Culture and Conservation: Investigating the Linkages between Biodiversity Protection and Cultural Values and Practices

January 11, 2017|Arcus Foundation
Traditional notions of conservation have been based largely on Western science and conceptions of “nature” that are often understood to mean land and wildlife that exists at a distance from human culture. This view has produced a number of negative consequences, including neglect of indigenous people’s knowledge and practices within the natural world, significant conflict with local communities over land use, and even, in some cases, the separation of people from their own resources. In this resource, leading conservation thinkers from a variety of backgrounds reconsider traditional conceptions of nature with the aim of promoting more positive and inclusive engagement with people living in parts of Africa and Asia that are commonly targeted for conservation work. Writers explore the role of religion and faith with respect to biodiversity, the economic and spiritual meanings of hunting and other resource use, and community values that contribute to decision-making. Ultimately, the book seeks a more nuanced understanding of local perceptions of life, death, nature, and extinction for the benefit of humans, other animals, and the environment as a whole.