In a previous post, Shubhobroto Ghosh introduced us to Marc Bekoff’s Ignoring Nature No More, a book of essays on the theme of Compassionate Conservation.

Thanks to Chris Draper of Born Free for allowing us to re-print the following news:

Born Free coordinates international symposium on Compassionate Conservation


On Weds 24th July, the Society for Conservation Biology’s International Congress for Conservation Biology in Baltimore, USA, featured a Symposium on Compassionate Conservation. The following presentations were followed by a panel discussion:

Compassionate Conservation: a Synthesis Between Animal Welfare and Conservation
Chris Draper, Born Free Foundation’s Programme Manager for Captive Wild Animals / Science

Compassionate Conservation as a Unifying and Integrative Movement: Who Lives, Who Lives, and Why
Marc Bekoff, renowned author and academic

Understanding the Individual and Their Welfare in Wildlife Conservation: How Personality Type Affects Translocation Success
Liv Baker from the University of British Columbia in Canada

Bringing Compassion to the Ethical Dilemma in Killing Kangaroos for Conservation
Daniel Ramp from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia

[Lori Marino, neuroscientist and cetacean expert, was scheduled to present on – The Critical Role of Psychology in the Conservation of Nonhuman Animals – but was unfortunately unable to attend]

The Symposium introduced the Compassionate Conservation initiative to a number of global conservation biologists and practitioners, encouraging them to consider and adopt a new and compassionate approach to tackling conservation problems.

We are very grateful to the organisers of the ICCB for allowing us to hold this Symposium.

Compassionate Conservation Guiding Principles

Since the groundbreaking Compassionate Conservation Symposium in Oxford in 2010, we have been working with a group of key individuals to develop the following Guiding Principles for Compassionate Conservation.

RECOGNISING that wild animals, whether free-ranging or in captivity, may be affected by the intentional or unintentional actions of humans as well as the natural processes within ecosystems and the wider environment;

CONCERNED that many human activities, including those undertaken for a conservation purpose, may directly or indirectly cause harm to individual wild animals, populations, species, or ecosystems;

RECOGNISING that both conservation and wild animal welfare should implicitly respect the inherent value of wild animals and the natural world, and that both disciplines should try to mitigate harms caused by humans to other species;

BELIEVING that all harms to wild animals should be minimised wherever and to the extent possible, regardless of the human intention and purpose behind them;

PROPOSING that the principles and actions that underpin Compassionate Conservation, by combining consideration of animal welfare and conservation, will lead to a reduction in harm and in the suffering of individual wild animals, and will improve conservation outcomes;

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The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild.