Bram Büscher's research while affiliated with Wageningen University & Research and other places

Publications (14)

Article
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Increasingly, one hears furtive whispers in the halls of conservation: "REDD+ is dead; it's time to cut our losses and move on." In a recent Conservation Biology editorial, Redford, Padoch and Sunderland (2013) identify REDD+ (Reduced Emissions through avoided Deforestation and forest Degradation) as one of the latest in a long line of conservation...
Article
Over a thousand rhinos were killed in 2013 and 2014 as the poaching crisis in Southern Africa reached massive proportions, with major consequences for conservation and other political dynamics in the region. The article documents these dynamics in the context of the ongoing development and establishment of “peace parks”: large conservation areas th...
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The natural resource political economy in Southern Africa is booming once more. Central in these dynamics are the practices, promises and consequences of 'investment'. Investment is ubiquitous in neoliberal discourse and has long been used as a synonym for 'development' and 'improvement', though it is also rooted in and often responsible for dynami...
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The idea of protected areas as fortress conservation has long been debated and heavily criticized. In practice, however, the paradigm is alive and well and has, in some cases and especially due to rapid increases in poaching, seen major reinforcements. This article contributes to discussions that aim to reassess fortress conservation ideas and prac...
Article
Around the world, we increasingly see the often-deemed incongruent activities of ecotourism, associated environmental conservation and natural resource or fossil fuel extraction happening in the same spaces, often supported by the same institutions. Rather than being incongruent, however, these seemingly uncomfortable bedfellows are transforming sp...
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Following the financial crisis and its aftermath, it is clear that the inherent contradictions of capitalist accumulation have become even more intense and plunged the global economy into unprecedented turmoil and urgency. Governments, business leaders and other elite agents are frantically searching for a new, more stable mode of accumulation. Arg...
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This forum reviews and comments on other papers in this special issue on CEE. While CEE is a promising and innovative methodology, it would be strengthened by thinking through and taking into account two important points: first, how CEE can help to understand structural power, particularly as it relates to the intersection between neoliberal capita...
Article
Full-text available
Can “market forces” solve the world’s environmental problems? The stakes are undeniably high. With wildlife populations and biodiversity riches threatened across the globe, it is obvious that new and innovative methods of addressing the crisis are vital to the future of the planet. But is “the market” the answer? As public funding for conservation...
Article
Full-text available
A rich body of literature investigates the many ways in which nature is impacted upon and transformed by the ‘endless accumulation of capital’. Much less attention has been reserved for understanding how capital increasingly aims to profit from the non-extractive or non-transformative use of nature. While recognized as important, the theorization o...

Citations

... Paralelamente, también es posible pensar el reciente establecimiento de plantaciones de palma de aceite como parte del propósito contemporáneo de trascender el estado de degradación de los entornos, mediante «mejoras tecnológicas». Y al proceder de esta manera, como lo sugiere Büsher (2013), es posible considerar que la «solución ambiental» orientada a la conservación ha ido acompañada de dinámicas de traslado ficticio de los entornos biofísicos a circuitos de acumulación de capital. Pero también es posible plantear que la «solución» orientada a trascender los límites ecológicos de los entornos procura que determinados elementos biofísicos pasen de ser condiciones a ser fuerzas de producción (Boyd, Prudham y Schurman 2001). ...
... Individual elephant bodies are made measurable and commensurable under capitalist socioecological relations through inscriptions that attempt to substitute for lively materialities. The 'conservationist mode of production' produces surplus elephants that are inserted onto quotas and ascribed economic value on price lists, abstracted for circulation in markets for conservation hunting commodities (Fletcher et al., 2015;Bracking et al., 2019). Fetishized images of elephants and wild, idyllic landscapes are used to sell these commodities, integral to the 'spectacular accumulation' of the elephant's economic value (Igoe, 2013;Barua, 2017) but alienated from the (non)human labor and complex ecologies that produce them. ...
... Potential to build on capacity and knowledge of REDD+ projects have built to move to non-market based conservation approaches ( Fletcher et al., 2016). ...
... The industrialized DSP views nature from a perspective of commodification and utilization , Shoreman-Ouimet and . Nature is seen as a space to develop, with resources that can be used not only for human survival, but to promote a flourishing material economy (Jensen 2006, Sullivan 2009, Büscher et al. 2014. By harvesting natural resources with a focus on the consumption of those goods, natural resources are viewed as an ingredient for profit. ...
... Some scholars have expanded on such analyses by using a geopolitical ecology framework to also interrogate the role of geopolitical institutions in environmental change and violence (Bigger and Neimark, 2017;Massé and Margulies, 2020). Others have called attention to the growing trend of militarized violence in defense of biodiversity conservation (Büscher and Fletcher, 2018;Büscher and Ramutsindela, 2016;Duffy, 2014;Duffy et al., 2019;Lunstrum, 2014;Massé, 2018;Ybarra, 2018). Recently, Marijnen et al. (2020) build on these analyses by situating such violence within broader contexts of war and conflict in their discussion of 'conservation in violent environments.' ...
... The financialization of nature has gained considerable traction in recent years, notably with the multiplication of carbon and biodiversity offsetting markets (Cuckston, 2018a;MacKenzie, 2009;Tregidga, 2013). Financialization processes involve introducing a financial rationale into fields previously outside the economic sphere (Arjaliès and Bansal 2018;Büscher et al. 2014). Financialization transforms the world through practices, theories, and technologies that typically originate in the financial sector (Chiapello 2015(Chiapello , 2018. ...
... It is therefore not surprising that fortress conservation defense measures often take place against local peoples (including Indigenous Peoples) in ways that are forceful and sometimes include coercion in order to protect marine habitats, animals, and plants (Büscher 2016). Though many researchers have voiced opposition to defense-based conservation praxes (Hutton et al. 2005;Dressler et al. 2010), these ideas and practices are still maintained through protected area governance (Holmes 2013;Kepe 2014;Harris 2014;Büscher 2016), including in marine systems Marine conservation efforts may be enveloped into conservation biology-the scientific and objective exploration of measures that preserve and improve biological diversity. ...
... This is less visible than large power stations like Medupi, but equally important in determining action regarding climate change. One example of this facilitation concerns the regular, large conferences organized by the fossil sector, like the IHS McCloskey South African Coal Exports conferences, in 2012 attended by the first author (Büscher, 2015). Every year, these bring together 'heads of state, market leaders, executives, experts and market participants for learning, idea exchange and networking' in support of coal. ...
... This extractivist expansion is global. From the United States, which with its growing use of 'fracking' is slated to become the world's largest producer of oil and gas 2 (Evensen et al., 2014), to renewed interest in the rich resources of Africa (Büscher, 2015) and to non-conventional sources of extractives exports such as Turkey (Arsel 2003), there has been a boom in the extraction of minerals and hydrocarbons. But Latin America is the region that is emblematic of not only the extent of this expanding extractivism, with the spectacular advancement of the extraction frontier to most of the Amazon, but also the widespread anticipation that the sector will pave the way to socioeconomic development. ...
... Political ecology studies have extensively considered both resource extraction and biodiversity conservation, but more rarely their interactions (Huff and Orengo 2020). Here, I seek to contribute to the growing literature addressing this gap through a discussion of the political ecologies of extraction and conservation (Adams 2017; Büscher and Davidov 2016;Enns et al. 2019;Norris 2017;Purwins 2020;Symons 2018;). Building on studies from within political ecology and other disciplines (see Sonter et al. 2018), I hope to help map out -both conceptually and literally -some of the main extraction-conservation relations. ...