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Royal Anthropological Institute - Virtual Conference

 | Published on 2/12/2021

Anthropology and Conservation
Virtual Conference
25-29 October 2021

We are very pleased to announce the call for panel proposals for a major interdisciplinary conference on Anthropology and Conservation. The aim of the conference is simple: it is increasingly recognised that conservation can only be properly achieved with Indigenous Peoples, in full recognition of their rights. It is therefore urgent that we develop cross-disciplinary understanding not just of conservation, but also of the way that conservation and people go together. The conference will be held virtually. The conference was originally proposed by the University of East Anglia’s School of International Development, and we are pleased to welcome as co-organisers alongside UEA: Forest Peoples Programme, the Linnean Society, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation, the Anthropology and Environment Society (a section of the AAA), Botanic Garden Conservation International and the Society of Ethnobiology.

The RAI indicates a few possible areas of interest below. However, it would not wish to restrict any potential suggestion, and proposals are welcome on any aspect of the theme, whether theoretical, methodological or ethnographic. Proposals from any of the sub-fields of anthropology (social anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology or linguistics) are welcome, as well as any of the sub-fields of conservation. We would particularly welcome panel proposals that have any combination of anthropologists, Indigenous Peoples and conservationists as co-convenors. The organisers would also particularly welcome proposals and papers from Indigenous Peoples, as well as from international or transnational bodies, whether organised around conservation or rights, or a combination.

Amongst the possible areas which may be considered (but not confined to these) are:

  • Conservation and Indigenous Knowledge
  • Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories
  • Sovereignty and inequality
  • Plants, peoples and conservation
  • Wildlife conservation: the influence of people on wildlife, and wildlife on people
  • Private sector initiatives and Indigenous Peoples' Rights
  • Human/Wildlife conflicts and resolutions
  • Conservation areas and built heritage
  • Scale and success: what works best?
  • Impacts of deforestation on plants animals and communities
  • NGOs, and the implementation of international treaties and agreements
  • Impacts of foreign aid: Environmental impact assessments, and social impact assessments
  • DNA, microbial restoration and conservation
  • Marine conservation
  • Multi-species ethnography
  • The history of conservation and anthropology initiatives
  • New Economic Models, climate change and conservation
Proposals for panels should be made by 12 March 2021 on the conference website

Fellows and members of co-organising institutions will be eligible to join the conference at the RAI Fellows rate.

Informal enquiries may be made to

Key dates

Call for Panels opens 18 January 2021 and closes on 12 March 2021
Call for Papers opens 19 April 2021 and closes on 2 July 2021
Registration opens 2 August 2021

Conference Fees

Fellows & Members: £60
Non-Fellows: £120
Concessions (students, unemployed and retired persons): £30
Delegates with low income from Low Income Countries: £15

About the co-organisers:

The Anthropology and Environment Society is a section of the American Anthropological Association.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is a global botanic garden membership organisation and, with its members, forms the world’s largest plant conservation network. BGCI’s mission is to mobilise botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet.

Forest Peoples Programme is a human rights organisation working with forest peoples across the globe to secure their rights to their lands and their livelihoods. We work alongside more than 60 partner organisations representing indigenous peoples and forest communities from across the globe.

The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active society devoted to natural history.

The Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) is a renowned learned society devoted to anthropology. It has dedicated premises in Fitzroy Street in London, and is devoted to all the respective sub-fields of the discipline.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is an internationally important botanical research and education institution.

The Society of Ethnobiology is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the relationships of plants and animals with human cultures worldwide, including past and present relationships between peoples and the environment.

UEA's School of International Development is committed to tackling global issues of poverty and inequality through our research, teaching and engagement.

The University of Kent School of Anthropology and Conservation is a multinational research community striving for real-world impact.