Conservation and Development Strategies for Biocultural Conservation in the Amazon

LAS 6938
SECTION 1111, CLASS # 14541
FOR 6934

Days: Tuesdays
Times: 5:10 – 8:10 pm
Location: Grinter 376

This course builds on the Governance and Infrastructure in the Amazon (GIA) project carried out by the Tropical Conservation and Development Program in UF’s Center for Latin American Studies in partnership with a pan-Amazon Community of Practice and Learning composed of researchers and practitioners from NGOs, social movements, universities and government agencies in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru (  While GIA focused on governance of infrastructure, the strategies and collaborative approach that it promoted are applicable to other regions and broader themes of environmental justice, sustainable development, climate change and biocultural conservation.  We are using the umbrella term of environmental justice to situate conservation and development strategies within the needs, interests and values of the local populations who are both agents of change and directly impacted.

The goal of this course is to prepare students to research, lead and support the design and implementation of conservation and development strategies, in collaboration with grassroots organizations and local partners, that incorporate the following approaches: 

  • Autonomy and intercultural collaboration
  • Knowledge co-construction
  • Strategic communications
  • Legal and policy approaches
  • Cross-scale strategies

Students in this course will review, assess and expand the lessons learned from the GIA project about effective strategies for infrastructure governance.  Students will carry out a case study throughout the semester to assess how these strategies are being implemented in a specific community or organizational context.  To the extent practicable, the case study will be carried out in dialogue with leaders and/or community members from GIA partner organizations*.  Therefore, Spanish and/or Portuguese language ability will be extremely useful throughout this course; students without these language abilities may be paired with other English-speaking students and/or partners.

* Students with ongoing relationships with communities from other regions may carry out the case study in collaboration with those partners, subject to prior approval.

Bob Buschbacher smallProfessor
Bob Buschbacher
Associate in and Coordinator, Pan-Amazon Infrastructure Governance Community of Practice
Tropical Conservation and Development Program
Center for Latin American Studies

Research Interests
Collaborative management of complex social-ecological systems

Geographic Expertise
Brazil, Peru, Mexico