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Extractive Conservation

Peasant Agroecological Systems as New Frontiers of Exploitation?

Anne Cristina de la Vega-Leinert and Peter Clausing

Our title may sound provocative. How can conservation, the purpose of which is to protect Nature from degradation, be associated with extraction, that is, the exploitation of natural resources? This statement is a paradox in a paradigm that

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Kate Pride Brown

concentrated urban population. Managers of these systems have implemented different types of water conservation strategy to augment their supply portfolio as they attempt meet the expected growing demand. These municipalities have met with varying levels of

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A Crystal Ball for Forests?

Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term

Daniel C. Miller, Pushpendra Rana, and Catherine Benson Wahlén

International conservation and development policy is awash in indicators. In 2000, the eight United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals included 18 targets with 60 indicators ( UN 2008 ). Fifteen years later, the UN’s 2030 Agenda for

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Rebecca Hardin

Relationships emerging between corporate actors and environmental conservation organizations range from partnerships in field operations to gifts brokered at the upper echelons of corporate and nongovernmental organization (NGO) management. Drawing on Mauss’s original formulation of “the gift,” I consider the social consequences and contexts of these relationships, over various territorial and temporal scales. I argue that recent critiques of conservation NGOs for having “sold out” to corporate interests obscure a more nuanced view of such relationships, their roots in the history of wildlife conservation under colonial circumstances, and their connections to new modes of hybrid environmental governance. These latter include transformations in corporate practice vis-à-vis consumer preference, processes of certification, and educational impacts on professional training for industry personnel, as well as the adoption by many NGOs of terminologies and planning processes from the corporate world. These relational norms and institutional transformations make any oversimplified notion of corporate responsibility insufficient with respect to environmental sectors.

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Hunting for Justice

An Indigenous Critique of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

Lauren Eichler and David Baumeister

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (hereafter NAM) is an umbrella term for a set of conservation policies and principles that has in recent decades become the prevailing doctrine within US and Canadian wildlife protection and

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Marja Spierenburg, Conrad Steenkamp, and Harry Wels

The Great Limpopo is one of the largest Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) in the world, encompassing vast areas in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. The TFCA concept is embraced by practically all (international) conservation agencies. The rationale for the support is that the boundaries of ecosystems generally do not overlap with those of the nation-state. Their protection requires transnational cooperation. By arguing that local communities living in or close to TFCAs will participate and benefit economically, TFCA proponents claim social legitimacy for the project. However, analysis shows that communities first have to live up to rigid standards and requirements set by the international conservation authorities, before they are considered ‘fit’ to participate. Communities attempt to resist this type of marginalization by forming alliances with (inter)national development and human rights NGOs, with mixed results.

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The Anthropocene Trading Zone

The New Conservation, Big Data Ecology, and the Valuation of Nature

Lizzy Hare

The Anthropocene has been a generative concept in recent years and its influence can be felt across a wide range of fields. New Conservation and big data ecology are interrelated trends in ecology and conservation science that have been influenced by the technological developments and social concerns of the yet-to-be ratified Anthropocene epoch. Advocates of these ideas claim that they will revolutionize conservation science and practice, however they share many of the same underlying economic metaphors as the frameworks they seek to replace. The use of economic concepts, such as value, allows ecological science to be made legible outside of scientific communities, but that legibility places limitations on the possibilities for thinking about conservation outside of a market-based framework. If there is to be a threshold moment for new ecological thought, it will need to overcome the ideological limitations of valuation.

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Spiritual Beliefs and Ecological Traditions in Indigenous Communities in India

Enhancing Community-Based Biodiversity Conservation

Maria Costanza Torri and Thora Martina Herrmann

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From time immemorial, local and indigenous communities in India have developed traditions, representations, and beliefs about the forest and biodiversity. The cultural practices and beliefs of a community play a significant role in enhancing community-based initiatives, particularly in achieving sustainability in the long term. Nevertheless, too often conservation policies do not take into consideration the link between the culture of local communities and their environment. A comprehensive understanding of the relationship between cultural traditions and practices related to biodiversity and their current status and manifestations is crucial to the concept of effective and sustainable conservation policy. This article examines the traditional practices of the communities in the Sariska region (Rajasthan, India) as well as their beliefs and their values, underlining the special relationship that these tribal and indigenous communities maintain with the forest and their usefulness in community-based conservation. Some conclusive remarks on the importance of adapting conservation approaches to local cultural representations of the environment will be drawn.

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Samuel Awuah-Nyamekye

The rate of depletion of plants and animal species in Ghana has assumed an alarming dimension, and the government is finding it difficult to control the process. Several factors account for this. A major one is the neglect of the traditional ecological knowledge prevalent in the culture of Ghana. Sasa is the Akan word for the spirit believed to be found in some plants and animals. This paper examines the role of sasa in flora and fauna conservation in Ghana. Traditional Ghanaians have a strong belief that some plants and animals have special spirits, which when cut (as in the case with plants) or killed (animals) can bring serious harm to the person. Thus, such plants and animals are not eliminated. This paper argues that sasa as an Akan indigenous conservation tool can complement the modern means of nature conservation in Ghana.

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The Afterlives of Degraded Tropical Forests

New Value for Conservation and Development

Jenny E. Goldstein

An extensive body of research in the natural and social sciences has assessed the social, economic, and ecological causes of tropical forest degradation and forests' subsequent reduction in value. This article, however, takes the afterlives of degraded forests as its point of departure to ask how they are being reconsidered as valuable through conservation and development potential. Through a critical review of recent biophysical and social science literature on tropical forest degradation, this article first assesses the definitional and methodological foundations of tropical forest degradation. It then suggests that recent scholarship on the reincorporation of waste and wasteland into capitalist circuits of production offers one route to consider the value of degraded forests. Finally, this article reviews some of the ways in which these tropical forests are being considered economically and/or ecologically valuable through current conservation and developmental trajectories.