Bas Verschuuren is an assistant professor focussing on the role of human-nature relations in the management and governance of nature and cultural heritage in area-based conservation. Conceptual and theoretical areas of interest include: political ontology; cultural anthropology, phenomenology and ethnography.
His research is applied, participatory and co-constructed with local communities, Indigenous peoples, conservation experts, NGOs and governments. He has worked extensively in Northern Australia, Ghana, Guatemala, Iceland and Mongolia with shorter engagements in many other countries.
Key themes covered across human-nature relations are:
- Creating “Common Ground” among conservation actors with different lived realities
- Cultural and spiritual significance of nature in the governance and management of protected areas
- The governance, practices and beliefs of sacred natural sites in nature conservation
- Indicators and policies for community well-being in biocultural landscapes
- Faith-based conservation, Indigenous and Community-based conservation
- Nature culture interactions/dichotomies (including: biocultural diversity, naturecultures and sociocultural systems).
Bas has published over 40 book chapters and journal articles as well as five edited books on human-nature interactions. He is handling editor for: PARKS, The International Journal on Protected Areas and Conservation, Frontiers - Conservation and he reviews for several scientific journals.
Courses Bas currently teaches in are: Governance for Forests Nature and Conservation (BSc. FNP-24306), Decision-Making in Forest and Nature Management: theory and practice (MSc. FNP-31306). Bas has previously taught in courses in; environmental sciences, regional management, environmental anthropology, heritage studies and methodology for sociology and anthropology.
Complementary to his teaching and research, Bas consults for international conservation organisations such as IUCN and UNESCO. He serves as a co-chair to the IUCN WCPA Specialist group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas (www.csvpa.org) is the co-founder of the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative (www.sacrednaturalsites.org), a member of EarthCollective (www.earthcollective.net) and The RCB religion and Conservation Working Group.
Film Clip on Culture, Conservation and Spirituality: