Working Group Roundup: Religion and Conservation Biology

Building on the enthusiasm of the successful sessions and side meeting held at the 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology, in Montpellier, France, and on the renewed Board of Directors, the RCBWG has initiated new activities and pursued with strength those already started in the past years of accomplishments.

The RCBWG has adopted a new detailed and ambitious 2016-2019 Strategic Plan to be assessed at the end of 2016. To implement the different strategic foci of the strategic plan, the Working Group has organised its work into three Committees: the Capacity Building Committee, the Religion and Conservation Research Collaborative and the Best Practice Guidelines Committee.

The Capacity Building Committee aims at reinforcing the structure of the RCBWG through actions directed outwards, such as enlarging the membership pool and increasing the Group’s visibility, as well as inwards, such as restructuring workflow procedures to enhance their effectiveness. The CBC aims to promote the RCBWG into a self-sustaining structure, capable of thriving and renewing itself independently of changes in member and leadership over time. Shortly, the CBC will launch a renewed page of the RCBWG on the SCB website.

The Religion and Conservation Research Collaborative is tasked with the goal of investigating, through empirical research, the role of religion in the quest for environmental conservation globally and translating results into policy action. The RCRC also proactively identifies societal problems as pertains to conservation that need policy action and through scientific research findings informs decision making and social change within the purview of religion and conservation. The Collaborative has just completed a draft policy brief addressing the religious practice of prayer animal release which is under consideration by the Global Policy Committee.

The Best Practice Guidelines Committee has been very active in initiating the process needed to compile a set of Best Practice Guidelines to guide the difficult and delicate task of working with religious leaders and communities on research projects. The Committee aims at building on the wealth of SCB members’ experience in the field through a survey that will soon be launched for all members to share their experiences and suggestions. At the same time it aims at reviewing existing literature and other sources on guidelines and to network with other organizations in retrieving this information.

The RCBWG welcomes all forms collaboration from all members of SCB. Please do not hesitate to contact our President, Stephen Awoyemi or our Secretary, Giulia Sajeva to share ideas and suggestions and to join our Committees.

More info on our work will soon be available on the renewed webpage!