Morally Contested


In Sub-Saharan Africa, conservation is morally contested. This project explores some of the most important and contentious issues around conservation and sustainable use that are affecting people in Sub-Saharan Africa, where there appear to be major rifts between local and external moral worldviews.




Jamma International is supporting this project in collaboration with the University of Oxford, Cornell University, and WWF Germany. The focus of this project is primarily on conservation areas in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project combines on-the-ground fieldwork with large online studies to measure attitudes, beliefs, and policy preferences of people living in sub-Saharan Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. To ensure that the project serves the interest of sub-Saharan Africa communities, the project is guided by a steering group comprising African community representatives such as academics, representatives from civil society organisations, and local community leaders. This steering group helps us identify key morally contested issues affecting people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Crucially including rural Africans, to better inform conservation and development policies in sub-Saharan Africa and internationally.

This project seeks to respond to a wide range of conservation questions which remain globally contested.
• Who gets to make decisions over the sub-Saharan African wildlife and the people?
• What should successful conservation look like?
• Whose interests should take priority?
• How much harm should rural Africans bear in protecting wild animals and their habitats?
• Are local people part of the problem or part of the solution?
• Is it acceptable to remove people from their land to create space for wildlife?
• Which are more important, the rights of local people or the rights of individual animals?

Recently, there have been concerns that the global West are dominating debates around these questions and are influencing conservation decisions and policies that affect sub-Saharan African people who bear the costs of living alongside wildlife.

“We aim to directly and clearly communicate the findings of this project to the people whose decisions will influence the future of conservation in sub-Saharan Africa, through publications in peer-reviewed academic journals and articles”

“How local, national, regional, and international decision-makers answer the questions of this project will determine the future for wildlife in sub-Saharan Africa and the lives of millions of people in the region.”

The Community Foundation for Surrey is a movement connecting local philanthropists with charitable organisations that help change the lives of disadvantaged individuals. The Community Foundation movement is based on the concept of “local help for local needs”, and highlights empowering and inspiring charities or groups to donors looking to support organisations in their area.

Community Foundation for Surrey

Cape Leopard Trust helps to ensure the long-term survival of leopard populations in Western Cape, South Africa by promoting peaceful coexistence and the protection of landscapes, empowered by scientific research, positive community partnerships, education and advocacy.

Their mission is to use research as a tool for conservation, finding solutions for human-wildlife conflict and inspiring interest in the environment through a dynamic environmental education programme.

Cape Leopard Trust


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