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Conservation works better when local communities lead it, new evidence shows

By Neil Dawson, Research fellow in international development, University of East Anglia
Brendan Coolsaet, Associate professor, Institut catholique de Lille (ICL)
Julián Idrobo, Research Associate in Environmental Management, University of British Columbia
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We are currently facing a mass extinction of plants and animals. To remedy this, world leaders have pledged a huge expansion of protected areas ahead of the UN biodiversity summits to be held in October 2021 and May 2022 in Kunming, China.

The focus on how much of the planet to conserve overshadows questions of how nature should be conserved and by whom. In the past some conservation organisations have…

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