A tool for scientists working with faith communities

Science and faith working together is a major theme for us all the time, but seems to be even more prominent this month. The ever-prolific Bob Sluka has coauthored a paper this month that explores yet another aspect of the relationship between scientists and faith communities.

According to Bob,

This was part of the Society for Conservation Biology’s Religion and Conservation Working group. The paper is free to download and uses case studies to examine a tool for scientists to engage with faith communities. So not specific to Christians, but a few of the case studies are for Christian communities including mine which focuses on our microplastic work in France and Monaco

Find the paper here.

And here’s the abstract:

Recognizing the need to identify ways in which conservation researchers and practitioners can work constructively with faith leaders and communities to conserve biological diversity, the Religion and Conservation Biology Working Group of the Society for Conservation Biology formally launched the Best Practices Project in March 2016 for the purpose of collecting recommendations from SCB members throughout the world. A survey of members in 2016, a forum at the 2016 International Marine Conservation Congress in Newfoundland/Labrador, a symposium, workshop and poster session at the 2017 International Congress for Conservation Biology in Colombia, and an e-mail request to RCBWG members in October 2017 yielded many recommendations that constitute Guidelines for Interacting with Faith-based Leaders and Communities: A Proposal by and for Members of the Society for Conservation Biology published by the SCB in May 2018. Members have been reporting the efficacy of following these guidelines in their projects, and five who worked with different faiths presented their experiences in the field during a symposium at the 2019 ICCB in Malaysia. Abridged versions of their presentations are shared in this article with focus on guidelines that proved most helpful for facilitating conservation-faith collaboration to achieve project goals. Discussed subsequently are ways in which conservationists and faith communities benefited from their joint efforts, reasons why conservationists should consider engaging faith communities in their projects, and impediments to collaboration that must be overcome. The SCB guidelines are listed succinctly, and conservationists are urged to consider using them in their projects.