Adam BarlowExecutive Director, WildTeam UK
- WildTeam UK
- Member directory
- United Kingdom
About Adam Barlow
Which category below best describes the type of organisation you currently work for/or run?
Areas of expertise
Would you be willing to be approached and share your lessons learned in your area(s) of expertise with our community?
Amrein Tamásné Miskolczi Boglárka
Owner, leader, researcher and project manager, Ecological Farm and Bird-Nest Box Station
Loiruku Altapuai Mollel
Assistant Communication and Governance Officer, Honeyguide Foundation
Human and Wildlife Coexistence Supervisor and Coordinator , Zambezi Society
I am curious to know how well this course acknowledges and directly addresses the decolonization of interactions with local stakeholders.
I feel like you have spotted something important that can help us do better - but I can't yet understand what it is from what you have said. Anything further you could add would be most appreciated and I would like to continue this conversation here and talk about any faults we may have and how to fix them. But if you don't have time I totally understand. In case you do, here is some more info on our approach to this important issue, o that you may better advise us on how we can do things better.
Knowledge/experience base: In the last year I have been learning about decolonisation of conservation from the available literature but I do not have a lived experience on what it is like to be a conservationist in/from a country with a colonial history. Because of this lack of lived experience we decided that we could not very well address this issue on our current team's knowledge/experience base so we looked for and were lucky enough to recruit a trustee with such knowledge and experience to help guide us on what we do to address this issue. However, we recognize we have a lot more to learn in this area.
Values/approach: As a team our passion is to provide our training and community support to those that want it but cannot access it for cost or other reasons. We recognise that conservationists from countries with a colonial past face additional internal and external systemic barriers to their career progression and have less opportunities to be involved in and lead conservation efforts. That is why we are actively seeking out such conservationists to provide them with full training bursaries and peer-to-peer community support. In essence we want to help empower these conservationists so that they have the means to lead /decide upon conservation efforts in their countries. Because we are focused on supporting these conservationists in this way, we are focusing our conservation fundraising efforts on that to make it possible. Having said all that, despite what we think we are doing right we may well have unconscious biases that influence how we see and tackle this problem.
Language: I am aware that stakeholder is an offensive term for some groups and why it is offensive. For that reason I was keen to find another, more acceptable term. But the best I could find was "interested parties" but it seems this term is so rarely used or understood that using it would create barriers for conservationists wanting to find, use, and talk about the skill set we are offering in this area. If there is a better and widely used term that we can use I would be grateful to hear suggestions. There may also be other instances in how we talk about conservation (e.g. "conservation" itself being a loaded term for some groups) that is not ideal.
Overall, from my understanding, it seems like the sector is in a transition phase between how conservation was carried out in the past to how it will be carried out in the future in a more equitable and inclusive way. While in this transition period we are trying to do our small part to help speed that along with the resources we have available. We may be good, bad or somewhere in between about how we are approaching that but we are doing our best and we are not complacent. Your message was saying that we need to do more. I totally agree - if you can help guide us on how to do more then we will get there faster. Otherwise please know that we are educating ourselves and getting there as fast as we can in the absence of such guidance and in the absence of complete solutions to the various problems associated with this topic.
When we were creating our stakeholder engagement manual we also tried to find alternative terms because of the issue with the term stakeholder - but we are yet to find one that is satisfactory. Another group used the term "interested parties" but think it will take a long time to take hold. I found the term "ecosystem actors" a bit jargony/academic. But what do you think?
thanks Molly - looks interesting!
Interesting. Thanks for sharing this
Hey Adam.Nice to meet you on WildHub.
I would love for you to add WatchSpotter to your recommendations for the various clients and stakeholders that you work with. Let me know your thoughts and a day and time next week that works to chat and see a demo.
I had not heard of WatchSpotter before - looks interesting. I will take a look now.
Wonderful opportunity! Thanks for sharing @Ross Rowe
@Estrela Matilde : Perhaps this would be a useful opportunity for your team based on what you shared in your introduction post that one of your priorities is the capacity building or our team?
@Grace Alawa : perhaps you or someone you know would be interested in this opportunity as well?
Thanks for telling us about what your team needs. That helps us prioratise activities such as translations. We have translations (including into portuguese) on the list but have not secured funding to make that happen yet. Hopefully we will be able to do something in the next couple of years. Very sorry that you have to wait till then.
Lovely to have you in the community Simone!