A3 Wolmar

Coexistence: looking at the glass half full


Jenny Anne Glikman
Beatrice Frank
Silvio Marchini


For some, the discussion of conflict or coexistence may be a matter of semantics. In terms of working toward solutions, concentrating on mechanisms of coexistence is more positive than mitigating conflicts. However, shifting from conflict to coexistence may not be enough. There is a need to consider conflict and coexistence as they relate to each other. We discuss the conflict-to-coexistence continuum concept, which spans from negative to positive attitudes and/or behaviors. On the extreme end of the conflict side of the continuum, negative attitudes/ behaviours can result in retaliatory killing of wildlife, or support for eradication policies. Moving away from this end position, people might still disagreeing and opposing species management and conservation, but likely not taking direct actions against wildlife. The continuum moves than toward neutral or mixed attitudes/behaviours, where people may not be interested in wildlife and thus remain indifferent toward wildlife issues. Passive tolerance characterizes this section, which is followed by the positive end of the continuum. In this last section, humans favouring the needs of wildlife - as in the case of supporting strict nature reserves, or donating for wildlife conservation, represent some examples of the end point on the positive side of the continuum. Examples from different worldwide studies extracted from the upcoming book "Human-wildlife interactions: turning conflict into coexistence" will be presented to illustrate how the continuum helps in comparing and categorizing the relative strength of negative to positive attitudes/behaviors, and may help to clarify how a specific context influences human-wildlife interactions.