Sustainability Research in Spotlight: Involving people into conservation practices can benefit both people and nature

Geethanjali Mariaselvam does research on finding ways to motivate people for conservation of biodiversity in protected areas.

Involving people into conservation practices can benefit both people and nature  

Geethanjali Mariaselvam is a researcher and HELSUS member who wants to solve problems around biodiversity loss. She reflects her research on the situation in India. Only five percent of the geographical area in India is protected areas and it is clear that more conservation areas are needed.  

Geethanjali is inspired to find new ways to motivate people for conservation of biodiversity.  

“Conservation matter was previously done by just command and control methods but nowadays there is more interest on participatory conservation,” she explains.  

Involving more people into conservation is important and people should get benefits from it, too, which creates more motivation for conservation practices. Geethanjali believes this would be one way to increase the protected areas, since people may be willing conserve areas owned by them. 

“Conserving the areas should not be based on forcing, but on motivation”, she says.   

Geethanjali is looking for innovative solutions in her research. Now she is studying the payments of ecosystem services around the globe and trying to see whether such mechanisms can work in India. She works in the Indian Forest Service and has seen the conflicts with conservation and development. She believes research has the potential to feed into policies and management strategies in the future.

See more on the video!

HELSUS Research in Spotlight – new video series!  

HELSUS Research in Spotlight video series aims at opening up what sustainability research can be about. Sustainability science is inter- and transdisciplinary field of research covering a variety of research topics, approaches, and theories. The new HELSUS video series gives a voice to sustainability scientists and different perspectives of sustainability. We start with eight videos in which HELSUS members introduce their valuable research. In the following weeks, we will introduce one researcher and research per week. We hope that these videos enlighten your autumn and give food for thought!