to the platform for paraecologists worldwide
This website is a platform by and for paraecologists and parataxonomists as well as projects, organisations or individuals that work with paraecologists in different parts of the world. The aim of the platform is to facilitate the networking and sharing of information within the paraecologist community but also to discuss and to inform the public about the concepts, aims and methodology of paraecologist programmes.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or contributions. You can find our contact details here.
On behalf of the team,
(University of Hamburg)
About this platform
This website has been initiated by the 20 participants (paraecologists and project coordinators) of an international workshop on paraecologist initiatives which was held in Hamburg in June 2011. More information about that workshop can be found here (PDF).
This website is a platform by and for paraecologists as well as projects, organisations or individuals that work with paraecologists in different parts of the world. The aim of the platform is to facilitate the networking and sharing of information within the paraecologist community but also inform the public about the concepts, aims and methodology of paraecologist programmes.
What is a paraecologist?
A paraecologist is a professional with local knowledge, being largely trained on the job in one or more fields of ecological science. He or she contributes to scientific research and local capacity development as well as enhances communication between local and scientific communities.
This definition was drafted during an international Training School on paraecologist involvement held at Hamburg University / Germany in February 2014. For more information on the training school see here (PDF 670 KB).
For the website, we stick to the term paraecologist. With this term, we explicitly also refer to parataxonomists, biodiversity facilitator and other terms that have been created in this context.
The main objectives of paraecologist approaches are
- Enhancement of communication between land users and scientists for mutual learning: integration of local knowledge into research as well as empowerment of land users to understand, use and implement scientific results in agriculture and forestry
- Environmental education and sensitisation (to develop awareness, win hearts, change minds)
- Improvement of relationships between conservation areas and local communities
- Improvement of livelihoods through development, capacity development and alternative incomes
- Creation of job opportunities; also through the assessment of alternative sources of community livelihoods and capacity development (e.g. training of tour guides)
- Make basic research more efficient (e.g. biodiversity assessment, collection and documentation of organisms, monitoring of biodiversity or livelihood conditions etc.)
- Allow research activities and data collection also during the absence of the scientists
- Share research and other specific site information amongst the different stakeholders whenever necessary
| How to use this website|
The buttons above guide you to further information on different topics, like what paraecologists are, news and events around paraecologists, paraecologist programmes worldwide, personal profiles of paraecologists and resources like publications about paraecologist programmes or their outcomes, training material for paraecologists and videos produced by or in collaboration with paraecologists.