Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


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.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

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.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

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
2 hours per week

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 one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.