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What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Biodiversity Conservation in the Anthropocene?

George Holmes

Planetary changes associated with the Anthropocene challenge longestablished ideas and approaches within biodiversity conservation, such as wilderness, wildness, native and exotic species, species and ecosystem diversity, and what counts as success in biodiversity conservation. This article reviews and analyzes how the Anthropocene is being used within the literature on biodiversity conservation. It finds that the idea of a new epoch has been used to frame a broad range of new approaches and concepts to understanding and stemming the loss of biodiversity. These new ideas are diverse and sometimes contradictory, embracing a range of ethical values and positions. Yet the term Anthropocene is not widely used within the biodiversity conservation literature. Despite the cross-disciplinary nature of the Anthropocene, interdisciplinary research on these new concepts and approach is rare, and the insights of the humanities are almost entirely absent. Debates about conservation in the Anthropocene are a continuation of long-running controversies within conservation, such as how it should relate to human development, and over the concept of wilderness. Overall, this review demonstrates that the literature on biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene is not well established, is both diverse and new, while echoing longstanding debates in conservation, and it indicates the direction such literature might take in future.

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Nuevos paradigmas en la gestión de esquemas de conservación en México

Carolina Álvarez-Peredo and Armando Contreras-Hernández

.). Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. Bruner , A. G. , Gullison , R. E. , Rice , R. E. , & da Fonseca , G. A. B. ( 2001 ). Effectiveness of parks in protecting tropical biodiversity . Science 291 ( 5501 ), 125 – 128 . https

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Making Up for Lost Nature?

A Critical Review of the International Development of Voluntary Biodiversity Offsets

Sarah Benabou

This article analyzes the international development of voluntary biodiversity offsets, a conservation instrument that permits developers to pursue their activities if conservation actions are undertaken elsewhere to compensate for the environmental impacts of their projects. Largely undertaken by extractive industries that operate in the global South where no offsetting regulations exist, this tool is currently attracting growing interest from policy makers, private companies, financial institutions, and conservation experts. Building upon the concept of market framing developed by Callon (1998), I explore in what contexts and through what processes this idea has gathered momentum, as well as the disturbing gap between the way it has been framed and its practical implementation. It is suggested that once immersed in the outside world, the market framing of offsets appears as a fragile result dependent upon substantial investments, which casts serious doubts about offsets' ability to reduce biodiversity loss on technical, governance, and social grounds.

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Shared Meals and Food Fights

Geographical Indications, Rural Development, and the Environment

Fabio Parasecoli and Aya Tasaki

The article highlights relevant issues within the global debate on geographical indications, as they relate to food products. Geographical indications, a form of intellectual property designated by considering principally the place of origin of products, have become a hot topic among producers, activists, economists, and politicians worldwide. Commercial and legal issues related to them have generated complex negotiations in international organizations and national institutions, while their cultural aspects have stimulated theoretical debates about the impact of global trade on local identities. Geographical indications could become a valid tool to implement community-based, sustainable, and quality-oriented agriculture, depending on the sociopolitical environment and whether they are relevant for the producers involved, affordable in terms of administrative and management costs, and applicable on different scales of production. The article also explores the environmental impact of geographical indications and their potential in ensuring the livelihood of rural communities in emerging economies and promoting sustainable agricultural models.

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Actually existing tomatoes

Politics of memory, variety, and empire in Latvian struggles over seeds

Guntra A. Aistara

In March 2012, a small farm in Latvia with a collection of over 200 tomato varieties was charged with the illegal sale of seeds not included in the European Union's Common Catalogue. The farm's collection includes traditional Latvian varieties that have never been officially registered, Western varieties imported illegally during the Soviet years, and Russian varieties that came into use during the Soviet years and are now defended by Latvian gardeners as "traditionally grown" and representing the taste of their childhoods. The debate highlighted the continuing struggle over Latvia's geopolitical positioning between Russia and the European Union and control over seeds as a tactic of empire. I explore the cultural memories embedded in the contested tomato seeds and how they contribute to an intertwined imaginary of the Latvian landscape idyll with a Soviet sociality. I argue that the innovative resolution to this conflict represents a process of transculturation in a contact zone between empires (Pratt 1992).

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From Invasive to Iconic

A New Cultural Typology of Introduced Species

Clayton Fordahl


Recent years have seen a shift in the social scientific study of introduced species. Social scientists have shown that popular interpretations vary beyond the critical, invasive frameworks and include more celebratory or welcoming responses. Yet this research has taken the form of case studies. This has limited comparative inquiry. In response, this article develops a typology of sociocultural responses to introduced species by nonspecialists. The article then discusses major forms of collective meaning-making that go into creating these different cultural types.

Free access

Policy innovation through local, sustainable development evaluation

Harlan Koff, Citlalli Alheli González H., Edith Kauffer, and Carmen Maganda

–20 November 2022. This was followed from 7–19 December 2022 by the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montréal, Canada, and the UN-Water Summit at UN Headquarters in New York City from 22–24 March 2023. Of these three events, the Biodiversity Summit made the most

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Feathered Roots and Migratory Routes: Immigrants and Birds in the Anthropocene

J. Cristobal Pizarro and Brendon M. H. Larson

Despite extensive research charting the ecological value of biodiversity and its contribution to human well-being ( MA 2005 ), we have made comparatively less progress unraveling and detailing its sociocultural functions ( Winthrop 2014 ). Moreover

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Parks, Proxies, and People

Ideology, Epistemology, and the Measurement of Human Population Growth on Protected Area Edges

David M. Hoffman

The epistemic community of conservation biology has a normative and epistemological engagement with human population growth and biodiversity conservation on the edges of protected areas (PAs). This article unpacks how this epistemic community frames

Open access

Towards a Sustainable Society

Considerations from a Natural Science Perspective

Frans W. Saris

convinced we can feed ten billion mouths (WUR n.d.), but how we feed the world without devouring the planet is a demanding issue that will be addressed in the section “Biodiversity and Food.” Can we mitigate the energy and climate crisis as well as the food