Audio: An Interview with Rare’s Paul Butler

Rare’s Paul Butler, senior vice president of global programs, was recently interviewed by the Cincinnati National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate. Butler talks about Rare’s work in Indonesia, the Philippines, China and Mexico and about protecting the environment by inspiring community pride.

Paul Butler with campaign mascot Rabita the Rabbitfish

Paul Butler with campaign mascot Rabita the Rabbitfish in the Philippines.

Excerpt from the interview:

Thane Maynard asked Butler, “When I think of Rare I think of community-based education, so that must be a part of your strategy when you say you’re involved in conservation.”

Butler responded, “Exactly. Our focus really is on behavior change, changing people’s behavior from unsustainable resource use to some alternative more sustainable resource use.  So, it might be working with fishing communities in Indonesia or the Philippines encouraging them to set aside and/or respect no-take-zones in order that they can harvest the spill-over and use fish stocks more sustainably.  Or working with farmers in upland watersheds in the Andes working on reciprocal agreements whereby they accept some form of modest compensation for protecting the watersheds paid for by downstream water users. And so really our niche in the conservation community is behavior change. We use social marketing in order to promote that.”

“Really our niche in the conservation community is behavior change. We use social marketing in order to promote that.”

Butler went on to discuss assessing and measuring campaign success in terms of sustainable, meaningful conservation results.  He also described his work in the 1970s on the island of St. Lucia where Butler ran his first Pride campaign, encouraging the people of St. Lucia to take pride in an endangered species unique to their island, the St. Lucia Parrot.  The St. Lucia campaign became the template for hundreds of Pride campaigns around the world.  ”Working with partner organizations, Rare has launched more than 215 Pride campaigns built around the initial premise that if you work with people’s rational and emotional side you can make a difference,” says Bulter. “Behaviors can be changed. Threats can be reduced and conservation can occur.”

The weekly show is hosted by Thane Maynard, the director of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanic Garden.

Listen to the full interview:

http://www.rareconservation.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/040112_NPR_Cincinnatti_PaulButler_FieldNotes.mp3|bg=0x009f96|righticon=0x6fada5|leftbg=0x6fada5|loader=0x6fada5|track=0xffffff|border=0x11598f|slider=0x000000|text=0x11598f|rightbghover=0x009f96