Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 14, pp 3973–3990 | Cite as

The emergence of biodiversity conflicts from biodiversity impacts: characteristics and management strategies

  • Juliette C. YoungEmail author
  • Mariella Marzano
  • Rehema M. White
  • David I. McCracken
  • Steve M. Redpath
  • David N. Carss
  • Christopher P. Quine
  • Allan D. Watt
Original Paper


Conflicts between the conservation of biodiversity and other human activities occur in all habitats and can impact severely upon socio-economic and biological parameters. In a changing environment, with increasing pressure on ecosystem goods and services and increasing urgency for biodiversity conservation, these conflicts are likely to increase in importance and magnitude and negatively affect biodiversity and human well-being. It is essential, however, to better understand what is meant by ‘biodiversity conflicts’ in order to develop ways to manage these effectively. In view of the complexity of the social and ecological contexts of conflicts, this paper explores ‘biodiversity impacts’ linked to agricultural, forestry and other sectoral activities in the UK. The paper then describes the transition from ‘biodiversity impacts’ to ‘biodiversity conflicts’, illustrating this concept with specific examples. While generalisations relating to conflict management are made difficult by their unique contextual settings, this paper suggests approaches for their management, based on the experiences of scientists who have been involved in managing conflicts. We consider the role of science and scientists; trust and dialogue; and temporal and spatial scales in biodiversity conflicts and highlight the combined role they play in successful biodiversity conflict management. Recommendations are also made for future research on biodiversity conflicts in a changing environment.


Agriculture Biodiversity conflicts Biodiversity impacts Conflict management Conservation policy Forestry Livelihoods Participation Predator management Sustainability 



This paper is based on the results of a pilot systematic review funded by DEFRA’s Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) Objective B (environment) programme and builds on the results of the BIOFORUM project (European Biodiversity Forum—Implementing the Ecosystem Approach—Project EVK2-CT-1999-2006). This research was informed by Project 3b of the UK Population Biology Network, Sustainable Livelihoods Programme, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. The authors wish to thank all participants of the BIOFORUM project for their expertise and support. Finally, the authors wish to thank Alice Broome, Adam Vanbergen and an anonymous reviewer for their useful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliette C. Young
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariella Marzano
    • 2
  • Rehema M. White
    • 3
  • David I. McCracken
    • 4
  • Steve M. Redpath
    • 5
  • David N. Carss
    • 1
  • Christopher P. Quine
    • 2
  • Allan D. Watt
    • 1
  1. 1.NERC Centre for Ecology and HydrologyBush EstatePenicuikUK
  2. 2.Forest Research, Centre for Human and Ecological SciencesForest Research Northern Research StationRoslin, MidlothianUK
  3. 3.School of Geography and Geosciences, Irvine BuildingUniversity of St AndrewsSt Andrews, FifeUK
  4. 4.Land Economy & Environment Research GroupScottish Agricultural CollegeAuchincruive, AyrUK
  5. 5.Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability (ACES)University of Aberdeen & Macaulay InstituteAberdeenUK

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