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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 256-275

Business, Biodiversity and New 'Fields' of conservation: The world conservation congress and the renegotiation of organisational order


Department of Geography, and Center for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Kenneth Iain MacDonald
Department of Geography, and Center for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.78144

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Biodiversity conservation, in practice, is defined through the institutionalised association of individuals, organisations, institutions, bodies of knowledge, and interests. Events like the World Conservation Congress (WCC) constitute political sites where much of that institutionalisation is rendered legible and where struggles over the organisational order of conservation are acted out. Over the past decade one source of struggle has been the role of private sector actors and markets. This paper treats the WCC as a site where tension over market-based mechanisms of conservation becomes visible and where it becomes possible to watch durable institutional arrangements form and enter standard operational practice of organisations like IUCN. This paper builds upon recent work on the performative aspects of governance and analyses the WCC as an integral mechanism in achieving a renegotiated 'order' of conservation with 'private sector engagement' as a core operational practice. It describes how this performative work is predicated, in part, on the act of meeting; and the ways meetings serve both as sites for the formation of associations and as vehicles that privilege certain positions in renegotiating an organisational order under which the interests of capital accumulation receive an unparalleled degree of access and consideration in conservation planning and practice.


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