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.”

Globally, people across all regions, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities, rely on wild species for cultural, livelihood, and recreational purposes. However, overexploitation is causing declines in various taxa and regions – from fish to fungi, large mammals to medicinal plants, timber species to tortoises. The drivers stem from complex factors like institutions, economics, and culture. This project mobilises global expertise in science, policy, and practice to tackle overexploitation challenges, fostering sustainable use models that meet human needs while preserving species.

IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi)

Jamma has been working together with Ten for Zen’s founders to develop a programme plan of new resources to provide free, easy-to-access information to help people across the UK live a more mindful life. Jamma’s mission is to develop a Life Skills programme and to ensure that these skills can be part of anyone’s daily self-care, building resilience and improving mental health and wellbeing.

In partnership with Ten for Zen we have built a plan to deliver an extensive array of tools to enable anyone, anywhere to experience the positive benefits of understanding how your mind works.

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