Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 7:00pm

VSH Free Lecture: The Clear Case for Compassionate Conservation: Living in a world where all animals matter by Liv Baker, PhD (Maui)

Humans and other animals are enmeshed in Nature, and all wildlife is impacted by human behavior. Compassionate Conservation is an emerging, multidisciplinary field of science that reimagines our relationship with and responsibility for wild animals by recognizing that we need a conservation ethic that prioritizes the protection of other animals as individuals, valued in their own right, not just as units of populations and species. It seeks to inspire scientifically and ethically sound conservation practice by embodying four core principles:

  1. Help or do no harm: Harms to wild animals should be eliminated and minimized regardless of intention and purpose;
  2. Individuals matter: Individual animals are important to the health of their social groups and populations;
  3. Good labels or no labels: Negative labels (e.g., pest, nuisance) should not be used as they often belie the intrinsic and ecological value of animals, leading to inhumane treatment;
  4. Foster co-existence: Human behaviors should be adopted that promote the sharing of space, and respect for animal wildness.

Dr. Liv Baker is a conservation behaviorist and an expert in wild animal welfare. She researches the role individual, wild animals have in the health of their social groups and populations; exploring the similar patterns of well-being seen across the animal kingdom: that individuals want to hold sway over their lives; that good psychological health and social context matter, and that challenges and positive emotions are integral elements to being alive. Liv’s conservation and welfare research involve a range of animals, including elephants, cetaceans, primates, arachnids, rodents, and macropods. She teaches at Hunter College, USA in the Animal Behavior and Conservation program; is executive director of the Institute for Compassionate Conservation and research director with Mahouts Elephant Foundation, UK. Dr Baker is advisor for Elephant Aid International’s integrative health team, as well as scientific advisor for the Whale Sanctuary Project, and past fellow with the Centre for Compassionate Conservation, Australia.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 7:00pm


Cameron Center,

95 Mahalani St., Wailuku