Global South Leadership Towards Inclusive Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Ocampo-Ariza, C., Toledo-Hernández, M., Librán-Emid, F., Armenteras, D., Vansynghel, J., Raveloaritiana, E., Arimond, I., Angulo-Rubiano, A., Tscharntke, T., Ramírez-Castañeda, V., Wurz, A. Anders, A., Urbina-Cardona, N., de Vos, A., Devy, S., Westphal, C., Toomey, A., Sheherazade, Chirango, Y., Maas, B. (2023). Global South leadership towards inclusive tropical ecology and conservation. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation.


Strengthening participation of Global South researchers in tropical ecology and conservation is a target of our scientific community, but strategies for fostering increased engagement are mostly directed at Global North institutions and researchers. Whereas such approaches are crucial, there are unique challenges to addressing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the Global South given its socio-economic, cultural and scientific contexts. Sustainable solutions protecting biodiversity in the tropics depend on the leadership of Global South communities, and therefore DEI improvements in the Global South are paramount in our field. Here, we propose ten key actions towards equitable international collaborations in tropical ecology, which, led by Global South researchers, may improve DEI at institutional, national and international levels. At an institutional level, we recommend (1) becoming role models for DEI, (2) co-developing research with local stakeholders, and (3) promoting transparent funding management favouring local scientists. At a national level, we encourage (4) engagement in political actions protecting scientists and their research in tropical countries, (5) participation in improving biodiversity research policies, and (6) devising research that reaches society. At an international level, we encourage Global South researchers in international collaborations to (7) lead and direct funding applications, (8) ensure equitable workloads, and (9) procure equal benefits among national and foreign collaborators. Finally, (10) we propose that Global South leadership in DEI efforts has the most potential for worldwide improvements, supporting positive long-lasting changes in our entire scientific community. Supplementary materials provide this abstract in 18 other languages spoken in the Global South.

DOI: 10.1016/j.pecon.2023.01.002