Book

The Conservation Revolution: Radical Ideas for Saving Nature beyond the Anthropocene (w/ Bram Büscher). London: Verso Books.

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Abstract

Conservation needs a revolution. This is the only way it can contribute to the drastic transformations needed to come to a truly sustainable model of development. The good news is that conservation is ready for revolution. Heated debates about the rise of the Anthropocene and the current ‘sixth extinction’ crisis demonstrate an urgent need and desire to move beyond mainstream approaches. Yet the conservation community is deeply divided over where to go from here. Some want to place ‘half earth’ into protected areas. Others want to move away from parks to focus on unexpected and ‘new’ natures. Many believe conservation requires full integration into capitalist production processes. Building a razor-sharp critique of current conservation proposals and their contradictions, Büscher and Fletcher argue that the Anthropocene challenge demands something bigger, better and bolder. Something truly revolutionary. They propose convivial conservation as the way forward. This approach goes beyond protected areas and faith in markets to incorporate the needs of humans and nonhumans within integrated and just landscapes. Theoretically astute and practically relevant, The Conservation Revolution offers a manifesto for conservation in the twenty-first century—a clarion call that cannot be ignored.
... The social nature literature helps us here, but it also points to an important contradiction by illustrating a number of the dangers of believing in an authentic nature, the most significant of which is the way that 'authentic nature' is often defined in opposition to human culture, such that humans are not seen to be a part of nature. In the context of the Anthropocene, in which human influence over the nonhuman world is profound, such a view of nature leaves us with little room to respond (Buscher and Fletcher, 2020). ...
... In their 'Manifesto for Abundant Futures', Collard et al. (2015) contemplate what a turn towards the Anthropocene means for conservation. One approach adopted by conservation groups accepts the premise of the social construction of nature, and is referred to as the 'postnatural' approach (see also Buscher and Fletcher, 2020). These conservation groups follow the path of the social construction of nature literature to suggest that nature can no longer be considered to have a plausible baseline to return to. ...
... The Zoo itself has a mandate to encourage the protection of polar bears and many of the tourist companies in Churchill reflect the need to provide education and protection for polar bears. In addressing this question, we suggest that not only is it important to consider the learning of the tourists, but also to reflect on the ways in which the experiences are tied to the larger trend of postnatural conservation, which has a growing debate attached to it (Buscher and Fletcher, 2020;Collard et al., 2015). ...
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Within nature-based tourism research, authenticity has received a great deal of attention in relation to existential authenticity and in examining the authenticity of experiences. Yet very little research exists that explores the ways in which tourists perceive wildlife as more or less authentic, as objects in nature-based tourism discourses. This qualitative case study research explores visitors’ perspectives in relation to polar bear tourism in Churchill, Manitoba (in situ) and at the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s ‘Journey to Churchill’ exhibit (ex situ) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The ‘Journey to Churchill’ exhibit was built with the intention of representing aspects of the landscape, wildlife and town-site found in and around Churchill, Manitoba. These two sites provide a unique opportunity to compare in situ and ex situ nature-based tourism experiences, since the sites have similar elements such as wildlife species, landscape features and other contextual factors (such as environmental issues and cultural influence). The findings from this research suggests that perceived authenticity of the polar bears, more than the experience, contributes to the construction of learning experiences about climate change. We review the work of authenticity in nature-based tourism and suggest a rethinking of the work of authenticity for both educators and operators in nature tourism. This research has important implications for better understanding how visitors construct their perceptions of authenticity of wildlife and the implications for the ways in which wildlife tourism experiences and authenticity narratives are constructed in Anthropocene tourism.
... Critics have argued that the success of protected areas conservation in some cases relies on unjust practices, especially when it involves the relocation of people or restricting their access to ecological and cultural resources. By contrast, large carnivore reintroductions and recoveries (LCRRs) reflect a broader paradigm shift in conservation theory and practice, which examines the possibilities for people and wildlife to coexist in shared spaces (Buscher and Fletcher, 2020). Improving our understanding of justice in its many forms is a critical missing piece in establishing this new conservation paradigm. ...
... In many cases, protected areas inordinately impact vulnerable groups like Indigenous peoples, forest peoples, immigrants, hunters, and other rural folk who may have used the land for centuries or millennia (Nelson, 2003;Colchester, 2004;Igoe, 2006;Schmidt-Soltau and Brockington, 2007;Agrawal and Redford, 2009;Dowie, 2009;Holmes, 2014;Kelly and Gupta, 2016). These revelations have encouraged a perception that biodiversity conservation and social justice cannot be reconciled (Shoreman-Ouimet and Kopnina, 2015), especially as the ambitions of biodiversity conservation programs grow (Wilson, 2016;Buscher and Fletcher, 2020). ...
... Similar debates have taken place over programs of global sustainability, and here, EJ scholarship has played an instrumental role by suggesting that sustainability and social justice can be plausibly aligned (Agyeman et al., 2003;Agyeman et al., 2016). Conservation is likewise undergoing a major transition in its scope and goals as it increasingly incorporates concepts and priorities defined by the social sciences (Buscher and Fletcher, 2020). This transition offers a moment of opportunity for environmental justice to make a vital intervention in conservation thinking and practice. ...
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As global environmental changes continue to accelerate, research and practice in the field of conservation biology may be essential to help forestall precipitous declines in the earth’s ability to sustain a diversity of life. However, many conservation programs have faced scrutiny for the social injustices they create, especially within the paradigm of demarcating protected lands. Currently, a new conservation paradigm emphasizing landscapes shared by people and wildlife is emerging, and with it, an opportunity to ensure that justice for both human and beyond-human groups is given consideration. Here, we examine a practice emblematic of this new conservation paradigm, the reintroduction and recovery of large carnivore species, and draw from theories in environmental justice to detail the many forms of justice at stake in these efforts. Our analysis shows that a pluralistic application of justice is required to ensure that new conservation practices do not produce and reproduce injustices for people. In addition, we show that the success of these emerging programs in meeting their conservation goals in fact depends on meaningfully addressing a range of justice concerns. By developing this framework, we also identify domains in which environmental justice scholarship can expand its scope. To this end, we introduce the novel concept of affective environmental justice, which describes the complex role of emotions as environmental harms, as disruptors of understanding other forms of justice, and as links between logics of oppression. Our framework offers a comprehensive resource to work through in planning and implementing large carnivore reintroduction and recovery programs, and we conclude by describing the challenges and opportunities for further aligning conservation and environmental justice in research and practice.
... This proposal emerges from a stream of progressive movements such as radical ecological democracy (Kothari 2014), economic degrowth, and the commons' reinvigoration (Büscher and Fletcher 2019). This vision advances governance principles around social and environmental justice and structural transformation towards a new conservation politics (Büscher and Fletcher 2020a). The present paper contends that the convivial conservation proposal has the potential to shape biodiversity conservation within the EU by amalgamating already functioning rights-based conservation approaches such as the indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) championed by initiatives like the ICCA Consortium. ...
... As it builds upon many transformative movements and radical initiatives, the convivial conservation vision comes with a generous set of propositions to move beyond pursuing economic growth and reinforced nature-culture dichotomies (Büscher and Fletcher 2020a). These include a move to celebrated or promoted areas, long-term visitation, everyday environmentalism, democratic engagement, and wealthsharing for the wellbeing of humans and nonhumans alike (Büscher and Fletcher 2019). ...
... Additionally, important efforts are directed towards finding mechanisms to turn wilderness conservation into a profitable business through its commodification within ecotourism operations and as part of climate-change-mitigation strategies (Wild Europe 2018). The promoters of the convivial conservation vision identify this pro-market orientation as one of the most significant shortcomings of neo-protectionism (Büscher and Fletcher 2020a). Moreover, a revaluation of old-growth forests has made the region a prime focus for new financial mechanisms for carbon sequestration and new green-growth opportunities (European Commission 2020; Iordăchescu 2021). ...
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Recent high-end EU discussions on biodiversity conservation support the strict protection of wild nature, thereby amplifying concerns about environmental and social injustices. Parallelly, grass-roots and academic proposals advocate for the fair recognition of community-protected areas and broader political negotiations regarding human–wildlife interactions. This paper argues that land commons offer valuable lessons toward implementing the convivial conservation vision as advanced by Büscher and Fletcher (2019). For example, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 endorses strict protection of wild nature as a core element of economic relaunching. However, the focus on wild nature rules out the development of various biodiversity hotspots under human impact. Against this strict separation, various initiatives converge to make visible the efforts of indigenous peoples and local communities who combine resource governance with biodiversity conservation beyond free-market logics and human–nature dichotomies. This contribution takes the case of the Romanian forest commons and explores the synergies between these historical institutions and the convivial conservation proposal which advances postcapitalist conservation politics. The paper argues that the translation of conviviality to concrete pathways towards transformation is timely in Europe, and the commons offer valuable lessons which could advance a transition to more democratic and just forms of conservation.
... With this in mind, I have opted for a critical realist approach, a worldview which could be situated somewhere in between constructivism and post-positivism -a sort of 'third way' if you will. Critical realism is popular among political ecologists (see Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). It combines the belief in a real world independent of the observer with an appreciation that all knowledge is at least partially constructed. ...
... Customary conservation practices, for instance, are locally produced and can be sustained through traditional knowledge systems that have maintained biodiversity and cultural values over the long-term, sometimes without the need for external financial or technical, indeed capitalistic, support (Ostrom 1990). However, community conservation projects advocated by the 'new conservation' movement increasingly entail implicit and explicit linkages with market systems (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). New conservationists argue local populations must derive material, usually economic, benefits from protected areas for conservation to succeed in the long-run (Agrawal and Gibson, 1999). ...
... Others propose we need to move away from a system of protected areas enforced by park guards to a different conservation model altogether. In their book on 'convivial conservation', Büscher and Fletcher (2020) reject the idea of protected areas and instead vouch for 'promoted areas' -defined as 'fundamentally encouraging places where people are considered welcome visitors, dwellers or travelers rather than temporary alien invaders upon a nonhuman landscape' (p.163). Promoted areas, they suggest, can only exist 'within an overall context not of exploitation or productivity but on conviviality: the building of long-lasting, engaging and open-ended relationships with nonhumans and ecologies' (p.164). ...
... Historically, the natural sciences (especially ecology) have been the only primary source of information and knowledge used to guide conservation action (see Bennett et al. 2017;Büscher and Fletcher 2020). However, many influential conservation scientists have long recognized the importance of integrating social and human considerations for conservation. ...
... On the one hand, the reductionist position (see Box 1) emphasizes the structural aspects of natural systems and focuses on Table 1 Main characteristics of the canonical types of World conservation. It should be noted that there is a myriad of grays in between and even some more radical positions toward the peripheries of these two poles of attraction (see Büscher and Fletcher 2020) Mainstream conservation New conservation References Focusing on biodiversity (biocentric) Biodiversity overestimated. The human being (i.e., that of modern rationality) returns to the center (anthropocentric) Kareiva and Marvier (2012);Soulé (1985; Natural preservation "Human" needs Kareiva and Marvier (2012);Soulé (1985; Conservative position: Protect the "wild" environment from development Developmentalist position: Search for a "correct" way to reconcile development and conservation Wuerthner et al. (2014) and Büscher, Fletcher (2020) Focus on PAs and charismatic species (e.g., lists of threatened species such as the IUCN red list) as main conservation tools. ...
... It should be noted that there is a myriad of grays in between and even some more radical positions toward the peripheries of these two poles of attraction (see Büscher and Fletcher 2020) Mainstream conservation New conservation References Focusing on biodiversity (biocentric) Biodiversity overestimated. The human being (i.e., that of modern rationality) returns to the center (anthropocentric) Kareiva and Marvier (2012);Soulé (1985; Natural preservation "Human" needs Kareiva and Marvier (2012);Soulé (1985; Conservative position: Protect the "wild" environment from development Developmentalist position: Search for a "correct" way to reconcile development and conservation Wuerthner et al. (2014) and Büscher, Fletcher (2020) Focus on PAs and charismatic species (e.g., lists of threatened species such as the IUCN red list) as main conservation tools. Strong strategic relationship with ecotourism with a clear elitist tendency -Initially: PAs are important, but as long as they are approached through the community-based conservation (CBC) perspective through, e.g., the "Integrated Conservation and Development Projects" (ICDPs) -Currently: Solutions based on the financialization of nature and markets (e.g., market-based instruments as it includes bioprospecting, payments for ecosystem services, and carbon credits, among others) Sarkar (2005), Larsen and Brockington (2018), Büscher and Fletcher (2020) The corporate world as an enemy Associate with the corporate world Kareiva and Marvier (2012), Soulé (1985, Büscher and Fletcher (2020 Focused on the functional organization of ecosystems (there are "redundant" species) King (1993), De Leo and Levin (1997), Bergandi and Blandin (1998) "Reductionist" approach "Holistic" approach Bergandi and Blandin (1998), Sarkar (2005) (continued) individual species and the population dynamics of species within isolated ecosystems (see Soulé 1986). ...
Chapter
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Through the critical lenses of philosophy, history, and political ecology, I will go through the different approaches used, historically, by the conservation science to protect the Patagonian coastal environments, to end up proposing an integral and overcoming alternative: the social-ecological systems perspective (SES). In this chapter, I will go through the state of the art of the current debates, both conceptual and praxiological, around conservation science, evaluating its implications on the conservation of coastal environments in Patagonia in the context of global change. I begin with the most used theories in environmental conservation, their philosophical roots, and their contrasting and dichotomous approaches and strategies used to know and understand the (socio)ecosystems which are wanted to be conserved. Then I will analyze how these contradictions are expressed in the Patagonian coast, generating a series of challenges for the conservation and management of the biocultural heritage of the region. Finally, I present the central arguments of what, in my opinion, is an overcoming approach to deal with these contradictions: the hermeneutics – in constant co-construction – of SES.
... Given that conventional approaches to conservation (both protectionist and market-based) have often dispossessed Indigenous peoples from their territories Holmes and Cavanagh, 2016;Lunstrum, 2016;Stevens, 2014), while largely failing to stave off severe biodiversity decline globally (IPBES, 2019;, scholars in political ecology are increasingly calling for a "conservation revolution" . Büscher and Fletcher (2020) term this revolution "convivial conservation", which is "a vision, a politics and a set of governance principles that… proposes a post-capitalist approach to conservation that promotes radical equity, structural transformation and environmental justice" (Büscher and Fletcher, 2019: 283). Conviviality requires transcending the separation between humans and non-human nature imposed by conventional protected areas and moving beyond conservation politics that are premised on and reproduce capitalist relations of production, consumption and accumulation . ...
... While Büscher and Fletcher (2020) focus primarily on post-capitalist environmental politics, they recognize the necessity for decolonial conservation and acknowledge that their vision for alternative sustainabilities is not "wholly new" (p. 159), pointing to Indigenous-led stewardship initiatives that have long embodied conviviality (ICCA Consortium, n.d.). ...
... Recognizing that the colonial-capitalist paradigm of conservation and development has been devastating for many Indigenous peoples and environments globally, scholars in political ecology increasingly call for decolonial models of conservation and for alternative sustainabilities both within and outside of protected areas Cavanagh, 2017;Moola and Roth, 2018;Sullivan, 2017;West and Aini, 2018). As Büscher and Fletcher (2020) (2021: 216) In the report We Rise Together (Indigenous Circle of Experts 2018), ICE discusses the productive potential of Indigenous economies and legal traditions to inform alternative development models within and outside of IPCAs, particularly conservation economies. 23 They write: ...
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Extractive capitalism has long been the driving force of settler colonialism in Canada, and continues to threaten the sovereignty, lands and waters of Indigenous nations across the country. While ostensibly counterposed to extractivism, state-led conservation has similarly served to alienate Indigenous peoples from their territories, often for capitalist gain. Recognizing the inadequacy of the colonial-capitalist conservation paradigm to redress the biodiversity crisis, scholars in political ecology increasingly call for radical, convivial alternatives rooted in equity and justice. Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) are one such alternative, representing a paradigm shift from colonial to Indigenous-led conservation that reinvigorates Indigenous knowledge and governance systems. Since the Indigenous Circle of Experts finalized a report in 2018 on how IPCAs could contribute to Canada's conservation targets and reconciliation efforts, an increasing number of Indigenous stewardship initiatives across the country have been declared as IPCAs. These initiatives are assertions of Indigenous sovereignty, inherent rights, and responsibilities to their territories, as well as movements to rejuvenate biocultural conservation. Although Canada is supporting IPCAs through certain initiatives, the country's extractivist development model along with jurisdictional inconsistencies are undermining the establishment and long-term viability of many IPCAs. This paper explores two instances where Indigenous governments have established, or are establishing, IPCAs as novel strategies for land and water protection within long histories of resistance to colonial-capitalist exploitation. We argue that there is a paradoxical tension in Canadian conservation whereby Indigenous-led conservation is promoted in theory, while being undermined in practice. IPCAs offer glimpses of productive, alternative sustainabilities that move away from the colonial-capitalist paradigm, but are being challenged by governments and industries that still fail to respect Indigenous jurisdiction.
... Local notions of identity and stewardship are often centered around natural resource use, and underpin cultural dimensions of well-being, hence an understanding of the cultural diversity of perceptions relating to conservation and sustainability needs to be integrated into management (Lewis, 2008;Homewood, 2017). This will require an understanding and recognition of current and historical grievances, which may include exclusionary practices such as the gazetting of protected areas Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). For example, new forms of land grabbing by multiple powerful actors, including the state and multinational corporations, primarily for large-scale agricultural production (Dell'Angelo et al., 2017) but also for conservation purposes, risk reproducing past injustices and further alienating local communities (Homewood, 2017;Davis et al., 2020). ...
... Even where tourism thrives, tourism experiences targeted at foreign visitors may provide a depiction of wilderness that is disconnected from its historical and social context, that conflicts with local conceptions of nature, and exacerbates nature-society divisions in the context of global uneven development . The cultivation of more engaged, long-term, local, and every-day nature-based experiences is likely to be critical to ensuring a more reliable and sustainable tourism sector and to democratize access to nature (Vannelli et al., 2019;Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Lindsey et al., 2020). The promotion of environmental education at community and national levels, aimed at valuing biodiversity, traditional knowledge and existing biocultural relationships may provide cultural and conservation benefits that extend beyond economic profit, highlighting also the importance of creating opportunities for nature-based experiences that are accessible to local and domestic residents (Black, 2016;Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). ...
... The cultivation of more engaged, long-term, local, and every-day nature-based experiences is likely to be critical to ensuring a more reliable and sustainable tourism sector and to democratize access to nature (Vannelli et al., 2019;Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Lindsey et al., 2020). The promotion of environmental education at community and national levels, aimed at valuing biodiversity, traditional knowledge and existing biocultural relationships may provide cultural and conservation benefits that extend beyond economic profit, highlighting also the importance of creating opportunities for nature-based experiences that are accessible to local and domestic residents (Black, 2016;Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). ...
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Coexistence with large carnivores poses challenges to human well-being, livelihoods, development, resource management, and policy. Even where people and carnivores have historically coexisted, traditional patterns of behavior toward large carnivores may be disrupted by wider processes of economic, social, political, and climate change. Conservation interventions have typically focused on changing behaviors of those living alongside large carnivores to promote sustainable practices. While these interventions remain important, their success is inextricably linked to broader socio-political contexts, including natural resource governance and equitable distribution of conservation-linked costs and benefits. In this context we propose a Theory of Change to identify logical pathways of action through which coexistence with large carnivores can be enhanced. We focus on Africa's dryland landscapes, known for their diverse guild of large carnivores that remain relatively widespread across the continent. We review the literature to understand coexistence and its challenges; explain our Theory of Change, including expected outcomes and pathways to impact; and discuss how our model could be implemented and operationalized. Our analysis draws on the experience of coauthors, who are scientists and practitioners, and on literature from conservation, political ecology, and anthropology to explore the challenges, local realities, and place-based conditions under which expected outcomes succeed or fail. Three pathways to impact were identified: (a) putting in place good governance harmonized across geographic scales; (b) addressing coexistence at the landscape level; and (c) reducing costs and increasing benefits of sharing a landscape with large carnivores. Coordinated conservation across the extensive, and potentially transboundary, landscapes needed by large carnivores requires harmonization of top-down approaches with bottom-up community-based conservation. We propose adaptive co-management approaches combined with processes for active community engagement and informed consent as useful dynamic mechanisms for navigating through this contested space, while enabling adaptation to climate change. Success depends on strengthening underlying enabling conditions, including governance, capacity, local empowerment, effective monitoring, and sustainable financial support. Implementing the Theory of Change requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to inform adaptation and build confidence in the model. Overall, the model provides a flexible and practical framework that can be adapted to dynamic local socio-ecological contexts.
... Rights of nature, animal rights, Buen Vivir, degrowth and convivial conservation are some of the alternative approaches that this book has covered. Despite comprising different normative visions (for a comparison see Escobar, 2015), they commonly share criticisms of the current neoliberal socioeconomic system, capitalism and/or focus on instrumental values of nature as the underlying causes of ecological crises (Acosta, 2013;Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Escobar, 2015;Gudynas, 2019). These approaches often advocate replacing the dominant paradigm of economic growth and capital accumulation and suggest broader cultural, political and social transformations of institutions and practices (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Demaria et al., 2013;Escobar, 2015). ...
... Despite comprising different normative visions (for a comparison see Escobar, 2015), they commonly share criticisms of the current neoliberal socioeconomic system, capitalism and/or focus on instrumental values of nature as the underlying causes of ecological crises (Acosta, 2013;Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Escobar, 2015;Gudynas, 2019). These approaches often advocate replacing the dominant paradigm of economic growth and capital accumulation and suggest broader cultural, political and social transformations of institutions and practices (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Demaria et al., 2013;Escobar, 2015). The adoption of rights of nature, animal rights and the rising popularity of the "Buen Vivir" notion, for instance, can precipitate new forms of transformative biodiversity governance in which the modern human-nature dichotomy and anthropocentrism are no longer the dominant ontological assumptions, human, nature and animal well-being are not subordinate to economic reasoning, and the relationships between humans and nonhumans are redefined. ...
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Over fifty years of global conservation has failed to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, so we need to transform the ways we govern biodiversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity aims to develop and implement a transformative framework for the coming decades. However, the question of what transformative biodiversity governance entails and how it can be implemented is complex. This book argues that transformative biodiversity governance means prioritizing ecocentric, compassionate and just sustainable development. This involves implementing five governance approaches - integrative, inclusive, adaptive, transdisciplinary and anticipatory governance - in conjunction and focused on the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and unsustainability. Transforming Biodiversity Governance is an invaluable source for academics, policy makers and practitioners working in biodiversity and sustainability governance. This is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see www.cambridge.org/earth-system-governance. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
... It furthermore sees biodiversity loss itself as a result of global (capitalist) market forces. Accordingly, the approach focuses on de-linking CBC -and conservation in general -from the market economy and reorienting it to a process driven by local action and aspirations (Buscher & Fletcher, 2020). Specific proposals include historical reparations for past injustices (e.g. ...
... Specific proposals include historical reparations for past injustices (e.g. redistributing protected areas to evicted communities); introducing a 'conservation basic income' for communities living in conservation areas; re-purposing PES and tax schemes to facilitate redistribution of finances for poverty alleviation and equality; and broad democratisation of conservation decision-making (Buscher & Fletcher, 2020). Distinct but related to this approach are calls from some African conservationists who argue for a de-linking of African conservation from the influence and funding of international conservation organisations and donors. ...
Technical Report
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There is a growing emphasis on biodiversity conservation outside conventional protected areas. This offers new opportunities for both conservation and development, but it also poses a risk of ‘green grabbing’ whereby communities lose access to land and natural resources that are key for their survival and resilience. Community Based Conservation (CBC) is therefore critical. This working paper provides an overview of the evolution of community-based biodiversity conservation since the 1980s, where new approaches are heading, and what the overall lessons are so far. On this basis it provides recommendations for how development cooperation can support community-based conservation.
... Therefore, alternative solutions pertaining to the land system stress small-scale and rural communities as integral to the conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of long-term social-ecological resilience (Brosius et al., 2005;Fairhead and Leach, 1996;Lansing, 1991). Indeed, humans have for millennia shaped and managed diverse landscapes (Cronon, 1996;Levis et al., 2018;Lombardo et al., 2020), although the rise of large-scale capitalist exploitation techniques has brought with itself a dangerous disarray in human-nature relations (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;DePuy et al., 2021). Traditional agroecological practices from swiddening (Conklin, 1957) to the creation of forest mosaics (Fairhead and Leach, 1996;Velásquez Runk et al., 2010) and pastoralism (Donihue et al., 2013) have been shown to have less impact on biodiversity than industrial agriculture, while providing humans with sustainable and sufficient livelihoods. ...
... Hence, alternative solutions aimed at regaining diversity and preventing future pandemics stress and acknowledge both the need to preserve natural ecosystems and that humans are an integral part of their environments, relate to them in different ways, and can actually contribute to their health, highlighting the political dimension of negotiating access and rights to natural resources. Such solutions would include agro-ecological efforts of regionalizing the bulk of biomass production and consumption reembedded in local natural cycles (Dorninger et al., 2021b), increase of biodiversity in human-cultivated systems (Altieri and Nicholls, 2020), the application of low and intermediary technologies in land-use activities (Murphy et al., 2009), and the adoption of integrative approaches to conservation (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). ...
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As COVID-19 emerged as a phenomenon of the total environment, and despite the intertwined and complex relationships that make humanity an organic part of the Bio- and Geospheres, the majority of our responses to it have been corrective in character, with few or no consideration for unintended consequences which bring about further vulnerability to unanticipated global events. Tackling COVID-19 entails a systemic and precautionary approach to human-nature relations, which we frame as regaining diversity in the Geo-, Bio-, and Anthropospheres. Its implementation requires nothing short of an overhaul in the way we interact with and build knowledge from natural and social environments. Hence, we discuss the urgency of shifting from current to precautionary approaches to COVID-19 and look, through the lens of diversity, at the anticipated benefits in four systems crucially affecting and affected by the pandemic: health, land, knowledge and innovation. Our reflections offer a glimpse of the sort of changes needed, from pursuing planetary health and creating more harmonious forms of land use to providing a multi-level platform for other ways of knowing/understanding and turning innovation into a source of global public goods. These exemplary initiatives introduce and solidify systemic thinking in policymaking and move priorities from reaction-based strategies to precautionary frameworks.
... Scholars point to a convergence of property, human, and Indigenous rights within environmental arenas and in the wake of economic globalization. Explosive levels of capitalist production and consumption worldwide transformed relations with the environment in ways that generated tension between state interests and local livelihoods (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Zarsky, 2002). This led to the implementation of international treaties with the commitment to recognize and operationalize human rights approaches in environmental governance. ...
... Although PAs are historically situated within a strictly enforced human-nature binary, the definition of PAs has expanded to mean an area designated "to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values" (IUCN, n.d.). The mechanisms within PA management are often dubbed "rights-based approaches" as they emphasize local and Indigenous participation in decision-making (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Myers et al., 2018), equitable sharing of economic benefits (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2007), and a limited array of procedural rights to reconcile land loss (Merino Acuña, 2015;Merino, 2018;Paavola, 2006). At times, these so-called "rights" are extended or withheld depending on the recognition of Indigeneity. ...
Article
This paper explores the significance of current paradigms for connecting across difference in environmental governance, with a focus on dominant practices and the erasures that occur in the process. It focuses on three core concepts and corresponding practices: rights (adhering to both persons and property, procedural, and substantive); recognition (of harms done, of those harmed, or of those deserving of special recognition); and participation (in which information, decision authority, and/or benefits are shared with affected populations). The paper begins with a literature review on the history and purported benefits of each of these concepts, the environmental arenas where they occur, and the critiques that are leveraged against them. To envision what it might look like to connect across difference differently, we situate these critiques in the literature on coloniality and use this to develop a conceptual framework for evaluating efforts to connect across difference in environmental governance. We then illustrate the application of this framework in the environmental arenas of biodiversity conservation and extractivism to crystalize through lived experiences what it means to operate inside of these paradigms and to move beyond them. The paper highlights how current paradigms for connecting across difference are deeply situated in (settler) colonial logics of hierarchies of value, state sovereignty, and Indigenous erasure. We conclude with a vision of how environmental governance can move beyond its current colonial hegemony by centering decolonial and abolition ecologies scholarship that decenters settler ontologies in favor of more radical alternatives for relating with the so-called “natural” world.
... Following Büscher and Fletcher's (2020) proposal for 'convivial conservation', through which conservation landscapes are reimagined in ways that recognize that nature and society are dialectically integrated and should be managed as such, we advocate for conservation pursued as an outcome of social interaction and organization rather than as a neutral, neatly packaged and rational intervention into societies marked as problematic. In other words, decolonizing conservation requires that contemporary and neoliberal conservation's guise of apoliticism and neutrality be opened up to greater critical engagement with the societal dynamics and contexts in which it operates. ...
... In this respect, these attempts to accommodate local people's concerns and experiences within environments being conserved can be seen as a move towards decolonized conservation, but one that remains severely restricted because of colonially rooted Eurocentrism that shape these interactions. Hence, we argue that any movement towards decolonized conservation requires that conservation be understood as operating in continuous dialogue with the historical and social contexts in which it operates -it must feature an ethos of locally adapted conviviality (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020;Krauss, 2021;Mabele et al., accepted) between humans and the environment. Further, it requires that conservation be pursued as an outcome of social organization rather than as neatly packaged, exogenously set interventions into particular societies. ...
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Contemporary and market-based conservation policies, constructed as rational, neutral and apolitical, are being pursued around the world in the aim of staving off multiple, unfolding and overlapping environmental crises. However, the substantial body of research that examines the dominance of neoliberal environmental policies has paid relatively little attention to how colonial legacies interact with these contemporary and market-based conservation policies enacted in the Global South. It is only recently that critical scholars have begun to demonstrate how colonial legacies interact with market-based conservation policies in ways that increase their risk of failure, deepen on-the-ground inequalities and cement global injustices. In this article, we take further this emerging body of work by showing how contemporary,market-based conservation initiatives extend the temporalities and geographies of colonialism, undergird long-standing hegemonies and perpetuate exploitative power relations in the governing of nature-society relations, particularly in the Global South. Reflecting on ethnographic insights from six different field sites across countries of the Global South, we argue that decolonization is an important and necessary step in confronting some of the major weaknesses of contemporary conservation and the wider socio-ecological crisis itself. We conclude by briefly outlining what decolonizing conservation might entail.
... However, while this critique of humanity is vital in the search for solutions to contemporary global challenges, it is the manner of its advancement within the Anthropocene debate that is lacking on key fronts. The Anthropocene, by designating humans as the destroyers of the planet, and thereby charging humans with the utmost responsibility to 'cultivate and manage the earth as one immense ''rambunctious garden''' (Marris, 2013in Büscher & Fletcher, 2020, adopts a nature-society dichotomy. This separationist move, as Büscher and Fletcher (2020) point out, fosters the neoprotectionist agenda in conservation whereby humans are viewed as despoiling what should ideally be pristine nature. ...
... The Anthropocene, by designating humans as the destroyers of the planet, and thereby charging humans with the utmost responsibility to 'cultivate and manage the earth as one immense ''rambunctious garden''' (Marris, 2013in Büscher & Fletcher, 2020, adopts a nature-society dichotomy. This separationist move, as Büscher and Fletcher (2020) point out, fosters the neoprotectionist agenda in conservation whereby humans are viewed as despoiling what should ideally be pristine nature. At the same time, following Moore (2016), the Anthropocene framework also risks treating all human lives as if they were lived under similar conditions. ...
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After the few cups of chai – Kenyan tea made by boiling tea leaves with milk, sugar, and rosemary leaves or cinnamon - I had in the morning, the rarity of a cup of coffee in what is the hub of Kenya’s arabica coffee production arouses my interests and concerns about the economic linkages between the local and the global. It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that coffee farmers in Kenya have for long endured low returns to a crop that spurs human bodies and brains to work around the world and, to a great extent, contributes immensely to the creation of the so-called wealthy economies. Of central to these local and global realities appears to be the politics of value and valuing within neoliberal capitalism, which constitute the focus of this paper.
... Some political ecologists fault global capitalism as the cause enabling these conditions, and think environmental conservation can only progress if seated within a new paradigm of a "convivial" society which has overcome the belief in a nature-culture divide and which is deliberately anti-capitalist (Büscher and Fletcher 2020). Theorists have expressed optimism as well that human beings are able to consciously pursue ethical and sustainable niche construction, including via drawing on scholarly transdisciplinary research on the nature/culture dialectic and on landscape archaeology (Kluiving and Hamel 2016;Büscher and Fletcher 2020). ...
... Some political ecologists fault global capitalism as the cause enabling these conditions, and think environmental conservation can only progress if seated within a new paradigm of a "convivial" society which has overcome the belief in a nature-culture divide and which is deliberately anti-capitalist (Büscher and Fletcher 2020). Theorists have expressed optimism as well that human beings are able to consciously pursue ethical and sustainable niche construction, including via drawing on scholarly transdisciplinary research on the nature/culture dialectic and on landscape archaeology (Kluiving and Hamel 2016;Büscher and Fletcher 2020). Landscapes of accumulation remind us, however, of the intense complexity and opacity of historical realities of accumulation, and lead us to question whether things like embracing capitalism, or inadequately (thus far) learning from scholarly research, are really decisive-yetreversible causes of the ruining of the biosphere, or whether they might instead be only more indirect effects of an underlying ability and willingness to consistently seek to take part in the making of anthropogenic accumulations (of numerous types). ...
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Undertaking a study and definition of the Anthropocene via landscape archeology is a potentially fruitful yet still-underdeveloped area of research. Identifying accumulation as a term that conveys both material and immaterial features of landscapes, and using test cases from historical Dutch and contemporary Lebanese landscapes, the authors argue that considering landscapes of accumulation forms one cross-cutting approach allowing archeologists to understand, define, and evaluate certain facets of the globalized Anthropocene. This approach is proposed as relevant to ongoing discussions across multiple disciplines regarding whether and how to employ the term “Anthropocene” at all, including in the context of the broader sustainability discourse.
... En este contexto, e incluso competencias administrativas de las autoridades locales. En este contexto, y ante el fracaso de los modelos de gestión convencionales para la conservación de y ante el fracaso de los modelos de gestión convencionales para la conservación de la naturaleza, aparecen en el debate público nuevos enfoques como la la naturaleza, aparecen en el debate público nuevos enfoques como la conservación conservación convivencial convivencial (Büscher y Fletcher, 2020). Desde esta perspectiva, se defiende la (Büscher y Fletcher, 2020). ...
... En este contexto, y ante el fracaso de los modelos de gestión convencionales para la conservación de y ante el fracaso de los modelos de gestión convencionales para la conservación de la naturaleza, aparecen en el debate público nuevos enfoques como la la naturaleza, aparecen en el debate público nuevos enfoques como la conservación conservación convivencial convivencial (Büscher y Fletcher, 2020). Desde esta perspectiva, se defiende la (Büscher y Fletcher, 2020). Desde esta perspectiva, se defiende la necesidad de revertir los procesos de separación entre naturaleza y espacios urbanos necesidad de revertir los procesos de separación entre naturaleza y espacios urbanos y, por tanto, vuelven estratégicos este tipo de infraestructuras verdes de carácter y, por tanto, vuelven estratégicos este tipo de infraestructuras verdes de carácter metropolitano que se integran en las ciudades. ...
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El objetivo de este informe es analizar el papel y uso social de los parques urbanos en el Área Metropolitana de San Salvador, El Salvador. Con ello se pretende también contribuir al debate sobre las políticas públicas y de cooperación que promueven estos espacios verdes dentro de las áreas metropolitanas, y en particular en los países del Sur. Por sus dimensiones geográficas, más pequeñas en comparación con las grandes metrópolis latinoamericanas, el Área Metropolitana de San Salvador (AMSS) permite analizar temáticas de carácter global con mayor facilidad. Para ello se han seleccionado cuatro parques ubicados dentro del AMSS: Parque Bicentenario, Parque Cuscatlán, Jardín Botánico y Ecoparque El Espino. La investigación tiene un carácter exploratorio, a partir de cuatro casos y su análisis comparado, y está basada en fuentes cualitativas: revisión documental; entrevistas semiestructuradas en profundidad a veinte personas relacionadas con la gestión y el uso de cada uno de estos parques; y, finalmente, trabajo de observación etnográfica a lo largo del mes de febrero de 2022, que quedó plasmada en un diario de campo, realizada en cada uno de los parques en distintos días de la semana y horarios, con el fin de identificar distintos usos y dinámicas sociales. Asimismo, se analizan los principales desafíos que enfrentan las autoridades públicas y la población salvadoreña para ampliar el acceso a parques urbanos de proximidad, seguros y en buen estado y, a su vez, superar los sesgos de clase y de género que se identifican en su disponibilidad y uso. Finalmente, se ponen en discusión los distintos modelos de gestión que pueden orientar la política pública en relación con la infraestructura verde en este contexto.
... Yet, these successes notwithstanding, biodiversity remains in grave peril, and conservation falls far short of global Aichi targets (IPBES 2019). The reasons cited for this range from difficulties in accessing or using information and evidence (Catalano et al. 2019;Walsh et al. 2019;Christie et al. 2019) to a lack of resources (Catalano et al. 2019;Wright et al. 2020) and poor resource allocation (Gerber et al. 2018;Buxton et al. 2020), capitalism (Soulé 2013;Büscher & Fletcher 2020), the human-nature dichotomy (Büscher & Fletcher 2020), socio-economic inequality (Matulis & Moyer 2017) and human population growth (Wilson 2016). This is a daunting list of large, difficult constraints to achieving conservation goals. ...
... Yet, these successes notwithstanding, biodiversity remains in grave peril, and conservation falls far short of global Aichi targets (IPBES 2019). The reasons cited for this range from difficulties in accessing or using information and evidence (Catalano et al. 2019;Walsh et al. 2019;Christie et al. 2019) to a lack of resources (Catalano et al. 2019;Wright et al. 2020) and poor resource allocation (Gerber et al. 2018;Buxton et al. 2020), capitalism (Soulé 2013;Büscher & Fletcher 2020), the human-nature dichotomy (Büscher & Fletcher 2020), socio-economic inequality (Matulis & Moyer 2017) and human population growth (Wilson 2016). This is a daunting list of large, difficult constraints to achieving conservation goals. ...
Thesis
Decision making for threatened species recovery can be complex: there is often a diverse range of stakeholders holding values that may be conflicting, data are typically deficient and imperfect, and there is uncertainty about the outcomes of proposed actions. Yet in this pressured and challenging context, decisions must still be made. Conservationists therefore need the right tools to address these complexities, and structured decision making (SDM) is effective in this space. Here, I demonstrate the utility of SDM and its component tools to assist recovery planning for Aotearoa-New Zealand’s rarest indigenous breeding bird, tara iti (New Zealand fairy tern, Sternula nereis davisae). My PhD aims to advance (i) the way we approach decisions via inclusivity and expression of values, (ii) the way we make decisions by recognising objectives, creating alternatives and making explicit trade-offs, and (iii) the way we use data to support these decisions by analysing and interpreting biased or imperfect datasets. Values drive decisions, and I first demonstrate how SDM, a values-focused approach, can be used to meaningfully integrate stakeholder values such as mātauranga Māori (Māori [indigenous New Zealander] knowledge/perspective) into conservation decisions and provide a basis for co-management between different peoples. Second, I analyse a seabird translocation trial, showing how creative thinking about alternatives can help better achieve conservation objectives. Third, I show how the application of SDM resulted in a new management recommendation that balanced across multiple objectives and was evidence-based. This was the first action after a decade of inaction and communication breakdown between stakeholders. Finally, I use a decision tree and counterfactuals to analyse the efficacy of tara iti egg management, showing how these tools can help navigate complex and biased monitoring data sets to improve future decisions. This thesis provides a detailed real-world example of how SDM can be applied effectively to a complex conservation problem, and highlights the importance of clear, values-focused thinking and inclusive approaches in species recovery.
... Lehto et al., 2020). Contrarily Büscher and Fletcher (2020) present tourism as an avenue for convivial conservation, whereby the encounter would be moved from 'voyeurism to engaged visitation' and tourism becomes a vehicle for democratic engagement and social and ecological justice (pp. 168-169). ...
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The urban is a site of diversity, multiplicity and conviviality under threat from commercialization, not least through tourism. The dominant socio-spatial logic of capitalism has urbanized its extractive practices capturing value from the urban and social fabric and its affective and communicative values. This monetizing of everyday life through all manners of platform capitalism embedded in ubiquitous connectivity will erode urban cultural diversity. As a counter measure the paper discusses the theoretical contours of urban conviviality and will conceptually explore how to re-story the urban fostering such conviviality, engaging with the most recent tourism policy of the city of Amsterdam. Conviviality mediated through a vibrant urban fabric can make for spaces of alterity and reinstate use-value as central to our economic systems. Countering thereby capitalist monoculture of urbanity, urban design animated by care and responsiveness can foster multiplicity and conviviality. Applied to the tourism encounter and a reoriented understanding of hospitality allows for tourism animated by autonomy and creativity, personal interdependence and redistributive justice, contributing to the momentum needed to overturn the deadening urban frontier of capital accumulation.
... Indigenising locals (as a discursive tool) for land grabbing The central argument by proponents of conservation models that allow people to remain within conservation areas is that local communities, particularly indigenous groups can harmoniously coexist with their surrounding nature (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). The implicit suggestion is that certain type of communities with a particular social and production practice can lead more wildlife friendly lives than others and are thus more suited to conservation. ...
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This paper seeks to answer the question: how does land become grabbable and local people reloca-table? It focuses on the historical and current conditions of land tenure that enable land grabbing. While recognising the important contributions thus far made by the critical literature on land grabbing, this paper moves forward towards understanding specific processes that befall before land is grabbed and its original users relocated. Based on an empirical analysis of policy and practices of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, the paper proposes that land grabbing, particularly in the context of conservation in rural Africa, is not an instantaneous phenomenon and does not happen in a vacuum. It is a result of long-term structural marginalisation of rural land users that produces scarcity and the deterioration of life conditions, which make people relocatable and land grabbing justifiable. Local people either relocate themselves because they could not make a living due to systematic disinvestments on basic social services or life is made unbearable through restrictions imposed on their production practices to make "voluntary" relocation possible. The paper highlights the need to focus on the stealthy dispossessions in addition to major events of grabbing as starting points of analysis. Insight from this study can be useful in analysing other cases of land grabbing where large swathes of ostensibly empty land are made available for investment.
... They are not an exception: most conservation actors in South Africa, in our joint experiences, do not resist but celebrate capitalism, while simultaneously ignoring or wishing away deep contradictions, even those that may ultimately undermine the very wildlife and ecosystems they own and wish to preserve. 21 But if indeed capitalism is fundamentally incompatible with a sustainable world and solving current ecological crises (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020), then conservation's long historical embrace and continuous deepening of capitalism is intensely problematic and outmoded. For one, as we have shown, as conservation is not outside of capitalism, so it has never been outside of fossil capital. ...
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This paper argues that the conservation sector in South Africa is fossilized-unsustainable, outmoded and resistant to change-in two integrated ways. First, it is completely dependent on and steeped in fossil fuels and mineral extraction. The historical development of the South African economy's reliance on fossil and mineral resources provides the basis for this dependency but has since tentacularized into the very fabric of conservation and associated wildlife economies in the country. This unsustainable basis of the sector places a major stain on the ways in which South Africa's biodiversity is 'saved' for posterity. Second and relatedly, the social and labour relations that make up conservation in South Africa are fossilized in particularly racialized and gendered ways. This is socially unsustainable, as most of these relations are unjust and exploitative. Building on theories of fossil energy and labour relations that emphasise their everyday character, we argue that confronting the fossilized state of conservation in South Africa is necessary in and of itself, and a prerequisite for a broader societal transformation to sustainability. We conclude that the effective chances for this to happen are low, especially given the massive conservation attention on combatting rhino poaching in the last decade. This seems to have reinforced rather than alleviated the status quo.
... My argument was about overcoming capital-induced surplus alienation, something I have aimed to imagine in other work (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). In doing so, the focus should be on overcoming capitalist-colonial dichotomies and distinctions without losing the ability to make distinctions necessary for effective politics. ...
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This response gratefully acknowledges and engages with the commentaries on my article ‘The nonhuman Turn: critical reflections on alienation, entanglement and nature under capitalism’. It highlights the importance of further defining key concepts like anthropocentrism, ‘the human’, more-than-life and others in discussions of the more-than-human. It challenges desires for ‘returning’ to idealised forms of relationality or animism or the idea that historical, ‘basic alienation’ between humans and the rest of nature rests on some notion of ‘The Fall’. Overall, it aims to reemphasize one of the core arguments in the original article, namely the dangerous intensifications of historical capitalism, how this is critical for both non-human turn scholars and their critics and how this may provide common ground for opening up space for postcapitalism. Central to this argument is a further elaboration of the dangers of intensified surplus alienation due to contemporary platform capitalism for the (more-than)human but also, more specifically, for academic exchange.
... And we oppose their adoption of EO Wilson's half-earth theory, which -as Bram Büscher and Robert Fletcher have shown -overlooks decades of conservationist thinking about building positive relationships between protected areas and human societies. 15 Ecological conservation and restoration is most effective when it occurs in a mutually supportive relationship with local communities, especially Indigenous and pastoralist communities who safeguard generations of knowledge about local sustainable land management. We therefore imagine a land-sharing eco-communism defi ned by intricate matrices of urban and rural land uses, conservation and rewilding, stewarded in common. ...
Article
Kai Heron, a lecturer in politics at the University of Manchester, and farmer Alex Heffron, based in the hills of southwest Wales, are critical of the contradictions between the Green New Deal's aspirations and its material effects, especially in the Global South. Here they outline their commitment to collective agrarian movements and agroecological farming to imagine a land-sharing approach defined by intricate matrices of urban and rural land-uses where human and nonhumans can flourish together.
... El opuesto al de la Trapa es el caso de hacer prevalecer la reserva de espacios conservados para el disfrute privado o incluso cobrando por el acceso a las llamadas Áreas Privadas Protegidas (Müller y Blázquez-Salom, 2020). El modo de producción y de regulación neoliberal está en la base de esta estrategia, en relación con la cual conviene investigar fórmulas de socialización del ocio en la naturaleza a través de la propiedad y del control comunitario (Büscher y Fletcher, 2020). El caso del trabajo del GOB en La Trapa ejemplifica este tipo de iniciativas de resistencia al capitalismo, surgidas desde la sociedad civil, para evitar la sumisión del espacio en una mercancía turística. ...
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Este informe esboza un novedoso marco conceptual para explorar las posibilidades de identificar y cultivar diferentes expresiones de post-capitalismo en el desarrollo turístico. El turismo es una de las mayores industrias del mundo y, por tanto, una poderosa fuerza política y socioeconómica. Sin embargo, a lo largo de los años se han documentado numerosos problemas relacionados con el desarrollo del turismo convencional bajo las lógicas de reproducción del capital, efectos que ahora se han agravado en gran medida por las repercusiones de la actual pandemia de la COVID-19. Desde hace tiempo, los llamamientos al desarrollo del turismo sostenible tratan de resolver estos impactos y de mejorar el rumbo del sector. Sin embargo, estos postulados tienden a seguir promoviendo el crecimiento continuo como base del desarrollo de la industria turística. Por otro lado, las demandas de "decrecimiento" sugieren que el crecimiento es en sí mismo el problema fundamental que se debe abordar en el debate sobre la sostenibilidad en el turismo y en otros ámbitos. Esta crítica afirma que el crecimiento incesante es intrínseco al desarrollo capitalista y, por tanto, al papel del turismo como una de las principales formas de expansión capitalista global. Por lo tanto, el decrecimiento turístico requeriría prácticas post-capitalistas destinadas a socializar el turismo. Mientras que un importante cuerpo de investigación ha explorado cómo funciona el turismo en tanto que expresión de la economía política capitalista, hasta ahora ninguna investigación ha explorado sistemáticamente cómo podría ser el turismo post-capitalista o cómo lograrlo. Basándonos en la innovadora tipología de Eric Olin Wright (2019) para conceptualizar diferentes formas de post-capitalismo como componentes de una estrategia global para "erosionar el capitalismo", aplicamos este marco a una serie de ejemplos ilustrativos que nos permiten explorar su potencial para contribuir a una estrategia análoga para, de manera similar, "erosionar la turistificación capitalista del turismo".
... As anthropologists have shown in diverse places, peoples' relationships to the environment-to land, animals and other living beings-are primarily shaped by ethical concerns regarding appropriate conduct and the maintenance of relationships (e.g., 4 I understand convivial here in its literal meaning as 'living with'; the term does not automatically indicate a 'positive' or 'harmonious' state of being but refers more broadly to situations in which diverse human and other-thanhuman beings live together in particular places (this may include relations of detachment/engagement, rupture/continuity, and conflict/peace). The term conviviality has been used by several other authors, for instance, with regards to conservation (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020) and multispecies relationships (van Dooren and Bird Rose, 2012). There are several points of convergence between what I am arguing here and these diverse approaches, yet the main aim here is to emphasise the conceptual point about shifting the core of conservation's attention from predefined 'objects' of conservation to place-centred approaches following 'convivial relations' as suggested by Whitehouse (2015). ...
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In this perspectives essay, I propose some ways in which current thinking in anthropology might inform the emergent cross-disciplinary field of coexistence studies. I do so following recent calls from within the conservation science community (including this special issue), acknowledging that understanding human-wildlife coexistence in the fractured landscapes of the Anthropocene ¹ requires being open to alternative approaches beyond conventional frameworks of conservation science and management (see for instance; Carter and Linnell, 2016 ; Pooley, 2016 ; Chapron and López-Bao, 2019 ; Pooley et al., 2020 ). The essay suggests that relational (non-dualist) ways of thinking ² in anthropology, often building on Indigenous philosophy and expertise, may help ground coexistence studies beyond Euro-Western modernist conceptual frameworks—frameworks that perpetuate exploitative and colonial logics that many scholars from across academia view as being at the heart of our current ecological crisis (e.g., Lestel, 2013 ; van Dooren, 2014 ; Tsing, 2015 ; Todd, 2016 ; Bluwstein et al., 2021 ; Schroer et al., 2021 ). By proposing “relations” rather than objectified “Nature” or “wildlife” as the more adequate subject of understanding and facilitating coexistence in shared landscapes, I understand coexistence and its study first and foremost as an ethical and political endeavor. Rather than offering any conclusive ideas, the essay's intention is to contribute some questions and thoughts to the developing conversations of coexistence studies scholars and practitioners. It does so by inviting conservation scientists to collaborate with anthropologists and take on board some of the current thinking in the discipline. Amongst other things, I suggest that this will help overcome a somewhat dated notion of cultural relativism—understood as many particular, cultural views on one true objective Nature (only known by Science), a perspective that explicitly and implicitly seems to inform some conservation science approaches to issues of culture or the “human dimensions” of conservation issues. Ultimately, the paper seeks to make a conceptual contribution by imagining coexistence as a dynamic bundle of relations in which the biological, ecological, historical, cultural, and social dimensions cannot be thought apart and have to be studied together.
... In contrast, an alternative vision focuses on a relinquishing of the traditional, cherished but also rather elitist modes of conservation predicated on limiting or denying human access to protected areas, and advocates embracing a more convivial approach to conservation that accepts the growing need for working landscapes in which humans find strategies for co-existing with non-human species. Earlier efforts to promote landscape conservation were often seen as biased towards nonhuman species, but this approach is being reconceptualized through ideas including rewilding cities (Owens & Wolch, 2019), expanding wildlife corridors and other forms of connectivity (IUCN, 2020) and convivial conservation (Büscher & Fletcher, 2020). ...
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There is a growing need to (1) better understand spaces in which human-animal interactions occur in ways that increase the risk of emerging infectious disease (EID), and (2) identify the opportunities for mitigating EID risk available to urban planning. Peri-urban areas—which are typically under-governed, undergoing significant environmental change and highly susceptible to zoonotic disease transfer--are especially important in this regard. In this research note, we briefly explore how climate change is contributing to both peri-urbanization and EID risk. First, climate change is linked to the displacement of people and other species into peri-urban areas, thereby increasing opportunities for zoonotic disease transfer. Second, whether coastal or inland, peri-urban space, characterized by low resources and inadequate services, is also typically vulnerable to mounting climate impacts including severe weather events, sea level rise, flooding, erosion, drought, salinization and heat waves that create socio-ecological conditions amenable to EID outbreaks. These relationships are particularly alarming given that peri-urban environments abut urban areas creating numerous pathways for the movement of EIDs into larger populations. In this research note, we briefly explore these relationships and illustrate them with a causal loop diagram of climate change-peri-urban displacement-EID interactions based on field work in Malawi. We conclude by emphasizing the need for improved EID risk management and suggest that bringing together the environmental expertise of the conservation community with that of planners through a more convivial urbanism that draws on the concept of working landscape conservation might be a beneficial approach.
... In this narrative, what is considered 'human development' and 'natural environment' ought to be further detached as to 'protect' them from each other. What is considered 'nature' thus is securely placed into sanctuaries to eliminate the frictions between conservation efforts and capitalist production (Büscher and Fletcher, 2019). The very economics of market and state substitutions, in effect, defer the environmental costs of external inputs like fuels, feeds, and fertilizers to future generations, which undermine entirely the regenerative value of locally recovered biomass (Tornaghi, 2017). ...
Conference Paper
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This paper compares three interventionist eco-sanitation cases by applying a structurally extended SWOT matrix for evaluating their transformative relations and capabilities in their respec-tive urban settings of the global north. The enablers and barriers underlying these human waste cycling communities are assessed by combining qualitative-quantitative data collection and multi-form analysis. By complementing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis with the emergent framework of Ideas-Arrangement-Effects (I-A-T), the study assesses the creative potential manifested in these cases. The eco-toilet communities address unsustainable food systems by acting in concert with people, places, and microbes in a profoundly self-implicating pro-cess that stems from an oscillation between actionable immersion and perspectival detachment. This dynamic creates a reflexive conduit for counter-intuitive doing and thinking that diversifies domi-nant and hegemonic perspectives. The three cases, sensible to their respective settings, demonstrate how cultivating a rich, interactive context on the physical, social and psychological level is conducive to the suspense and exchange of positions and a plurality of perspectives on the world, human and nonhuman. Community acceptance and individual satisfaction with urban eco-toilets stems then from balancing this unsettling repositioning with supportive involvement, whereas disrupting bath-room routines, group debates, and agroecological experimentation makes people act in better-at-tuned relations with unknowable otherness.
... Since 1874, when Yellowstone National Park was established, the concept of a national park circulated around the globe as a model for protecting charismatic landscape wonders such as geysers and waterfalls (Nash, 2014). Over time, conservation ideology has been restructured and challenged by a range of social-ecological factors such as colonialism, democracy and capital (Buscher & Fletcher, 2020), leading to current Western views of conservation that struggle to deal with the full complexity of engaging people in environmental management decisions (Ludwig et al., 2001). Moving from a philosophical discussion to one of the effectiveness requires that research focus on understanding these ideological transitions, identify meaningful solutions for achieving an inclusive conservation research agenda and provide standards for measuring the outcomes of fluidly connected systems of people and their environments (Fazey et al., 2004;Gould et al., 2019;Pullin & Knight, 2001;Raymond et al., 2021;Tallis & Lubchenco, 2014). ...
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1. The success of conservation initiatives often depends on the inclusion of diverse stakeholder interests in the decision-making process. Yet, there is a paucity of empirical knowledge concerning the factors that explain why stakeholders door do not-believe that they are meaningfully represented by government agencies. 2. Our study provides insight into the relationship between trust and stakeholder perceptions of inclusivity in public land management decisions. Here, we focus on the U.S. state of Alaska, where almost two-thirds of the land area are managed by the federal government. 3. We used structural equation modelling to test whether an individual's trust and the information sources used to learn about land management positively influenced perceived inclusivity. We conceptualized trust in terms of four dimensions that reflected an individual's disposition to trust, trust in the federal government , trust in shared values and trust that agencies adhere to a moral code. 4. We found that survey respondents across the U.S. state of Alaska had a limited disposition to trust others, did not trust federal land management agencies, did not believe agencies shared their values pertaining to protected area management and did not believe that agencies adhered to a moral code. 5. Beliefs about the morality of agencies were the primary driver of perceived inclusivity in land management decisions, indicating that agencies should focus on solving problems through deliberation and discussion about moral principles rather than by force. 6. Information acquired from professional, community-based or environmental advocacy exchanges also positively influenced perceived levels of involvement among stakeholders in resource management decisions. 7. These results provide a roadmap for how land management agencies can improve public relations and work towards a model of inclusive conservation around protected areas.
... The convivial conservation idea of historic reparations, i.e. material and nonmaterial compensation for past inequities, is a viable starting point. However, Büscher and Fletcher (2020) themselves acknowledge the need for context-specific solutions, which require solid methodology and the implementation of broadbased, participatory engagement with the needs of all to identify and overcome decades or centuries of injustice with multidimensional and inclusive solutions. ...
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Given growing human influence on the earth system’s functioning, caring for nature has never been this critical. However, whether for economic interests or ‘wilderness’ preservation, attempts to save nature have been grounded on a Western scientific philosophy of separating it from people’s ways of living, especially through ‘protected areas’. Under the banner ‘convivial conservation’, which advocates socio-ecological justice and structural transformations in the global economic system, an alternative idea called ‘promoted areas’ has been proposed, advocating for conservation which promotes nature for, to, and by humans. Here, we argue that ‘promoted areas’ are best fitted with decolonial thinking in conservation science and practice. In southern Africa, one available ‘decolonial option’ is Ubuntu philosophy, which is anchored on the ethical principle of promoting life through mutual caring and sharing between and among humans and nonhumans. Ubuntu disengages from western ways of knowing about human–environment interactions, as it is predicated on promoting the many links between humans and nonhumans. From this, we argue that instituted through Ubuntu, ‘promoted areas’ re-initiate a harmony between human beings and physical nature, as practices of individualistic, excessive extractions of nonhuman nature are discouraged, and human–nonhuman relationships based on respect, solidarity, and collaboration are celebrated.
... There is a large literature on effects of the application of neoliberal practices, such as privatisation, marketisation and deregulation on economic processes and the social fabric, with a smaller literature addressing nature conservation (Raymond and Fairfax 2002;Igoe and Brockington 2007;Fletcher 2010;Holmes 2011;Büscher et al. 2012;Apostolopoulou et al. 2014;Castree and Henderson 2014;Apostolopoulou and Adams 2015;Bigger et al. 2018;Büscher and Fletcher 2020). Büscher et al. (2012) suggest that the central axiom of neoliberal conservation is that nature can only be saved if it is profitable to do so, as governments are disinclined to indulge in nature welfare. ...
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Since the 1980s in democratic societies, neoliberal reforms and neofeudal governance have transferred the delivery of many public goods and services from governments to non-government actors. Privatisation is a core neoliberal agenda, but little is known of the nature and extent of its application to nature conservation through reservation. We investigate the degree of privatisation of the expanding protected area system in our case study areas of Australia and Tasmania, hypothesising that governments have: disrupted public agencies managing the protected area estate by repeated reorganisation; diverted public funds from public to private protected areas; and increasingly alienated public reserves for subsidised private profit from tourism. We found frequent restructuring of agencies managing protected areas. Although Federal Government expenditure on private reserves increased markedly in the twenty-first century, so did expenditure on public conservation reserves. All States except Queensland increased public protected area funding. Direct subsidisation of private reserves by government has not had a steady upward trajectory. In contrast, subsidisation of private alienation of public conservation reserves for tourism may have accelerated in the twenty-first century. We conclude that, while Australian governments see value in protected areas as a source of economic development and electoral advantage, they are agnostic on ownership.
... To conclude, conservation struggles in India exemplify struggles over resource rights and, above all, recognition of justice (Martin et al., 2016). Those who challenge state-driven conservation discourses and policies demand the recognition of their culture, livelihoods and identity, and advocate for another conservation model where management rules can be fairly negotiated and implemented based on co-management and conviviality principles (Büscher and Fletcher, 2020). For all these reasons, I believe that this movement is playing a pivotal role in reframing priorities and contradictions and for the possible renegotiation of power structures (Veuthey and Gerber, 2012;Villamayor-Tomas and García-López, 2018). ...
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The protection of the Earth's remaining biodiversity continues to be a debate of global importance as well as a source of contestation. In this context, the Indian government started with its post-colonial forest conservation from the 1970s, by ushering in the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972. It has since reinforced its conservation policies, over the last 15 years giving particular focus to the protection of tigers, considered a keystone and endangered species. In 2004, a Tiger Task Force was set up to protect the tiger, followed by the establishment of protected habitats for tiger conservation, which in turn reinforced the idea of a human-wildlife binary and legitimized the control of these spaces through armed policing. These changes in environmental governance have altered the relationship between local communities and forest guards, in many cases aggravating already conflictual interactions. This article discusses the political ecology of emerging conflicts around protected areas (national parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries) in India through an analysis of 26 conflicts documented in the Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), and informed by field research conducted within and around protected areas of India. Specifically, the article analyzes the interplay between conservation policies and the rights of the commons recognized under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, as well as the socio-economic impacts of conservation policies in terms of dispossession, violence and the increase of "green militarization." The article also highlights the social resistance movements developed against these trends, which are framed as part of the growing environmental justice movement. The article concludes with how this struggle may be essential to achieving an ecologically sustainable society in the future and to shape a new conservation model.
... Si une approche strictement multifonctionnelle est prompte à mettre en chiffre les aménités environnementales et à contrôler l'accueil, les loisirs ou les usages faits du milieu pour en simplifier la gestion, elle peine à se confronter aux frottements, tensions et conflits en cours ou à venir. Une piste pourrait être lancée en direction d'une approche plus vivante et ouverte de la gestion, en phase avec les attentes environnementales et sociales, s'inspirant d'une conservation « conviviale » telle qu'élaborée récemment (Büscher et Fletcher, 2020). ...
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... This is not just historically unjust but does little, in the end, to help solve the problem. 63 The case of WFF sheds light on the ways in which an array of different-private and publicactors have found ways to create new business opportunities under the banner of environmental protection and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also points to the way in which big conservation groups are entangled with big business and financial actors through all sorts of projects, ventures, and shared board members. ...
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The COVID pandemic has been yet another reminder for those living in capitalist societies of the crucial importance of biodiversity for human health and of the urgency of shifting to much more constructive interactions with other organisms and physical environments. Instead, with the new Global Biodiversity Framework, there is a throwback to colonial forms of conservation coupled with a push to treat ever more of “nature” like a financial package.
... And despite more recent iterations that nuance earlier and more radical proposals to mix people and nonhuman nature through "natural capital" valuation, or separate people and nature on an unprecedented global scale, it is doubtful whether the dominant options currently on the table can provide a productive way forward. As argued in Büscher and Fletcher (2020), none of the current approaches will provide the fundamental structural transformations needed, as they do not directly confront the drive for continual accumulation of capital at the heart of the neoliberal capitalist economy. Neither do they sufficiently engage with the social injustices that have historically plagued both protectionist and market-based approaches to environmental governance . ...
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Increasingly heated debates concerning species extinction, climate change and global socioeconomic inequality reflect an urgent need to transform biodiversity governance. A central question in these debates is whether fundamental transformation can be achieved within mainstream institutional and societal structures. Chapter 12 argues that it cannot. Indeed, mainstream neoprotectionist and natural capital governance paradigms that do not sufficiently address structural issues, including an increase of authoritarian politics, might even set us back. The way out, the chapter contends, is to combine radical reformism with a vision for structural transformation that directly challenges neoliberal political economy and its newfound turn to authoritarianism. Convivial conservation is a recent paradigm that promises just this. The chapter reviews convivial conservation as a vision, politics and set of governance mechanisms that move biodiversity governance beyond market mechanisms and protected areas. It further introduces the concept of “biodiversity impact chains” as one potential way to operationalize its transformative potential.
... Historians who attend to the landscape transformations associated with slavery and early capitalism offer the term 'Plantationocene'. 22 Landscape histories have been taken forward in the environmental humanities and social sciences via a corpus of work that can broadly be characterised as 'the new materialism' in the humanities 23 , spanning environmental justice 24 research on toxicity (see in particular Rob Nixon's Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor 25 ) and alternatives to the militarisation of conservation 26 . In these bodies of work, Achille Mbembe's work on the concept of 'necropolitics' 27 -a politics of negation of the human subject -has been taken up by human geographers to describe 'necropolitical geologies' 28 . ...
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Reflecting on a recent three-decade review of the social-ecological sciences of False Bay in Cape Town that was co-authored by 32 South African based scientists, this essay draws on current Anthropocene scholarship in the environmental humanities and social sciences to suggest four approaches to strengthening transdisciplinarity engagement between social and natural sciences. First, the material flows between the fields categorised as ‘nature’ and ‘society’ is suggested as an alternative empirical base for integrative transdisciplinary research, building on emergent transdisciplinary fields including industrial ecology, biogeochemical sciences, circular economics and critical zone scholarship. Second, a humanities-informed conversation in South African scholarship invites discussion as to whether and how the conceptual categories of nature and society remain empirically useful, given the evidence in Anthropocene stratigraphy that human living is terra-forming. Third, humanities scholarship is vital for the scholarly assessment of historical and contemporary data sets and scientific publications. Fourth, the theorisation of ‘social systems’, ‘the human’, ‘society’, and ‘ecosystem services’ in the social-ecological approaches represented in the review, create a barrier for social scientists to take up invitations to transdisciplinary research partnerships. The above concerns, taken together, frame an alternative approach to transdisciplinary research that is tentatively suggested as an ‘anthropocenography’: a research paradigm based on material flows in the Anthropocene. Significance: Innovations in transdisciplinary research that attend to material flows are evident in multiple emerging fields that address the Anthropocene, including biogeosciences, industrial ecology, urban metabolism, circular economies, and critical zone sciences. Responding to a 30-year review of the sciences of False Bay, I argue that these new research fields, which encompass earth sciences, biosciences and applied sciences, offer generative linkages to emerging scholarship in environmental social sciences and humanities that also attend to material flows. Linking social and natural sciences via material flows is therefore suggested as a generative approach to transdisciplinarity.
... It may also reflect the fact that the extensive academic literature critiquing capitalist approaches to conservation (e.g. Büscher & Fletcher, 2020) has had seemingly little influence on practice. Practical hurdles such as the limited dissemination of research outputs (often in jargon-filled language that is unclear to policymakers and practitioners), practitioners lacking the time to read scientific studies, and journal paywalls acting as information barriers between academia and conservation policy and practice (Jarvis et al., 2020;Walsh et al., 2019) have all been offered as explanations for the lack of impact on conservation practices of academic publications. ...
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1) There exists a wealth of philosophical, sociological and anthropological literature on environmental values; yet, few studies have investigated the values held by conservationists themselves, and how these shape the conservation movement. 2) Here, we present the first global analysis of the relationships between conservationists' values and a broad range of conservationists' characteristics, categorised into their educational and professional background, geographical context and personal experiences in childhood and adulthood. We draw on survey responses from 9264 conservationists from 149 countries to conduct the broadest analysis to date of what factors are associated with the values of conservationists. 3) Our results demonstrate that 13 characteristics of conservationists' personal and professional backgrounds are statistically related to their values regarding the place of people, science, capitalism and nonhuman entities in conservation. Of these characteristics, educational specialism and continent of nationality had the highest predictive power. We also draw on open-text responses to uncover other factors that conservationists identify as having been important in shaping their values; travel and religion were the most commonly reported. 4) Our findings have important implications for current debates on diversity and inclusion within the conservation community. In particular, we provide broad empirical evidence that increasing personal and professional diversity in conservation organisations is likely to also increase the range of values represented. We also discuss the implications of our results for interdisciplinarity, the management of disagreement and conflict in conservation, and the training of future generations of conservationists.
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Biodiversity decline undermines the conditions for life on Earth resulting in calls for transformative governance of biodiversity. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity, national biodiversity strategies provide the primary mechanism through which governments demonstrate their conservation efforts. With many countries due to develop new strategies under the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, it is timely to assess existing ones to identify policy design elements that could be ‘ratcheted up’ to meet the transformative agenda. This article analyzes and compares the policy designs of national biodiversity strategies in Australia, France and Sweden. We cover problem framing, policy goals, targeted groups, implementing agents, and policy instruments, to draw lessons on how national strategies can be designed to further support transformation of biodiversity governance. We identify elements in these strategies that can be used to inspire future ones: a negotiated framing of biodiversity and participatory processes in France, nested and integrated goals, targets and measures in Sweden, and an engagement with indigenous knowledge in Australia. However, to bring about transformative change, the analysis also shows the need for novel and fundamental re-designs to successfully target indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, shift power relations, and make biodiversity conservation a priority rather than an option.
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Aquest informe esbossa un nou marc conceptual per explorar les possibilitats d'identificar i potenciar diferents expressions de post-capitalisme en el desenvolupament turístic. El turisme és una de les indústries més grans del món i, per tant, una poderosa força política i socioeconòmica. Tot i això, al llarg dels anys s'han documentat nombrosos problemes relacionats amb el desenvolupament del turisme convencional sota les lògiques de reproducció del capital, efectes que ara s'han agreujat sobre manera per les repercussions de l'actual pandèmia de la COVID-19. Des de fa temps, les crides al desenvolupament del turisme sostenible intenten resoldre aquests impactes i millorar el rumb del sector. Tanmateix, aquests postulats tendeixen a continuar promovent el creixement continu com a base del desenvolupament de la indústria turística. D'altra banda, les demandes de "decreixement" suggereixen que el creixement és en si mateix el problema fonamental que cal abordar en el debat sobre la sostenibilitat en el turisme i en altres àmbits. Aquesta crítica afirma que el creixement incessant és intrínsec al desenvolupament capitalista i, per tant, al paper del turisme com una de les formes principals d'expansió capitalista global. Per tant, el decreixement turístic requeriria pràctiques post-capitalistes destinades a socialitzar el turisme. Mentre que una part important de la recerca ha explorat com funciona el turisme com a expressió de l'economia política capitalista, fins ara cap investigació ha explorat sistemàticament com podria ser un turisme postcapitalista o com aconseguir-ho. Basant-nos en la innovadora tipologia d'Eric Olin Wright (2019) per conceptualitzar diferents formes de post-capitalisme com a components d'una estratègia global per erosionar el capitalisme, apliquem aquest marc a una sèrie d'exemples il·lustratius que ens permeten explorar el seu potencial per contribuir a una estratègia anàloga per, de manera similar, "erosionar la turistificació capitalista del turisme".
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As human-wildlife conflicts escalate worldwide, concepts such as tolerance and acceptance of wildlife are becoming increasingly important. Yet, contemporary conservation studies indicate a limited understanding of positive human-wildlife interactions, leading to potentially inaccurate representations of human-animal encounters. Failure to address these limitations contributes to the design and implementation of poor wildlife and landscape management plans and the dismissal of Indigenous ecological knowledge. We examined Indigenous perspectives on human-wildlife coexistence in India by drawing ethnographic evidence from Kattunayakans, a forest-dwelling Adivasi community living in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala. Through qualitative field study that involved interviews and transect walks inside the forests, we found that Kattunayakans displayed tolerance and acceptance of wild animals characterized as forms of deep coexistence that involves three central ideas: wild animals as rational conversing beings; wild animals as gods, teachers, and equals; and wild animals as relatives with shared origins practicing dharmam. We argue that understanding these adequately will support efforts to bring Kattunayakan perspectives into the management of India's forests and contribute to the resolution of the human-wildlife conflict more broadly.
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Creating a future for elephants and people is a highly complex and dynamic challenge, involving social, behavioral, and ecological dimensions as well as multiple actors with various interests. To foster learning from human–elephant conflict (HEC) management projects and share best practices, a study was conducted to review the management of conflicts between elephants and humans in 12 African countries by qualitative expert interviews. Based on this information, a HEC management framework was developed in a two-tiered process. In the first phase, the theory of the framework was developed. In a second phase, the theoretical framework was validated and adjusted through stakeholder participation in two southern African projects (in Mozambique and Malawi). This holistic approach considers environmental as well as social, political, cultural, and economic factors directly or indirectly affecting interactions between people and wildlife. The framework integrates six interlinked strategies to guide managers and conservation practitioners to address HWC drivers and mitigate their impact. A legal environment and spatial planning form the basis of the framework. Social strategies, including meaningful stakeholder engagement and design of appropriate institutional structures and processes are considered the heart of the framework. Technical and financial strategies represent its arms and hands. At the top, monitoring steers all processes, provides feedback for adjustment, and informs decisions. The integration and coordination of these six strategies has great potential as a guiding route to human–wildlife coexistence in Africa and elsewhere.
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The UN’s Decade of Ecosystem Restoration commenced in June 2021, with the expectation that ecological restoration will be vastly scaled-up internationally. Millions of hectares of the earth’s surface is projected to be restored, from forests and peatland to rivers, reefs and grasslands. This will transform restoration from a predominantly localized, community-driven field to a highly capitalized, professional activity. As the renowned biologist E. O. Wilson proposed, the twenty-first century certainly does look likely to be characterized by restoration. And yet, thus far, the still emerging field of ecological restoration has been dominated by the natural sciences, in both theory and practice, neglecting broader questions of how to live in and with restored landscapes. This paper contends that if restoration is to be significantly expanded over the next decade, the social sciences and humanities must be involved to ensure its purpose is given adequate scrutiny, by engaging wider publics of interest in scheme planning, design and implementation. This is crucial given the dominance of natural capital accounting in restoration, which privileges economic reasoning over alternative, more radical forms. Pragmatism, which has a substantive philosophical interest in the relationship between humans and their environment, can offer a distinctive orientation to inquiry conducive to collaboration between the natural and social disciplines. Focusing on waterway restoration in the United Kingdom, and drawing on social and natural science literature, this paper outlines a pragmatist research agenda that recognizes multiplicity in nature, advocates experimentation in human-environment relations, and foregrounds community in democratic renewal. The paper considers not only ways that pragmatism can inform restoration but how restoration can advance a pragmatist agenda for invigorating public life. This encourages scholars to think with not only against restoration, attending to composition as well as critique, as part of a political urban ecology.
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For over two decades, proponents of "ecosystem services" approaches have endeavored to transform the field of biodiversity conservation. In this article, I examine the work of the Natural Capital Project to show how the "mainstreaming" of ecosystem services has required not just hard work but specific forms of work performed by specific types of actors with specific sets of capabilities working through characteristic sorts of organizational contexts. I draw on key theorizations from organization studies to interpret the politics of ecosystem services and conceptualize the conditions (fragmented fields), practices (bricolage), actors (institutional entrepreneurs), and power relations (hegemonic) which have together comprised this work and underpinned ongoing efforts to realign the organizational forms and functions of mainstream conservation. I emphasize how tracing these micro-social foundations-the embedded agencies of those using ecosystem services to con-textually negotiate real-world conservation interventions-is crucial to understanding the dynamics of broader and increasingly pronounced macro-institutional shifts in conservation.
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Convivial conservation is presented as an anti-capitalist approach and alternative to current mainstream conservation as well as proposals for 'half-earth' and 'new conservation' approaches. This paper reviews these approaches and situates them in the global South conservation and development context. Using the Ruaha-Rungwa Ecosystem in Tanzania as a case study, it examines elements of the convivial conservation vision in relation to three critical conservation problems: path dependencies of state conservation agencies; heavy reliance on tourism revenue; and political interests in community conservation areas. The analysis draws on empirical data obtained from published studies and extensive field-based research by the first author in the study area. It demonstrates that while the convivial conservation approach may be considered a radical and plausible alternative to the 'half earth' and new conservation proposals, its implementation in the global South will remain challenging in the face of the existing conservation problems. The paper suggests a socio-ecological justice approach that complements the convivial conservation vision through a systemic incorporation of the rights and responsibilities of different conservation stakeholders from the perspective of procedural, recognition, distributive, and environmental justice.
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The term 'coexistence' is increasingly being used by academics and practitioners to reflect a re-conceptualisation of human-wildlife interactions (HWI). Coexistence has become a popular buzzword and is central to several proposals for transformative change in biodiversity conservation, including convivial conservation. Although ideas about how to achieve coexistence proliferate, critical exploration of the framing and use of the term is lacking. Through analysis of semi-structured interviews, webinars and online and offline documents, this paper critically interrogates how 'coexistence' is being conceptualised and translated into practice. We characterise coexistence as a boundary object that reflects a broadly agreed on 'hopeful mission', while being flexible enough to be meaningful for a wide range of actors. We identify three main framings of coexistence, which reflect the ways of knowing, values and approaches of different epistemic communities. We find that although the idea of coexistence has the potential to help facilitate transformative change in wildlife management, so far it largely manifests in practice as a positive-sounding label for standardised packages of tools and incentives. We argue that as the meaning of coexistence continues to be contested, there is an opportunity for activists, academics, and practitioners to reclaim its transformative roots. We identify a role for convivial conservation within this agenda: to re-politicise coexistence through the concept of 'meaningful coexistence'.
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Large carnivores increasingly inhabit human-impacted landscapes, which exhibit heterogeneity in biotic resources, anthropogenic pressures, and management strategies. Understanding large carnivore habitat use in these modern systems is critical for their conservation, as is the evaluation of competing management approaches and the impacts of significant land use changes. We employed occupancy modelling to investigate habitat use of an intact eastern African large carnivore guild across the 45,000 km2 Ruaha-Rungwa landscape, in south-central Tanzania. We determined the relative impact of biotic, anthropogenic, and management factors on five large carnivore species, at two biologically meaningful scales. We also specifically tested the effect of a novel trend of trophy hunting area abandonment on large carnivore occurrence. Our results reveal contrasting habitat use patterns: lion were found to be particularly vulnerable to illegal human activity, while African wild dog were instead limited by biotic features, avoiding areas of high sympatric predator density and using less-productive habitats. Spotted hyaena and leopard were able to persist in more disturbed areas, and across habitat types. There was no evidence of large carnivore occurrence being impacted by whether an area was used for photographic or trophy hunting tourism, with regular law enforcement being instead more important. All species fared better in actively managed hunting areas compared to those that had been abandoned by operators. Overall, our findings highlight the divergent habitat requirements within large carnivore guilds, and the importance of adopting an integrated approach to large carnivore conservation planning in modern systems. We also identified a novel threat to African conservation areas, in the form of decreased management investments associated with the abandonment of trophy hunting areas, and provide the first assessment of this significant land management change on a large carnivore population. Article impact statement: Habitat degradation associated with ongoing hunting area abandonment is shown to be a novel threat to large African carnivore populations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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This article examines global extractivisms and transformative alternatives; addressing: (1) access to and control over resources, (2) governance and recognition, (3) environmental-social harms, and (4) justice. The examination of these themes provides an understanding of the sociospatial links between extractivism and differentiated distribution of benefits and burdens. The study sheds light on the politics of recognition, including the discourses and policies that enable extractive industries to obtain licences to operate in resource-rich territories. The analysis illuminates the inseparability of environmental-social impacts of extractivism, including altered human-nonhuman relations, while opening perspectives to claims for justice and the search for transformative alternatives.
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This chapter outlines a historical political ecology of conservation initiatives in the Tarangire Ecosystem (TE). First, I turn to chronological history to highlight the origins and the evolution of key stages in the making and expanding of conservation initiatives in the TE. Through attention to chronological history, I show how dominant ideas about people and nature changed over time in the study area. Second, I revisit the TE as a site of contested histories to show how two environmental history narratives compete with each other – a statist narrative which is embraced by public authorities in government and conservation bureaucracies, and a people’s history which represents lived experiences and bottom-up conservation practices of human-wildlife coexistence. I argue that by dismissing and marginalizing locally meaningful narratives, experiences and representations of the TE, a statist narrative continues animating conservation conflicts in the present. Drawing on these insights from the TE’s environmental history and historical political ecology, the chapter concludes with an outlook on how people-wildlife coexistence in the region could be fostered through convivial conservation.
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) Understanding Human–Canid Conflict and Coexistence: Socioeconomic Correlates Underlying Local Attitude and Support Toward the Endangered Dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Bhutan.
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Community-based Conservation seeks to strike a balance between nature conservation and economic growth by establishing spatial and institutional settings that maintain and even regain biodiversity while simultaneously allowing for sustainable land use. The implementation of community-based conservation blueprints on communal, often agronomically marginal lands, is in many southern and eastern African countries encouraged by the national government. Despite vast academic literature on community-based conservation, it remains unclear how this re-shaping of resource governance has driven territorialisation in rural areas. To address this gap, this article compares the implementation of community-based conservation in Northern Kenya and Northern Namibia. By doing so, we intend to shed light on the question ‘why does community-based conservation result in different forms of territorialisation negotiated between state agencies, non-governmental organisations and rural communities? We demonstrate how historical preconditions, contemporary project design, and the commodification of natural resources shape territorialisation in both cases in different ways. In Kenya, concerns for securitisation have been driving community-based conservation, while in Namibia it primarily aimed to benefit the previously disadvantaged rural residents. Furthermore, in both regions community-based conservation programmes serve as vehicles to articulate political claims, either to reify traditional authorities, to create ethnically homogenous territories or to define boundaries of resource use.
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