RCB Working Group Activities
The RCB Working Group is growing rapidly and looking for new members interested in this interdisciplinary area that spans the two fields of theology and religion and the many aspects of conservation biology. To join see ‘Membership' on this web page.
Growth requires financial support. In this regard the RCB Working Group is soliciting contributions from its members and the broader membership of the SCB. Those interested in supporting the work of the RCB Working Group can send a check made out to the Society for Conservation Biology and designated for the RCBWG.
Lauren Krizel, Administrative Assistant
Society for Conservation Biology
1017 O St NW
Washington, DC 20001-4229 US
The Religion and Conservation Biology Working Group currently maintains three committees. Each committee is guided in its work by a Work Plan. The Work Plans for 2008-2009 are posted below.
Vision: The Outreach Committee strives to cultivate a sense of responsibility and promote action across all levels of society towards conserving the natural environment through beliefs and major religions in the world.
Mission: The Outreach Committee aims to spread awareness of the role of beliefs and religions in the realm of conservation biology. We hope to be a tool to facilitate the exchange of information, developed from the Curriculum Committee, between conservation practitioners in universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and leaders of religious faiths in society and in local communities.
Objective 1: Recruit members into the RCBWG and orient members to RCBWG mission and purpose.
Activity: Recruit members through the SCB and RCBWG listserv and at the SCB annual meetings.
Objective 2: Develop proposals for formal seminars, workshops, and collaborative learning projects for SCB global and RCB meetings.
Activity: Develop proposal for seminars and workshops in conjunction with SCB’s global annual meetings and produce reports based on the outcomes of such seminars and workshops for dissemination and publication.
Objective 3: Initiate and establish open dialogue with religious leaders from a broad array of faith communities.
Activity: Publish an open letter to religious leaders inviting them to dialogue on issues relating religion and conservation biology that affect their faith communities.
Objective 4: Support local efforts which are developing ways to use religion as a tool in promoting environmental values.
Activity: Communicate and network with efforts on the ground which are currently promoting conservation values through religion.
Objective 5: Publish communication materials on the relationship between religion and conservation biology.
Activity: Publish two news articles a year for the SCB Newsletter and one article in the SCB journal Conservation Biology as well as prepare articles for publishing in other popular media such as websites, newspapers and magazines.
Curriculum Committee Work Plan
Mission: The work of the Curriculum Committee of the Religion and Conservation Biology Working Group of the Society for Conservation Biology is international in scope and inclusive in reach. The Committee is charged with (1) developing curricula to help religious institutions and faith communities more fully understand conservation biology and demonstrate how they can participate in conservation and (2) helping SCB members and other conservation professionals understand interactions, barriers, and shared values that separate or link conservation biology and religion.
Work Plan: RCB curricula development has 5 major components: (1) defining and synthesizing the RCB mission and message; (2) identifying and understanding our audience in religious organizations and faith communities; (3) understanding the nature and needs of SCB membership and associated conservation professionals; (4) developing curricula for use by religious institutions and conservation biologists that a) integrate and present concepts of conservation biology in a sequence and format that effectively reaches religious audiences and b) demonstrate ways that knowledge of conservation biology can be used by religious organizations on all levels; and (5) providing information to SCB members and other conservation professionals that enhances understanding and positive interaction at the interface between conservation biology and religion.
Objective 1: This objective is to develop resources that will enable RCB members to address the nature, central themes, findings, and importance of conservation biology for religious institutions and faith communities.
Product: The product(s) for this objective will include, but not be limited to, a reader-friendly summary, in question/answer format, presenting the essence of conservation biology to religious institutions and faith communities, internationally.
Timetable*: References gathered by February, 2009. Product to be ready for dissemination by summer of 2009. Monitoring feedback and making appropriate revisions will be ongoing thereafter.
Objective 2: This objective is to determine the tools of conservation biology that will best serve a broad, international range of religious institutions and faith communities.
Product: The product(s) for this objective will include, but not be limited to, a report or white paper outlining the tools mentioned above with a focus on conservation messages, conservation activities, and lifestyle choices that will best address the needs of religious institutions and faith communities.
Timetable: Product to be ready for dissemination by the December, 2009. Monitoring feedback and making appropriate revisions will be ongoing thereafter.
Objective 3: This objective is to determine the tools and approaches that will best servethe needs of the members of the Society for Conservation Biology and related professionals in interaction with religious institutions and faith communities.
Product: The product(s) for this objective will include, but not be limited to, a report or white paper listing the tools and techniques that can be used to acquaint professional conservation biologists with positions on conservation biology issues held by religious institutions, organizations, and faith communities. These tools/techniques might include printed summaries, syllabi, databases, and publications, among others.
Timetable: Initial paper/report ready for dissemination at SCB meetings, 2009. Other sources of information will be posted on an ongoing basis on the RCB website.
*Note: Timetables are tentative and will rely on securing participation by additional committee members.
The RCB Communication Committee is primarily tasked with support technical responsibilities including:
- Transmission of communications among RCB members
- Assistance in outreach to non-members, and
- Archive and retrieval of information deemed essential by RCB
1. Transmission of communications among RCB members.
RCB membership is global, multilingual, and multicultural. This implies several tasks.
- The RCB relies heavily on electronic communication served by a web site, mailing list, and, possibly, a newsletter.
- The RCB should continue to expand its outreach by communication, where possible, in a multiplicity of languages. Current plans call for presentation of some RCB website material in English, French, Spanish, German, and Chinese. Other languages should also be considered.
- The RCB is currently interacting with all the Regional Sections using the monthly electronic report to members.
2. Assistance in outreach to non-members.
Since Communications is primarily a technical service, the content of communications needs to be guided by the Outreach and Curriculum committees. It is our task to make that content as widely available as possible and to provide means of feedback. A good website provides most of those objectives. It should have information about the working group, contact email addresses, a calendar of activities, links to resources, and opportunities to join both the working group and the mailing list.
3. Archiving and retrieving information
There are two kinds of content that need to be archived and retrieved:
- Administrative Information: e.g., membership, contact information, records of activities and decisions, etc.
- Resource Information: e.g, literature, journals, groups, websites, and related resources.