Since 2006, the Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration (HWCC) has worked with over 500 stakeholders and practitioners in wildlife conservation to integrate conservation conflict transformation (CCT) best practices through facilitated interventions, capacity building efforts and strategic guidance. By addressing the more elusive and deep-rooted social side of conflict through conservation conflict transformation, communities are more receptive to conservation goals, polarization of conflict decreases, shared common ground is identified and built upon, hostile relationships are transformed, and commitments to positive change are genuine and on-going. By creating these more desirable social conditions, efforts to address the more tangible evidence of the conflict – retaliatory killing of endangered wildlife, poaching, livestock depredation and crop raiding, controversy over proposed management interventions– are more successful and sustainable.
The idea for HWCC began in 1998 as a network of wildlife professionals began searching for a better way to address the intractable conflicts prevalent in wildlife conservation efforts. This need was formally recognized at a workshop of HWC practitioners and leaders at the 5th IUCN World Parks Congress in 2003, in Durban, South Africa, led by HWCC’s executive director, Francine Madden. The Congress passed a formal recommendation calling for this initiative to be created (Recommendation 20).
In November 2006, more than fifty conservation and peacebuilding professionals, representing over forty organizations, convened in Washington, D.C. to identify priorities for collaboration and to develop a framework for pursuing those priorities. The result was the launch of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration whose mission is to transform conflict to create sustainable solutions for people and wildlife.
Conservation's Blind Spot: A Case for Conflict Transformation in Wildlife Conservation This publication can also be read online.