In March 2019, the Convivial Conservation (CON-VIVA) research project held its initial project meeting in the Parque Nacional Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. Against the breathtaking backdrop of the Iguaçu Falls, a multinational and multidisciplinary team discussed how the idea of safeguarding peaceful, just coexistence between apex predators and communities can be turned into a reality. CON-VIVA aims to test how ideas of convivial, transformative conservation can be operationalised with jaguars in Brazil, lions in Tanzania, wolves in Finland and bears in California.
The meeting was an opportunity to share visions for the project and start to build connections. A key aspiration is involving local communities and marginalised voices in implementing the project and co-designing convivial approaches in order to move beyond existing approaches to conservation, while placing an emphasis on knowledge exchange with communities and public-facing communications.