Helen Newing


My broad interest is in people-centred approaches to conservation and the environment that are based on sound interdisciplinary perspectives and robust methodological tools, and that are consistent with a rights-based approach. My work focuses principally (but not exclusively) on tropical forest regions.

In the past I have worked both in the NGO sector and as an academic. I held a lectureship in Conservation Social Science at the University of Kent from 1999 to 2015, and during this time I became passionate about building social science expertise amongst conservationists. I published the first textbook in this field in 2012.

Currently I work mainly as a policy consultant. I also teach social science methods and research design to conservationists whenever and wherever I am invited to do so.

I have a BSc in Zoology and Psychology from Reading University and a PhD in the behavioural ecology of duikers (African forest antelopes) from the University of Stirling.

Research Interests

My principal research interests as as follows:

People-centred approaches to conservation. Specific themes on which I have worked include:

  • Collaborative and participatory approaches to natural resource management;
  • Conservation and rights perspectives;
  • Protected areas governance, especially Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs);
  • The role of local communities in voluntary environmental and social standards.


Interdisciplinary approaches to conservation.

At a theoretical level I am very interested in the nature of interdisciplinarity and the processes by which new disciplines emerge and evolve (especially the emerging discipline of conservation science). More practically I am passionate about the need to build social science skills and understanding in the conservation sector and to develop cross-disciplinary understanding, not only with natural scientists but also with social scientists working in the development sector.


November 2018 – present: Application of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach at landscape and jurisdictional scales: development of global guidance. High Conservation Value Research Network (HCVRN). (https://www.hcvnetwork.org/)

2017- present: Social Requirements for the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA). Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) (http://www.forestpeoples.org/en/about)

Selected Publications

Newing, H. 2011. Conducting Research in Conservation: A Social Science Perspective. Routledge. 376 pages. ISBN 978-0-415-45792-7.

FPP / UN CBD. 2016. Local Biodiversity Outlooks: Summary and Conclusions. Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Contributions to the Implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. https://www.cbd.int/gbo/gbo4/publication/lbo-en.pdf.

Acha de la Presa, A. and Newing, H. 2015. Cork Oak Landscapes, Promised or Compromised Lands? A Case Study of a Traditional Cultural Landscape in Southern Spain. Human Ecology 43(4): 601-611.

Monterrubio Solis, C and Newing, H. 2013. Experiences with official recognition of ICCAs: the case of El Cordon del Reten in the eastern zone of  San Miguel Chimalapa, Oaxaca. Pp. 63-82 in Porter-Bolland, L., Ruiz-Mallen, I and Martin, G (Eds), Community Action for Conservation: Mexican Experiences. Springer. ISBN: 978-1-4614-7955-0 (Print) 978-1-4614-7956-7 (Online).

Newing, H. 2012. Recognition and Support of ICCAs in England. In: Kothari, A. with Corrigan, C., Jonas, H., Neumann, A., and Shrumm, H. (eds). Recognising and Supporting Territories and Areas Conserved By Indigenous Peoples And Local Communities: Global Overview and National Case Studies. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Technical Series no. 64.

Ashayeri, S. and Newing, H. 2012. Meat, markets, pleasure and revenge: multiple motivations for hunting in Bamu National Park, Fars Province, Iran. Parks 18.1: 125-133.

Newing, H.S. 2010. Bridging the gap: interdisciplinarity, biocultural diversity and conservation. Pp 23-40 in: Pretty, J and Pilgrim, S. Eds. Nature and Culture: Rebuilding lost connections. Earthscan. 17 pages. ISBN 978-1-84407-821-9.

Newing, H. 2009. Unpicking ‘community’ in community conservation: implications of changing settlement patterns and individual mobility for the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Communal Reserve, Peru”. In Alexiades, M.N. (Ed), Ethnobiology of mobility, displacement and migration in indigenous lowland South America.  Studies in Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology Series, Berghahn: New York.  17 pages, ISBN 9781845455637.

Newing, H and Bodmer, R. 2004. Collaborative Wildlife Management and adaptation to change: the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Communal Reserve, Peru. Nomadic Peoples 7(1): 110-122. 12 pages. ISSN 0822-7942.

Newing, H. and St John, FAV 2013 Wildlife conservation and recall accuracy – but is it recall of hunting, of cooking or of eating? Animal Conservation ISSN 1367-9430 doi:10.1111/acv.12092.

Newing, H.S. 2010. Interdisciplinary training in environmental conservation: definitions, progress and future directions. Environmental Conservation 37(4): 410-418.

Newing, H. 2007. Social impacts of industrial logging concessions: effects on forest user rights. Pp. 58-68 in Concessions to Poverty: the environmental, social and economic imp[acts of industrial logging concessions in Africa’s rainforests. Forests Monitor / Rainforest Foundation UK. https://rightsandresources.org/en/publication/concessions-to-poverty-the-environmental-social-and-economic-impacts-of-industrial-logging-concessions-in-africas-rainforests/#.W9GzBPZReUk

Newing, H, Pinker, A and Leake, H (Eds). 2005. Our knowledge for our survival: traditional forest related knowledge and the implementation of related international commitments. IAITPTF, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Two volumes.

Newing, H and Bodmer, R. 2004. Collaborative Wildlife Management and adaptation to change: the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Communal Reserve, Peru. Nomadic Peoples 7(1): 110-122. 12 pages. ISSN 0822-7942.

Newing, H and Wahl, L. 2004. Benefiting local populations? Communal reserves in Peru. Cultural Survival Quarterly 28(1): 38-41. ISSN 0740-3291.

Newing, H. 2001. Bushmeat hunting and management: implications of duiker ecology and interspecific competition. Biodiversity and Conservation.10 (1): 99 – 108. 9 pages. ISSN 0960-3115.

Supervised PhD Projects

Meed Mbidzo (2016): Co-management of wildlife and forestry resources in Namibia: Implications for governance, livelihoods and natural resource management.

Erika Ikemoto (2016): Agroforestry, innovation and protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon.

Constanza Monterrubio (2015): Community Conserved Areas versus Private Protected Areas: differences in policy and practical implications for communities and biodiversity conservation.

Olivia Swinscow-Hall (2012): Navigating moral dilemmas: participatory development among the egalitarian BaAka of the Central African Republic. (ESRC CASE studentship with Forest Peoples’ Programme).

Emily Caruso (2012): Being at the Centre: Self and Empire among Ene Ashaninka People in Peruvian Amazonia. (ESRC CASE studentship with Rainforest Foundation UK).

Laura Penn (2005): An exploration of zoo theatre’s contribution to the directives of zoos: a case study from the Central Park Zoo in New York.