Dingo singing: the howl of the advocateAngela Wardell-Johnson A C , Clare Archer-Lean B and Jennifer Carter B
A Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia.
B University of the Sunshine Coast, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs, Qld 4556, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Conservation Biology - https://doi.org/10.1071/PC17036
Submitted: 12 September 2017 Accepted: 5 February 2018 Published online: 13 March 2018
World Heritage protected areas are increasingly valuable for civil society. Sectors of broader society can feel invested in such areas and engage in forms of conservation advocacy that challenge traditional formal management. Advocacy is found wherever management decisions are negotiated or contested, revealing sharp divides in positions. But there are also opportunities for partnerships in advocacy. Identifying the narrative details of advocacy positions is crucial but complicated when the parties being represented are non-human animals, plant species or broader environments: they depend on the advocate’s voice as they cannot speak in any literal sense. Thus advocates discussed in this paper are those representing scientific decision-frames: managers and scientists. Both groups frequently draw on empirical research, giving primacy to the proof of scientific voice. In this research we presented methods to build interdisciplinary literacy to move beyond traditional categorical analysis. Semantic mapping was applied to identify narrative themes as the basis for close textual analysis in a specific case study: advocacy on behalf of the K’gari-Fraser Island dingo. We differentiated three critical pillars of wisdom – Indigenous, local and scientific – but here only considered the advocacy positions within the scientific knowledge decision-making community. Thus, we compared positions taken by the formal management community (government managers) with positions taken in the scientific research community (academic researchers). Narrative themes in advocacy agendas and metaphorical strategies taken to frame positions identify differences and common ground for the two groups. Management advocacy was premised on limits to human–dingo interaction while science advocacy called for dingo welfare. The synergy was tourists, defined as the greatest threat to dingo welfare and viability. This common ground provides an effective starting point to support dingo interests. Identifying options and constraints in advocacy positions is crucial for the future of dingoes on K’gari, but also for all people who engage with World Heritage values. Implicitly, this paper defends the place of advocacy in scientific discussion. By exploring potential options for negotiation, conservation outcomes that support contested iconic species in a World Heritage context are more likely.
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