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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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Talk – Sustainability Success through Community Conservation

September 29, 2017 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

| Free

Speaker: Anthony Charles, School of the Environment and School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Co-sponsored by the School of Marine Sciences

Place-based communities the world over face local environmental threats, whether from industrial activity, resource depletion, pollution, climate change, urbanization or other causes. In response, many communities are acting as stewards of their local environments and resources, undertaking conservation initiatives that help secure local livelihoods, and contribute to larger-scale environmental improvement. However, the considerable conservation successes of local communities tend to be relatively little known and receive relatively little practical and policy support from governments. This has been the case despite the fact that the historical evolution of conservation and sustainability thinking – toward more holistic approaches such as ecosystem-based and integrated management, and a greater focus on participatory governance – reinforces the role of local-level communities. Given this motivation, and the successes already achieved, how can we increase the focus in conservation policy and practice on local communities, and ensure an increased role for communities in conservation governance? This presentation explores that question, examining the community role in conservation and sustainability, as well as policy responses. The presentation draws on work of the Community Conservation Research Network, a global initiative of indigenous, community, academic, government and NGO partners. Through a social-ecological systems view and a comparative analysis internationally, the CCRN seeks to ‘scale-up’ the appreciation of community stewardship among policymakers, and to provide guidance to communities on successful paths for environmental and livelihood sustainability.

Anthony (Tony) Charles is a professor in the School of the Environment and the School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. His research focuses on fisheries, oceans and coasts, including studies of integrated ocean management, small-scale fisheries, community-based management, climate impacts and adaptation, sustainability of fisheries and coasts, and human dimensions of ecosystem-based management and marine protected areas. Dr. Charles has authored several books, including Sustainable Fishery Systems from 2001, Governance of Marine Fisheries and Biodiversity Conservation from 2014, and this year’s Governing the Coastal Commons. He leads the Community Conservation Research Network (, a global initiative that studies and supports local communities engaging in conservation for sustainable livelihoods. Dr. Charles is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a member of the Fisheries Expert Group in IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management, and an advisor to organizations including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the OECD, and the Canadian government. He has sampled chowder in many coastal communities around the Gulf of Maine.



September 29, 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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