University of Technology, Sydney


Compassionate Conservation

The Centre for Compassionate Conservation

Established in 2013, the Centre for Compassionate Conservation is an innovative research, education and advisory centre based at the University of Technology, Sydney. It is the first Centre in the world that explicitly focuses on improving the welfare of wild animals using a Compassionate Conservation approach. Compassionate Conservation is a growing international movement that seeks to build the welfare of individual animals into conservation practice.

The Centre supports the advancement and unification of animal welfare and conservation in Australia and internationally through providing leadership in the area of Compassionate Conservation. We use a multidisciplinary approach to link researchers and practitioners and NGO’s to find new solutions to complex environmental problems that can benefit both human society and wildlife.

We aim to rigorously research and deliver practical solutions to current national and international challenges involving human-wildlife conflict, law and policy,  wildlife trade, conservation of endangered species and their habitats, and the wellbeing of wild animals. It will achieve this by promoting change, acceptance and education in Compassionate Conservation to reduce the intended and unintended harms to wildlife.

At the core of the Centre is a multidisciplinary group of researchers from the School of Environment, Institute of Sustainable Futures, Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  This research team engages in collaborative research, teaching programmes and community education and outreach.

The Centre also draws upon an established network of researchers and practitioners from across Australia and internationally, providing substantial expertise and research capacity. These Academic Members come from a variety of Australian and international institutions and are engaged in fieldwork, advocacy and research across a range of disciplines.

The Centre also works with an expanding group of Institutional members that are leaders in the areas of animal welfare or conservation. These include Voiceless – the Animal Protection Institute, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Born Free Foundation.

By conducting peer reviewed and innovative research the Centre will fill knowledge gaps and find practical ways to improve the welfare and protection of wildlife. Our core research competence lie in conservation science and the welfare of wild animals, tackling a wide range of human-wildlife conflicts around the globe, but will also incorporate areas such ethics, corporate social responsibility, social science, and environmental and animal law.

What is Compassionate Conservation?

The growing international movement of Compassionate Conservation represents a paradigm shift by incorporating ethics and animal welfare into contemporary conservation practice to improve conservation outcomes. Wildlife conservation and animal welfare sciences share the common goal of preventing harm to wildlife. By bringing these sciences it becomes possible to find new ways to conserve and protect species and ecosystems in a way that has less impact on the welfare of individual animals.

International research in this area is beginning to explore frameworks for their unification, but examples are still few on the ground. More research is needed to explore how good welfare outcomes for wild animals can be gained.