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Aug 16, 2012

Coastal Zone series for professionals

A Stanford University doctoral candidate has been doing research in conservation practices in Belize for the past few years. During that time, Patrick Gallagher has worked with organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), Ya’axche Conservation and the Green Reef Initiative. But most of his research has simply been talking to people and gauging their responses on issues like the economic benefits from certain natural resources. Today, Gallagher conducted a presentation on his findings at the CZMAI and spoke to News Five about his research.


Patrick Gallagher, Doctoral Candidate, Stanford University

“My research has been looking at changes in practices of conservation here in Belize and in other parts of the world too that start to think about nature as economically valuable. So it’s not just like trees that we would cut down or minerals that we take out of the earth, but functioning eco-systems as being valuable for the services they provide. And I’ve been thinking about how people respond to this idea and how it’s changing the way that people do conservation here in Belize.”


Delahnie Bain 

Patrick Gallagher

“What are some of the key things that you found, particularly for us here in Belize?”


Patrick Gallagher

“Sure, one of the things that I’ve been talking to people here about is how they respond to the idea that things like the Belize barrier reef are worth money. There are studies that say Belize barrier reef produces services like fisheries and tourism that are worth money to us every year. One of the challenges that I think people have in conservation is making the connection between people’s everyday lives and that value. So instead of people being excited about it, sometimes they feel kind of anxious about it because it’s this very valuable economic object out there, but they don’t feel like they’re directly benefiting from it on a day to day basis. So the challenge is to think about ways of talking about what nature does for people in ways that people can relate really effectively to.”


Delahnie Bain

“Alright, so how long have you been working on this research and how did you go about doing it?”


Patrick Gallagher

“I’ve been working in Belize for about three years off and on and I’m from an anthropology background so I use anthropological research methods, which is mostly interviewing, ethnographic observations or just hanging out with people to see the way they talk about things and the way that they feel about things, understanding how things like the reef and nature kind of affects people and their everyday lives.”


Gallagher now has an abundance of data that he intends to compile into useful research documents.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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