The research and practice of integrating conservation and development: Self-reflections by researchers on methodologies, objectives and influence

Authors Pasgaard, M.; Dawson, N.; Rasmussen, L.Vang; Enghoff, M.; Jensen, A.
Year of Publication 2016
Type of Publication Journal Article
Journal Global Ecology and Conservation
Volume 9
Pagination 50-60
Open Access Yes


This study examines the application of mixed-method and participatory approaches to conservation and development research. Both approaches were applied in a research project on the relationship between ecosystem governance and the wellbeing of local communities adjacent to a protected area in Laos. By encouraging four of the involved field researchers to reflect upon and expose their practical approaches as scientific experts (in terms of methodologies, objectives, reliability of results and research influence), this article aims to improve our learning from research practice and to promote reflexivity in research. The reflexive study presented here emphasizes the social and political context or real world situation against which research outputs can and should be evaluated, and retrospectively sheds light on the barriers to reach research objectives. In essence, the article addresses the relation between science and policy, and underlines the political undercurrent of conservation and development research in facilitating institutional change. The article outlines the very role of researchers in developing conservation policies, and provides a foundation for institutions and individual researchers to promote critical and constructive self-reflections in scientific practices.