The value of listening and listening for values in conservation.

Published online
20 Oct 2021
Published by
British Ecological Society
Content type

Staddon, S. & Byg, A. & Chapman, M. & Fish, R. & Hague, A. & Horgan, K.

Publication language


This paper explores and accounts for the value and role of listening in conservation research and practice; what it does, why it is necessary, how it builds over time, and the spaces and contexts which enable 'deep' listening, leading to reciprocal conversations and meaningful relationships. To that end, both the value of listening - i.e., why it is important for conservation-as well as the need to listen for values - i.e., the role of listening to understand human-nature relationships and values were discussed. What it means to 'listen well' within the context of conservation was explored, highlighting the importance of recognizing listening as a relationship and one's positions and powers within those relationships, the need to care for the relationship through respect and empathy, and the building of inclusive relationships of listening by attending to how space and time influences understanding. Examples of how researchers and practitioners can create spaces for listening were given, illustrating discussion with short personal reflections about listening practices gained through various conservation and research careers.

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