Facilitating coexistence with the Iberian Wolf: lessons from Spain
On the 25th July, Spain took a step forward in facilitating the coexistence with the Iberian wolf among extensive livestock producers. The ‘Declaration of Campo Grande Group‘ was presented in the Royal Botanic Garden (RJB-CSIC) in Madrid, and presents several practical solutions to reduce the conflict between conservationists and farmers.
Facilitating coexistence: a participatory process to find consensus
The conflict between conservations and livestock producers has, in the recent years, threatening both the survival of extensive livestock farming and wolf conservation. To tackle the problem, a working group named “Campo Grande Group” was settled and after a long process of debate and collaborative work, the first set of agreements for the species came to live. The main outcomes of this work are related to the quality of the participatory process itself, as stated by the group facilitators:
Collaboration between sectors helps reduce the conflict with the iberian wolf: the most significant advance is that the parties involved in this conflict have been able to debate freely, in a context of respect, mutual trust, and a will to solve the problem.
Moreover, the formulation and public presentation of the Declaration shows that it is possible to reach viable agreements between heavily confronted sides in such a polarised conflict. Everyone involved in the dialogue has modified his or her initial positions to reach consensus and provide a floor for arrangements. The greatest innovation displayed by this initiative is creating a secure environment for dialogue and negotiation. The availability of such a safe place is a keystone on designing actual management measures and overcoming the constraints arising in the course of its implementation.
The Campo Grande Group (CGG) (the working group got its name after the well-known city park of Valladolid where the meetings are held), has spent almost three years, and numerous work sessions, to deliver the document, pointing its work to reduce the most symbolic of conflicts over the conservation of nature and natural resources in Europe.
The Campo Grande Group is a spanish-wide joint group, which integrates farmers, ecologists, hunters, researchers and wolf specialists, pointing to coexistence between pastoralism and Iberian wolf populations, taking into account the different positions and approaches of its members.
So far, the role of the GCG focused on:
- analysing the current context of confrontation,
- dismantling clichés and commonplaces,
- discussing measures and plans and
- proposing lines of work and coexistence initiatives seeking collaboration, understanding and mutual support among the different actors involved in this situation.
Fundación Entretantos (www.entretantos.org) promoted the initiative in 2016. For more information please contact Pedro M. Herrera: +34 607 425 024.