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I have a degree in veterinary medicine and since the very beginning of my professional career, I have been working with wildlife conservation integrating interdisciplinary groups. I recently started studying human dimensions in conservation conflicts and am deeply interested in addressing my postgraduate studies in this area. I have actively participated in an organisation in a vulnerable neighbourhood in the south of Santiago city in Chile. Over the last five years, we have developed a project to establish a community vegetable garden and implement socio-environmental education. In this context, we have been working with the neighbours, the students from the University of Chile and the professional teams using participatory methodologies. This way of working has been a key component to build a community space of territorial character that contributes to the development of an ecological conscience in an urban context.
Based on this initiative and background, I consider effective communication a critical aspect of veterinarian performance. Animals are present in many aspects of human experience, as pets or working animals. Animals are often central to people’s cultures and religious beliefs. Human interventions have had different effects on wildlife populations, pathogen dynamics and ecosystem processes. Therefore, I think that a change in people’s behaviour is a powerful tool to combat threats to the environment. Furthermore, I believe that valuable knowledge can be obtained from the experience of people that live in direct contact with nature and from the wisdom transmitted inter-generationally. The incorporation of a dialogue between the different forms of knowledge is necessary to bring about the significant change we need to stop nature from deteriorating due to anthropogenic impact.