Abstract: The ocean and marine biodiversity are changing rapidly, requiring multiple and diverse conservation and management approaches. Much academic research attempts to objectively study conservation and management strategies by coastal peoples. While much valuable insight can be gained from such studies, they tend not to provide substantial benefits to participating communities. Action-oriented conservation research seeks to affect change through research by partnering with communities and others, co-creating research questions, etc. This presentation will provide an overview of my recent collaborative marine conservation research in Canada’s Pacific region, and share lessons for management and monitoring. Case studies were co-designed with Indigenous or local peoples, and include research methodologies that interlink natural and social sciences, and scientific and Indigenous knowledge systems. The diverse marine conservation efforts highlight the importance of empowering local voices, revitalizing Indigenous governance, and collaborative research partnerships. While the case studies come from Canada, the themes are broadly applicable, and I hope will generate discussion about the role of researchers.
Biography: Trained in geography, resource management and environmental studies, Dr. Natalie Ban draws upon many disciplines from natural and social sciences in her work. Her research interests span ethnoecology, conservation biology, marine spatial planning, conservation planning and implementation, and evaluation and mapping of cumulative impacts, all mainly in marine and coastal systems. Currently an Associate Professor and Lansdowne Scholar of Marine Ethnoecology and Conservation at the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies, Dr. Ban completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies at JCU, received her PhD from the University of British Columbia at the Fisheries Centre in Resource Management and Environmental Studies, and M.A. and B.A. from McGill University (Canada). Her current research focuses on identifying options for management and conservation of biodiversity whilst respecting people’s needs and aspirations.