An understanding of trust, identity, and power can enhance equitable and resilient conservation partnerships and processes Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractConservation practitioners regularly engage in partnerships and processes to develop and achieve important conservation goals aimed at alleviating the biodiversity crisis. These processes, and the partnerships needed for success, are subject to complex social dynamics that can result in negative outcomes if not well understood and addressed. As an illustration, a heavy reliance on authoritybased power in a conservation process could lead to alliances with some groups and alienation of others. Such ingroup/outgroup dynamics can prompt threats to one's identity and distrust of others, which may lead to disengagement or active blocking of progress toward goals (e.g., legal action). To support practitioners in addressing the biodiversity crisis, we review key concepts and theory from the literature in relation to how trust, identity, and power operate in the context of conservation partnerships and processes. We further offer a list of considerations for conservation practitioners seeking to codevelop goals that are achievable, equitable, and responsive to the needs of diverse interests, as well as sustainable over time given shifting social and ecological conditions.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 14.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Dietsch, A. M., Wald, D. M., Stern, M. J., & Tully, B.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Dietsch, Alia M||Wald, Dara M||Stern, Marc J||Tully, Brooke

publication date

  • June 2021