Seminar by Dr. Helga Rainer

Event Information
Event Date: 
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 - 2:15pm

Dr. Helga Rainer, the Conservation Program Director for the Arcus Foundation, will be giving a seminar on Wednesday 13 July 2016 at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR).

Title: Gorillas and Guerillas: the relevance of protected areas in violent conflict.

Time: 2:15pm - 5:15pm.

Venue: MISR Seminar Room 1.

Papers will be available from MISR Library at a later date.

 Abstract
The role that national parks play in violent conflict has rarely been discussed. Conflict literature focuses on the interaction of specific natural resources on the initiation and perpetuation of war and debate has emphasized the degree to which resource scarcity and abundance are pertinent. The role of space, particularly environmentally-significant areas, in shaping these trajectories has been subject to limited interrogation. Drawing from political economy literature, the presentation will explore the relationship between occupation of these spaces by armed groups and the desire to acquire financial and material resources. Furthermore, by situating the study sites, two national parks in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, within their historical and political context, the paper also investigates linkages to political ecology models. 
 
  
Short bio for Helga Rainer
Dr Helga Rainer is the Conservation Program Director for the Arcus Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation that supports great apes and gibbon conservation and welfare globally. Helga develops the conservation portfolio strategy and leads its implementation. Helga has over 15 years experience in natural resource management, research and project development in Europe, Asia and Africa. Helga has a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Geography and Environment. The title of her thesis is: The Political Ecology and Economy of Protected Areas and Violence: a Case Study of the Conflict of the Kivus in the Democratic Republic of Congo and stemmed from her work with mountain gorilla conservation in the Great Lakes region in the early 2000s. Her PhD thesis forms the basis for the paper to be presented at the MISR Seminar.
 
Helga has also published on issues related to transboundary conservation, offsetting and is currently the lead editor for the  State of the Apes report, the world’s first publication series looking at threats and dangers facing great apes and gibbons in every region where they live.

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