Challenges within the Poverty-Environment Debate

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turtle hunting in the 1960s

CREE recognizes that it works at a very difficult nexus within the field of sustainable development. Indeed, being an environmental organization working on community conservation through livelihoods generation and poverty alleviation places us simultaneoulsy in two often distinct fields: that of development and preservation/conservation. What CREE essentially accomplishes from an academic perspective is to straddle the fields of anthropology, zoology, and sociology. But practically and on a day-to-day basis, what we do is try to provide tangible benefits from wildlife, a resource often in direct  conflict with local people.

Recognizing that environmental conservation and sustainable development do not often yield clear or perfect results, CREE seeks to become informed and critiqued by some of the best minds within the field of conservation and human-environment relations. And these minds do not always agree.  In fact, they often come from drastically different academic backgrounds and worldviews.

CREE relishes this internal juxtaposition and has formed its own Scientific Advisory Board to deal with more conflict-prone scenarios and policy considerations from our work in economically and ecologically stressed environments. It is our belief that through honest discussion about disagreements that we can come to the most culturally appropriate solution for communities engaged with our conservation work. And if we get it wrong, we will retool our efforts and honestly discuss our failures with partners to move towards a better future.

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