Community-Based Conservation in East Africa and Canada: Towards Territories of Life

When and Where

Friday, November 17, 2023 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Wilson Hall
New College, 40 Willcocks Street


African Studies Centre & School of the Environment invite you to a panel discussion: 
Community-Based Conservation in East Africa and Canada: Towards Territories of Life 

This event aims to explore the importance of community-based conservation in East Africa and Canada, and how it contributes to the creation of sustainable territories of life.


Prof. Kariuki Kirigia. School of the Environment and African Studies Centre, University of Toronto 


Prof. John Galaty. Department of Anthropology, McGill University.  
Prof. Colin Scott. Department of Anthropology, McGill University (Winner of the Weaver-Tremblay Award for 2023).  
Prof. Vinay Kamat. Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.  
Prof. Justin Raycraft. Department of Anthropology, University of Lethbridge.  


Panel Abstract

Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs), or 'territories of life,' represent promising models of conservation that simultaneously safeguard local and Indigenous livelihoods and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Territories of life are characterized by deep relational connections between community and place, the presence of local governance institutions for establishing rules, and on-the-ground management practices that promote conservation outcomes and support human well-being. They are further classified by the ICCA Consortium as 'defined' (currently functional), 'disrupted' (partially functional due to macro political and economic influences), or 'desired' (not yet implemented).

In East Africa, a variety of community-based conservation (CBC) initiatives exist, but the rhetoric of community inclusion, participation, and ownership often does not translate into practice. This panel discussion builds on work focused on the social, political, and economic complexities of CBC in East Africa and Canada and seeks to compare and synthesize regional ethnographic insights and foster collective understanding of CBC in East Africa and Canada. The insights brought to bear in the discussion are based on long-term ethnographic field research in Tanzania, Kenya, and Canada, and encompass a diversity of local livelihood practices including pastoralism, crop cultivation, coral reef fishing, and hunting and gathering in spaces where land and sea rights are often contested. They are unified by their thematic consideration of whether territories of life are feasible in East Africa and Canada, and under what conditions they are likely to prosper, and unfold whether current models of community-based conservation are empowering for local communities and whether they fulfil the ICCA Consortium's criteria for relationality, governance, and effectiveness. 




Contact Information

Dr. Kariuki Kirigia


New College, 40 Willcocks Street