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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48-60

Centering Communities in Conservation through Asset-Based Quality of Life Planning

1 Field Museum, Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, Illinois, USA
2 Planet, Harrison St., San Francisco, California, USA
3 Legado Initiative, Thorn Hill Rd., Jackson, New Hampshire, USA
4 Northwestern University, Clark St., Evanston, Illinois, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jacob Campbell
Field Museum, Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, Illinois
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_146_21

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Healthy environments are fundamental to the quality of life of communities worldwide. Yet, many efforts to integrate environmental conservation with human well-being have struggled to center local people or failed to be flexible enough to accommodate a diversity of priorities. We present a methodology for community engagement known as Quality of Life (QoL) Planning—a form of rapid assessment, reflection, and consensus-building rooted in community assets. QoL Planning empowers communities to drive the conservation agenda and improve their well-being through conservation. In this paper, we provide an overview of the QoL Planning process and describe some of the positive outcomes it has generated. We compare four case studies from different regions—two in rural communities in Amazonian Peru and two in urban or peri-urban communities in the Chicago region in the United States—and assess some of the major lessons and insights. Lastly, we describe enabling conditions that contribute to the success of QoL Planning and identify important considerations for practitioners interested in implementing the methodology.

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