Conservation Crossroads

In addition to our core programmes in the coastal and marine sphere, Dakshin and its partner organisations work on issues related to recent and emerging challenges (such as those related to coexistence and conflict) that are critical to conservation success and environmental sustainability in the new millennium. Keeping in line with the cross-cutting nature of the themes of engagement and enquiry, this programme is discipline-agnostic and adopts a diverse range of methods and analytical frameworks and addresses both research and intervention. Broadly placed under the umbrella programme of Conservation Crossroads, the projects currently undertaken at Dakshin can be classified into three broad categories:

i) Coexistence and conflict: which encompasses human-wildlife encounters and interactions that are characterized by a diverse array of engagements located on the continuum between the positive and the negative; this subtheme pays special attention to the unintended consequences of successful conservation, especially that of charismatic
conservation flagships that that pose danger to human lives and livelihoods and works towards identifying pathways for coexistence for a range of species including elephants, crocodile and other large carnivores, snakes, etc.;

ii) Conservation enterprise and innovation: which supports on-the-ground interventions that specifically incorporate elements of enterprise, and innovative interventions that
promote ideas such as coexistence and well-being of local communities and traditional societies that live and work in natural spaces.

iii) Efficient conservation*: which supports decision-making under uncertainty (as opposed to risk) and complexity (e.g. in the context of wicked, messy, ill-defined problems such as conflict), using a range of appropriate methods and analytics including procedural decision rules, network-based order-of-magnitude systems, risk analytics, and policy discovery tools incorporating artificial intelligence and heuristics; an AI lab for conflict resolution is a key outcome that is planned. *We draw on the Aristotelian concept of efficient cause which focuses on the action of agents and the process of change.

Ongoing Projects