Governing Bird-Keeping in Indonesia

I have a long standing interest in how to govern nature-based practices that are deeply embedded in culture yet have negative conservation impacts.  In 2005 I assembled a multi-agency team to think creatively about how to govern the hugely popular Indonesia pastime of keeping and competing native songbirds.  The research was funded by the UK Darwin initiative and over a three year period I immersed myself in the bird cultures of the six largest cities of Indonesia.  It was hugely insightful and enjoyable project.  It helped me position western and Indonesian ways of knowing birds, understand the limitations and opportunities of certification approaches and the potential for self-governance. It was during this period that my ideas on ‘situated’ or ‘culturally attended’ modes of conservation came into focus, which I articulated in two articles Towards an Indonesian bird conservation ethos and Saving a species threatened by trade: a network study of Bali starling. For more on this project please visit my university research page.

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