GEOG5502 Conservation, Development and Sustainability

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit enables students to critically evaluate conservation and development policy at the international and national scale from a range of intellectual standpoints with particular emphasis upon the framework of sustainability. Through a combination of lectures, lectorial discussions, case study analyses and interactive learning sessions, students are exposed to contrasting interpretations and experiences of policies designed to manage, conserve and develop natural resources. These encompass the 'fortress approach' to conservation which favours biodiversity preservation through enforcement, the 'participatory' approach espoused by many practitioners and NGOs which emphasises conservation through sustainable resource usage and the neoliberal approach to conservation which views resource management as an outcome of economic valuation processes. Students are encouraged to critique these approaches using case studies reflecting a variety of political, sociocultural, economic and physical contexts. Through studying the unit, students gain a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of competing conservation discourses and practices and their impacts from the perspectives of different stakeholder groups.
Students are able to (1) understand the range of stakeholders involved in conservation and development policy; (2) appreciate the variety of initiatives designed to achieve conservation and development outcomes at the international and national level; (3) draw upon critical theory to explore and analyse contrasting approaches to conservation and development; and (4) identify, explain and evaluate conservation and/or development policy in a selected case study area.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation and (2) assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Gregory Acciaioli (Anthropology and Sociology) and Dr Julian Clifton (UWA School of Agriculture and Environment)
Unit rules
SOCS5502 Conservation, Development and Sustainability
Contact hours
lectures/discussions: 2 hours per week for 10 weeks

Terborgh, J. Requiem for Nature: Island Press 1999

Articles placed in LMS and optionally available in a unit reader

(These texts are indicative only; by 2017 there may be other texts that are required)

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.