a one shot meeting with concerned citizens to discuss a draft species management plan that has already been unilaterally created by the wildlife agency. Thus it should not be a continuous surprise when such plans are not successfully implemented and conservation challenges such as poaching of animals occurs. Building a management plan from nothing (i.e., no draft plan), gaining a common vision, agreeing on principles, biological data, threats and hunting quotas requires a process. This applied human dimension facilitated workshop approach (AHDFWA) is that process and it has been implemented successfully to achieve 100% consensus on a wolf management plan in Croatia, a brown bear and wolf management plan in Bulgaria and currently being employed in Slovakia as various groups work toward a brown bear management plan and in Canada’s north as First Nations and various governments strive to understand and address the key issues facing the Bathurst caribou herd. The stages of this engagement tool from pre-workshop 1 to full consensus by workshop 9 is illustrated using these European examples. Participants should at the end understand the nature of HD from an applied and research perspective and understand conservation is only achieved through working with people.

Please register for the workshop and symposium here:

Symposium registration/ Inscription symposium

Final conference program (PDF)


8:30-9:00am Registration
9:00-9:10am Conference Opening/Welcome speech
9:10-10:05am Keynote Address:
“Involving People in Conservation: The Role of Human Dimensions Research and Applied Approaches”
Alistair Bath, Memorial University
10:05-10:25am Coffee Break
10:25-10:45am “Wild in the City: Investigating Diverse Visions of Nature in Canada’s First National Urban Park” David Lawless, MSc graduate in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management, University of Oxford
10:45-11:05am « Le projet de paysage humanisé de l’île Bizard et les défis de la création d’une aire protégée en zone habitée » Sabine Courcier, Large Parks and Greening, City of Montreal
11:05-11:25am « Quand la salamandre pourpre rencontre Revenu Canada : privatisation de la conservation et représentations sociales de la biodiversité comme moteurs des trajectoires rurales du sud du Québec » Olivier Craig-Dupont and Gérald Domon; Université de Montréal
11:25-11:45am “Designing a coyote experimental education program using local public engagement research” Carly Sponarski1, T.A. Loeffler1, Jerry J. Vaske2, and Alistair J. Bath11 Memorial University
2 Colorado State University
11:45-12:05pm “Synergies and trade-offs between restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services in degraded African tropical rainforest” Aerin L. Jacob1,2, Martin J. Lechowicz1, Pete Parker2, and Colin A. Chapman1
1 McGill University,
2 Vancouver Island University
12:05-1:05pm Lunch
1:05-1:25pm “Community-based lake sturgeon conservation in the Cree community of Nemaska, James Bay, northern Quebec” Marc Dunn, Lawrence Jimiken and Nadia Saganash, Niskamoon Corporation
1:25-1:45pm “Conventional Management and Indigenous Fisheries: Current and Potential Impacts of a Proposed Quota Management System for the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery” Annie Lalancette and Monica Mulrennan, Concordia University

“Wapishana Proposed Customary Resource Management of the Rupununi” Katherine MacDonald, York University

« La dimension humaine de la conservation et de la gestion des forêts tropicales : le challenge associé au cas des populations autochtones dans le bassin du Congo » Nathalie Fernando, Université de Montreal
Philippe Auzel
Kimbembé Bienvenue, Wildlife Conservation Society
2:25-2:45pm « Les perspectives de la biodiversité en Afrique subsaharienne : repenser collectivement le modèle de gestion » Robert Kasisi, Université de Montréal
2:45-3:05pm Coffee Break
3:05-3:25pm “How photo-elicitation with farmers can reveal levers for biodiversity-friendly practices on private land” Kate Sherren, Dalhousie University
3:25-3:45pm “How scenario development can enhance stakeholder understanding of trade-offs and synergies in ecosystem services” Sylvestre Delmotte, Delphine Renard, Andrew Gonzalez, Martin J. Lechowicz, Jeanine Rhemtulla, and Elena Bennett; McGill University
3:45-4:05pm “Toward the Integration of Biodiversity in One Health” Cristina Romanelli, David Cooper and Braulio Dias
Secretariat, Convention on Biological Diversity
4:05-4:25pm “Outside the box with WWViews: Exploring the human dimension of biodiversity with a worldwide public engagement event” David Secko, Patricia Hanney, Ernest Hoffman and Shirley Tran; Concordia University
4:30-5:30pm Open Panel Discussion

For further information: annie.lalancette@gmail.com or nicolas.brunet@mail.mcgill.ca