Conservation and Community Development - DI880

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 15 (7.5) DR C Gardner







The curriculum will aim to give an integrated view of theoretical and practical approaches to conservation and community aspects of rural development. Indicative themes to be covered include:
An introduction to rural development, with a focus on community aspects
How do they see you? Community perspectives on researchers and project workers
Who sets the agenda? Consultation, collaboration and technical support
Community organisation: Institutions, representation and decision-making
Incorporating rights: indigenous peoples and conservation
Building on local knowledge systems: the role of technical expertise
Working with communities: and technical support
Community-based tourism: benefit-sharing and private partnerships
Wider perspectives: project cycles and multi-stakeholder processes
Policy and practice: the relationship between conservation and rural development.


This module appears in:

Contact hours



Autumn Term

Method of assessment

Formal assessment will be by means of one piece of written (c. 2,500 words) and (class size allowing) orally presented coursework (80%), and an assessed class test (20%). The test will assess students' learning of the information covered in the course (including factual knowledge, and understanding of different concepts and frameworks). The written coursework will test their ability to source, critically analyse and synthesize material from different sources in order to develop a deeper understanding of specific issues covered in the module.

Indicative reading

Russell, D and Harshbarger, C (2003), Groundwork for community-based conservation: strategies for social research. Altamira Press.
Mulder, MB and Coppolillo, P (2005), Conservation: linking ecology, economics and culture. Princetown University Press, New Jersey.
Singh, K. 2009. Rural Development: Principles, Policies and Management. 3rd Edition. Sage Publications.
Mikkelsen, B, Methods for development work and research: a new guide for practitioners. 2nd Edition. Sage Publications.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Knowledge of historical trends in approaches to rural development, and an understanding of current debates on the relationship to community aspects of conservation
Awareness of reflexive issues connected to the relationship of the researcher with the study community
An understanding of the principle theoretical issues in community conservation and development, including institutional aspects and governance; the relationship between 'scientific' expertise and local knowledge; the significance of human and indigenous rights; and the relationship between policy and practice.
The development of professional skills such as stakeholder analysis, consultation techniques, and project cycle management
Independent study skills: time management, organisation and assimilation of information
Literature searching and the ability to synthesize materials into a coherent account
Critical analysis and reflection

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