Home       About us   Issues     Search     Submission Subscribe   Contact    Login 
Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
Users Online: 1692 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

Previous article Table of Contents  Next article

Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 283-296

Towards Convivial Conservation

1 Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Department of Geography, Environmental Management & Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg; South Africa and Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2 Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Bram Büscher
Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University; Department of Geography, Environmental Management & Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg; South Africa and Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University

Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_19_75

Rights and Permissions
Date of Web Publication3-Jul-2019


Environmental conservation finds itself in desperate times. Saving nature, to be sure, has never been an easy proposition. But the arrival of the Anthropocene - the alleged new phase of world history in which humans dominate the earth-system seems to have upped the ante dramatically; the choices facing the conservation community have now become particularly stark. Several proposals for revolutionising conservation have been proposed, including 'new' conservation, 'half Earth' and more. These have triggered heated debates and potential for (contemplating) radical change. Here, we argue that these do not take political economic realities seriously enough and hence cannot lead us forward. Another approach to conservation is needed, one that takes seriously our economic system's structural pressures, violent socio-ecological realities, cascading extinctions and increasingly authoritarian politics. We propose an alternative termed 'convivial conservation'. Convivial conservation is a vision, a politics and a set of governance principles that realistically respond to the core pressures of our time. Drawing on a variety of perspectives in social theory and movements from around the globe, it proposes a post-capitalist approach to conservation that promotes radical equity, structural transformation and environmental justice and so contributes to an overarching movement to create a more equal and sustainable world.

Keywords: nature, conservation, Anthropocene, political ecology, conviviality, capitalism

How to cite this article:
Büscher B, Fletcher R. Towards Convivial Conservation. Conservat Soc 2019;17:283-96

How to cite this URL:
Büscher B, Fletcher R. Towards Convivial Conservation. Conservat Soc [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Feb 26];17:283-96. Available from: http://www.conservationandsociety.org/text.asp?2019/17/3/283/261499

   Introduction Top

These days it is difficult to keep track of all the devastating conservation news that appears. Despite some holding to 'conservation optimism'1, most of the scientific news about species, ecosystems and the climate is far from positive. The Living Planet Report 2018 states that 60% of all wild animals have disappeared since 1970 (WWF 2018) while other recent studies show that extinction rates are accelerating and that global biodiversity thresholds may soon surpass 'planetary boundaries' beyond which even more dramatic decline is inevitable (Meyer 2006; CBD 2010; Newbold et al. 2016; Watson et al. 2016; Tucker et al. 2018; IPBES 2019). At the same time, the myriad impacts of anthropogenic climate change continue to worsen, threatening to exceed this 'planetary boundary' as well (IPCC 2018). Witnessing this reality, some go so far as to pronounce it a sign of impending 'biological annihilation' (Ceballos et al. 2017).

All of this is tied up in growing assertions that we have now entered the 'Anthropocene', the alleged new phase of world history in which humans dominate the earth-system (Ogden et al. 2013). The Anthropocene idea is meant to indicate that we are living through socio-ecological transformations so fundamental that they – quite literally – change the very geological structure of our planet. It is not surprising, therefore, that this has led to heated debates in a conservation community already frustrated by the failure to halt spiralling biodiversity and extinction crises. These debates have inspired the rise of new radical proposals for revolutionising conservation, including 'new' conservation, 'half Earth' and others. These, in turn, have triggered major potential for (contemplating) radical change in conservation policy and practice.

In this article we build on this potential and experimentation to outline a vision, a politics and a set of governance principles for the future of conservation, which we propose under the banner of 'convivial conservation'. Inspired by political ecology and real-world examples of saving nature differently, convivial conservation encourages transformative seeds to grow into a realistic and positive foundation for reconciling global conservation and development imperatives.2 It proposes an explicitly political approach to conservation as one stream within a broader river of movements, struggles and ideas that seek to transcend the unsustainable status quo.

In the following, we spend little time developing an analysis of the Anthropocene conservation debates, broader movements and ideas that inform these. We do so already in a companion book (Büscher and Fletcher. In press). Instead, we focus on outlining the vision we offer in the book as well as some of the political and governance proposals that seek to operationalise this vision. The article is intended as an abridged and accessible companion to the book, while taking it further by presenting a sharper political intervention. It therefore lacks empirical foundation while schematising positions, debates and influences developed in detail in the book.

We begin by highlighting a new pressing issue that the Anthropocene conservation debates have yet to engage: the rise of authoritarian right-wing governments that have set their sights on conservationists and the environmental protection they advocate. We then briefly rehearse the Anthropocene debate and why this presents radical potential to confront this mounting threat. The remainder of the article builds on this to outline the elements of our convivial conservation proposal, concluding by reemphasising the need for a different conservation politics.

   A New Moment in Conservation Top

While the myriad threats to biodiversity described above are bad news for conservation, we believe that this is not what we should be most worried about right now. Over the last years, we have seen increasingly authoritarian leaders like Trump, Duterte and Bolsonaro elected, driven by expanding right-wing, even (proto-)fascist agendas and networks. These developments are far more dangerous and worrying. Not because of the individuals themselves, but because of what they represent: a political economy increasingly becoming more intense, pressurised and erratic. We have referred to this earlier as the 'Trump moment'3 in conservation, although after the 2018 Brazil elections we could add the 'Bolsonaro moment' as well. What this means is that Trump and Bolsonaro are not unfortunate 'accidents': they are an expression and outcome of the state of our political economy. They show that radical change is happening but that this is driven by a politics steeped in misogyny, violent anti-environmentalism, racism and market-fundamentalism that could reinforce institutional mechanisms and power (im)balances in favor of the status quo for many years to come.

So, what do mainstream conservation organisations call for to resist these increasingly extreme agendas? To resist the populist campaigns that supported Bolsonaro taking over the most biodiverse country on the planet and his brazen assertions to destroy the already troubled environmental, indigenous and social movements within the country, along with the science that supports these (Magnusson et al. 2018)? The WWF flagship Living Planet report, released two days after Bolsonaro was elected, calls for a 'new global deal for nature and people' and urges 'decision-makers at every level' to “make the right political, financial and consumer choices to achieve the vision that humanity and nature thrive in harmony on our only planet”. To operationalise this 'ambitious pathway', WWF, together with other organisations, will launch a new research initiative based around 'systems modelling' to help “us determine the best integrated and collective solutions and to help understand the 'trade-offs' we may need to accept to find the best path ahead” (WWF 2018: 8).

Other mainstream organisations advance similar strategies. Mark Tercek, CEO of the Nature Conservancy, reflecting on the 2016 US presidential elections and Brexit, admits that 'stronger political headwinds' are to be expected. Yet he still believes that “we really can have it all—a future where people get the food, energy and economic growth they need without sacrificing nature”.4 This is neoliberal consensus politics, driven often by moderate and centric political interests allied around the belief that contemporary capitalism can both be managed and rendered more sustainable and equitable (Fletcher 2014). This politics is not new; it is deeply entrenched in conservation and sustainability communities more generally (Büscher 2013), although, as we will show, cracks have started to appear.

While we fully understand that conservation organisations wish to operate carefully politically, this supposedly 'middle-of-the-road' consensus rhetoric will not work against the forces now gathering and the extreme capitalist interests they represent and serve. Further models to develop more 'integrated and collective solutions' will not succeed where most proposed previously have failed. A 'new deal' wherein a generic 'us' or 'collective' can come together to understand 'trade-offs' sounds naïve at best in the current climate. The new authoritarian leaders and many other global elites (such as the Koch brothers) are clearly hell-bent to promote an agenda that is precisely the opposite. The mainstream response, therefore, and no matter how well-intentioned, increasingly appears as a technocratic politics of resignation. One that may consider itself pragmatic, practice-based and realistic, but that is out of touch with the political realities in which we live. We need another conservation vision and movement, one that takes seriously – and so positively confronts - the structural, violent and uneven socio-ecological pressures of our current economic system.

   Conservation in the Anthropocene Top

In the last decade, triggered by the implications of the Anthropocene, a number of radical alternate approaches have emerged seeking to transform conservation policy and practice. The two most prominent are 'new' or 'Anthropocene' conservation and the neoprotectionist 'half earth' movement. These have caused quite a rift among conservationists and precipitated some of the bigger cracks in the neoliberal consensus noted earlier. According to new conservationists, the Anthropocene places an unprecedented burden on humans. Homo sapiens are seen to have changed global ecosystem functioning such that they now have to cultivate and manage the earth as one immense 'rambunctious garden' (Marris 2011). But this is not necessarily negative. Instead of mourning biodiversity loss due to anthropocenic change, new conservationists believe we should acknowledge and promote the new and potentially exciting possibilities that current global changes may bring (Pearce 2015; Thomas 2017; Schilthuizen 2018). Hence, what makes new conservation radical is that it aims to end conservation's long-standing infatuation with wilderness and ideas about 'pristine' nature as well as the conviction that these can be conserved as untouched protected spaces, away from humans. Nature and ecosystems always change, new conservationists argue. So why not embrace the 'new natures' that are currently evolving and use them to support human development?

Following its opening salvos in 2011 and 2012, new conservation provoked strong responses. Amongst these was a resurgence of 'neoprotectionism': a longstanding movement calling for a return to protected area expansion and enforcement. Unlike new conservationists, neoprotectionists do not believe that human-induced change is something (potentially) positive. To the contrary: they fear it will be the earth's undoing, precipitating the downfall of Homo sapiens and innumerable other species in the process (Wilson 2016). In the face of new conservation's bold acceptance of global human-centered conservation management, therefore, neoprotectionists have also upped their game. Instead of putting humans in charge, they want to put nature back in charge. Many even argue that at least half the entire planet – or even 60% (Mogg et al. In press) – must be set-aside in a system of protected areas reserved for 'self-willed' nature. Only in this way, they assert, can an impending global ecological catastrophe be averted (Wuerthner et al. 2015). Instead of the radical mixing of people and nonhuman nature that new conservationists endorse, many resurgent neoprotectionists call for a separation between people and nature on an unprecedented global scale.

These two radical proposals present far-reaching challenges to what Brockington et al. (2008) term 'mainstream conservation'. This label encompasses a broad amalgam of different organisations, approaches and ideas. Yet, based on our long-standing research and a large literature, two key characteristics can be highlighted and generalised across this constellation for heuristic purposes. First, mainstream conservation remains grounded in efforts to dichotomise people and nature via promotion of protected areas, in conjunction with broader participatory, stakeholder-focused approaches, including community-based conservation models (Borgerhoff Mulder and Copollilo 2005; Corson et al. 2014). Second, mainstream conservation works within rather than beyond capitalism (Brockington and Duffy 2010; Cavanagh and Benjaminsen 2017). This has been true for a long time but has intensified during the neoliberal era (Igoe et al. 2010). The idea is that conserved nature can be turned into in situ 'natural capital' so that the creativity of the pursuit of profit can be linked to the protection of nature and the 'environmental services' it provides (Büscher et al. 2014). And although many conservationists may not see this trend as such, and may emphasise it is meant to appeal to rather than be like business, the effects in practice are the same: a deepening of the links between capitalism and conservation (Fletcher et al. In press).

Clearly, whatever the Anthropocene means, there is widespread agreement that our current reality of global, human-induced ecosystemic and climatic change presents stark challenges for conservation. It is concern for this dynamic that has led to the radical proposals now on the table. For heuristic purposes, we present the different approaches along two main axes: from capitalist to post-capitalist positions on one axis; and from positions steeped in nature-people dichotomies to those that aim to go beyond these on the other. We realise that this typology is highly simplistic, starkly separating what is in reality a fluid spectrum of different approaches. But we find it useful to present things in this manner in order to clarify key issues of contention among different positions. Within this heuristic, then, we designate four main positions along these two axes: mainstream conservation, new conservation, neoprotectionism and, finally, what we call 'convivial conservation'. The resulting schematic is depicted in [Table 1].
Table 1: Four main positions on saving nature in the Anthropocene

Click here to view

Mainstream conservation, as we have argued, does not challenge the hegemonic, global capitalist order and is firmly embedded in myriad 'dualisms' wherein humans, and their society or culture, are seen as (epistemologically and ontologically) distinct from 'nature'. As mentioned, it is this latter element that new conservation targets and what makes it radical. New conservation portrays nature as an integrated element within a socio-natural 'rambunctious garden' to be managed by people. This management, in turn, can (and for some should) be ardently capitalist (Kareiva et al. 2012). Many key new conservationists are, for example, staunch supporters of 'natural capital' solutions to the environmental crisis (Kareiva et al. 2011, 2012). Neoprotectionists reject both of these elements. They are deeply and often deliberately committed to nature-people dichotomies, believing that separating people and nature is necessary to stave off a collapse of life-supporting ecosystems. At the same time, they have become increasingly critical of economic growth and consumerism (Wuerthner et al. 2014; Cafaro et al. 2017). In certain ways, with important exceptions, many neoprotectionists are thus rather critical of contemporary capitalism, either explicitly or implicitly.5

Our book (Büscher and Fletcher. In press) offers a detailed and nuanced discussion of the important differences among and within these various proposals, something we cannot do justice to in this paper. What we want to highlight here is that these two radical conservation approaches show that a conservation revolution might be brewing. Yet they cannot by themselves inspire a revolution, as neither truly addresses the integrated socio-ecological roots of the biodiversity crisis, nor do their politics adequately confront the reactionary political developments noted earlier. Having said this, however, it is crucial not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are important positive aspects in both radical proposals that should be nurtured and brought together into a more coherent alternative. While we reject new conservationists' contradictory support for capitalist conservation, we want to retain some of the imaginative energy they bring in striving to move beyond problematic dichotomies and to centralise the need to integrate nature and people by directly addressing inequality and poverty. At the same time, we largely agree with neoprotectionists' critiques of the capitalist growth/consumerist economy, but find this outweighed by their worrying proposals to separate people and nature, especially the nature-needs-half proposal, which would have massive negative social consequences if implemented (Büscher et al. 2017).

We therefore see these two positions as pointing towards the more fundamental transformation that is needed to allow conservation to effectively confront the mounting pressures of the Anthropocene. This is where convivial conservation enters. The crucial difference between mainstream conservation, the two radical alternatives now on the table, and our own convivial conservation proposal is that we explicitly start from a political ecology perspective steeped in a critique of capitalist political economy (Bryant 2015; Fletcher et al. 2015). This critique is built on a rejection of both nature-people dichotomies and a capitalist economic system demanding continual growth via intensified consumerism. This makes it the most radical of the four proposals. But also, the most coherent and realistic one. To put it simply: without directly addressing capitalism and its many engrained dichotomies and contradictions, we cannot tackle the conservation challenges before us or do so realistically within the current political climate. Convivial conservation is built on a politics of equity, structural change and environmental justice. It directly targets the extreme capitalist interests of the global elites, positively engages with but transcends technocratic beliefs of pragmatists and enthusiastically builds on the current upswell in many parts of global society that demand structural change.

   Elements of a Vision Top

In the 1970s, Ivan Illych (1973) saw his revolutionary project as one of 'convivial reconstruction'; the transformation of society to focus on a frugal good life. The convivial reconstruction of conservation depends on and aids this broader project currently (and historically) pushed and supported by many post-colonial, indigenous, emancipatory, youth, progressive and other movements, organisations and individuals around the world (Berberoglu 2018; Albó 2019). For this we need to allow ourselves to envision several major, positive transformations that might characterise postcapitalist convivial conservation. We propose five key elements of a convivial conservation vision.

From protected to promoted areas

The default mode of conservation has commonly emphasised protecting nature from people, particularly through protected areas. Elaborate systems have been set up to govern who has access to (parts of) protected areas and how these (parts) ought to be used (see the IUCN classification system). This puts the focus on marking and emphasising the boundaries between human and nonhuman nature rather than celebrating the many inherent links between them (Sandbrook 2015; Fletcher 2017). Under convivial conservation, this would be reversed. The main goal of special conservation areas should not be to protect nature from humans but to promote nature for, to and by humans.6 They should transition from protected to 'promoted areas', although not in capitalist terms (of marketing them as the basis of capital accumulation and hence exploitation via (eco)tourism or natural capital; see below). Rather, promoted areas are conceptualised as fundamentally encouraging places where people are considered welcome visitors, dwellers or travellers rather than temporary alien invaders upon a nonhuman landscape. This can only take place within an overall context focused not on exploitation or productivity but on conviviality: the building of long-lasting, engaging and open-ended relationships with nonhumans and ecologies.

This proposition includes an important discursive shift. 'Protected from' sounds negative 7, while promoted by and for is positive, and – significantly – democratic. As Purdy (2015) states, truly democratic politics are necessary when dealing with protected areas in the future. Some positive steps in this regard have been made, all around the world, including by the Indigenous and Community Conservation Areas (ICCA) coalition, the Forest Peoples Programme, and others.8 But more is needed, especially given that some hard-won democratic experiments have recently been turned back in the fight against poaching and the broader militarisation of protected areas (Lunstrum 2014; Büscher and Ramutsindela 2016; Duffy et al. 2019).

Important in this move is to continue to emphasise, with many neoprotectionists and (new) conservationists, all that is valuable in and about current protected areas (Dudley et al. 2018). This cannot be lost as the discussion progresses (Locke 2014); hence 'promotion' never means that every action is possible or desirable. The value of biodiversity requires promotion, too, especially vis-à-vis values linked to (unnecessary or excessive) extractive and destructive enterprise. But unlike neoprotectionists, we do not think this value will survive by positioning it against humanity and 'population growth', as it frequently is.9 The deep value of nature, including its intrinsic or 'existence' value, only makes sense through and by its appreciation by humans. Hence, the only solution to protecting nature's value is to build an integrated (economic, social, political, ecological, cultural) value system that does not depend on (systemic) destruction of but on 'living with' nonhuman nature (Turnhout et al. 2013).

From saving nature to celebrating human and nonhuman nature

The next element follows logically: we must move away from the idea that conservation is about 'saving' only nonhuman nature. The main actors that humans save nonhuman natures from are other humans.10 Yet since humans are part of a larger whole that contains nonhumans as well, we get into tricky territory when speaking about 'saving' nature from humans, reinforcing the very nature-society dichotomy we seek to dismantle. In fact, we have long suspected that something must be fundamentally wrong if we have to put boundaries between ourselves and nonhuman nature; this means, essentially, that we have to protect ourselves from ourselves. This contradiction can only be overcome by challenging the idea that conservation is ultimately and only about saving nonhuman nature.

We need to start instead by focusing on saving and celebrating both human and nonhuman nature equally. This may sound strange, even wrong, to many conservationists and political ecologists alike. Indeed, within the social sciences, there are strong 'turns' towards decentering the human and instead to put human and 'more-than-human' on an equal footing (e.g., Haraway 2008; Braidotti 2013). While we agree we need to take the 'more-than-human' much more seriously, this does not necessitate that human and 'more-than-human' must be given wholly equal standing. Following David Harvey (2000: 223), we need a “broad agreement on how we are both individually and collectively going to construct and exercise our responsibilities to nature in general and towards our own human nature in particular”. Harvey, drawing on White, refers to this as “learning to be distinctively ourselves in a world of others”.

Opening up the question of 'human nature' may be somewhat ambitious. But it is necessary, even if only briefly. As Sahlins (2008: 112) argued, the idea of human nature as competitive, self-interested and rational - the stereotypical 'homo economicus' underlying neoliberal forms of governance - is false (and now also challenged by '21st century economists'; Raworth 2017: 94). This reductionist idea of human nature has been responsible for creating needs, desires and actions that 'endanger our existence' and are certainly not convivial. Opening up the question of human nature, therefore, means asserting that there are “various ways in which we can 'be ourselves'” (Harvey 2000: 223); that we can construct needs, wants and actions differently, in line with sustainable conviviality. It also means, fundamentally, challenging the 'dangerous' processes of capitalist alienation that Harvey (2014) argues change and go against human nature. The point here is not that there is an essential human nature of any particular bent; rather, how subjectivity is expressed depends fundamentally on the social, political, economic and historical contexts that shape it. This means that if we want people to behave differently, towards each other and the rest of the world, we need to focus on changing these overarching contexts as well.

The fact that these points refer specifically to human nature does not mean they exclude nonhumans. A certain form of human exceptionalism can be(come) completely convivial. While a 'posthuman' perspective seeks to challenge human exceptionalism, an alternative perspective would assert that humans are in fact exceptional and unique; but that every other species and organism are, in their own way, special and unique as well. Decentering the human may therefore be best accomplished not by homogenising and levelling all forms of life but on the contrary by insisting on the unique nature possessed by each of these myriad forms. Convivial conservation allows for the celebration of this diversity while its 'saving' occurs in the context of recognising how differential needs, desires and actions of humans and nonhumans are always yet unevenly related to broader political economic trends and dynamics.

From touristic voyeurism to engaged visitation

As the way we promote and save nonhuman and human nature changes under convivial conservation, so must also the way we engage, see and experience nonhuman nature. At present, many of us primarily engage 'wild' nature, and especially parks, through commodified tourism experiences. But as copious research now demonstrates, tourism, as one of the largest capitalist industries in the world, is not usually the great saviour of nature it is often made out to be. On the contrary, it is both indirectly and often even directly responsible for the destruction of nature (e.g. Duffy 2002; Higgins-Desbiolles 2009; Fletcher 2011; Büscher and Fletcher 2017). But capitalist tourism is about more than just the destruction or conservation of nature. It is also a particular way of seeing and understanding nature, one that can be shorthanded as a type of voyeurism: peeking 'at' nature through commodified tours, spaces, sites and other experiences; often more aimed at ticking boxes (been there, done that, seen the 'big five', the Niagara falls, or what else) than at creating meaningful long-term engagement.

This is not to say that the latter does not exist. But one problem with a focus on 'conservation-funded-through-tourism' is that meaningful long-term engagement with nature seems to increasingly become an elite privilege rather than a democratic possibility. Visiting and/or owning 'pristine' nature is very often (and has long been) an elite activity, imbued with problematic racial, gender and class divisions (see Holmes 2012; Fletcher 2014; Büscher 2016). And even if capitalist tourism enables or leads to long-term deep engagement with species or ecosystems, this is too often used as escape from, not confrontation with or developing alternatives to the destructive dynamics of global capitalism (Bunn 2003).

Under convivial conservation, the emphasis will be on long-term democratic engagement rather than on short-term voyeuristic tourism or elite access and privilege. The details of this engagement are beyond this paper, but are inspired by the principles outlined by Shrivastava and Kothari (2012: chapters 9 and 10) and Cato (2013) based inter alia on bioregional economic development, sharing of state functions with civil society, new indicators of well-being, degrowth and a devolution of powers. Does that mean that short-term tours or trips will become impossible? We do not know. But it has become patently clear that we cannot afford to continue flying around the world in climate-changing airplanes in order to save nature through (eco)tourism. The alternative is to encourage long-term visitation focused on social and ecological justice (Higgins-Desbiolles 2009), preferably in relation to the natures close(r) to where we live.

From spectacular to everyday environmentalisms

Capitalist conservation interactions with nature, including but not limited to tourism, are focused on what Igoe (2010, 2017) calls the spectacle of nature. Inspired by Guy Debord, the 'spectacle of nature' means that “images become commodities alienated from the relationships that produced them and consumed in ignorance of the same” (Igoe 2010: 375). Conservation, in other words, is increasingly communicated and consumed through images of the very idealised, spectacular natures that are increasingly disappearing in reality.11 These types of communication are often (necessarily) superficial, anti-political and devoid of context and despite many promises to the contrary, new media in practice often reinforce this dynamic (Büscher 2016; Fletcher 2017). Under convivial conservation we must move away from the spectacle of nature and instead focus on 'everyday nature', in all its splendour and mundanity (Cronon 1996). Indeed, we argue that it is in mundanity rather than spectacle that we find the most meaningful engagement with the natures around us (Loftus 2012).

From privatised expert technocracy to common democratic engagement

The fifth element of our vision upholds that all people have to be able to (potentially) live with all nature. Hence, the way 'wild' nature is commonly managed, namely in a top-down fashion based on technocratic expert-opinions, is inherently alienating for most of us (which comes through in its most extreme form in Wilson's (2016: 192) vision of allowing most humans to only peer at the 'other' side of earth – nature's half – through micro-cameras). This, again, implies need for a much more democratic management of nature, focused on nature-as-commons and nature-in-context instead of nature-as-capital. This point is important for conservation generally, but perhaps especially in relation to the extinction crisis. As Heatherington (2012), Sodikoff (2012), Dawson (2016) and others argue, technoscience may save some species from extinction, but will not save them as part of a broader amalgam of 'living landscapes' that do long-term socio-ecological justice to humans and non-humans. 'Saving' species, they all emphasise, is meaningful only within broader social, cultural and environmental contexts.

A key issue here concerns the operationalisation of 'value'. Convivial conservation grounded in radical ecological democracy (Kothari 2014) would require that the value of natural 'resources' be determined locally rather than in abstract global (and increasingly algorithm-based, computerised) markets. This value would then need to be realised in ways that do not promote resources' commodification but rather provide autonomous funding streams that allow qualitative, multidimensional values to be preserved and promoted. Capitalism cannot mediate interests and values in a transition towards a more sustainable society (Massumi 2018). This is, fundamentally, because it prioritises one type of value above all others: 'value in motion', that is, 'capital'. By contrast, convivial conservation cannot and will not prioritise capital in making decisions about resource allocations, how to manage promoted areas, how to celebrate nature or how to organise engaged visitation.

So instead of asking how conservation can lead to more (necessarily monetised) 'value' in the future, we should start by asking how a (necessarily non-monetised) value is embedded in the here and now and in which contexts this value receives local and extra-local meaning. In short, we need to refocus from value in motion, or capital, to what we could call 'embedded value'. The latter's logic is not dependent on market-based commodity exchange whereby nature-to-be-protected has to provide 'services' to humans, but receives its worth from and through humans and nonhumans 'living with', understanding and appreciating each other (through cultural, artistic, experiential, affective or other non-commodified or –monetised forms). This requires, quite simply, that all conservation decisions are made not in terms of their contribution to capital and economic growth but in terms of value embedded in daily life and non-capitalist needs, wants and actions (Shrivastava and Kothari 2012).

ICCAs are a good example here. As Borrini-Feyerabend and Campese (2017: 13) explain, “ICCAs embody many material and non-material values. Specific relationships and values should be identified by their custodian communities, not by outsiders,” and may include: 'secured livelihood', ' social resilience', 'cultural identity', 'spiritual significance', 'pride and community spirit', 'sovereignty', 'links to community history', and; continuance' for the host community as the “custodians of bio-cultural diversity” (idem). This, of course, is not to say that all is good and well with all ICCAs – as Borrini-Feyerabend and Campese (2017: 14) emphasise. But the challenges and political nature of ICCAs are recognised by the consortium, and this, together with their convivial vision, is crucial for moving conservation forward (Dudley et al. 2018).

   From Natural Capital to Embedded Value(s) Top

These five elements of a convivial conservation vision enable what would still be a form of conservation but one very different from current practice, namely a use of parts of nature that is sustainable (i.e. not geared towards eternal quantitative growth and accumulation), whilst being part and parcel of nature. It would entail living with other aspects of nature in ways that balances human and nonhuman needs. Indeed, conservation itself would be integrated and (re)embedded within daily life and all other domains of policy and action rather than something we do mostly in protected areas or when donating to an NGO. Moreover, convivial conservation moves away from capital-inspired ways of 'rendering visible' the value of nature, and instead becomes a part of broader structures of democratically sharing the multidimensional wealth that nature embodies. As has been emphasised by non-Western, indigenous and other communities and scholars for centuries already, the wealth of nature does not lie in how it enables the accumulation and privatisation of capital; it lies in the manifold ways in which it allows humans and nonhumans to live convivial lives (e.g. Berkes 2008; Singh 2015; Albó 2018). Sharing this wealth must therefore always trump its privatisation and subsequent accumulation.

How to do this will always be political, subject to interests, needs, histories and power dynamics. It will not lead to equilibrium, harmony and or perfect sharing, including in a postcapitalist world. But it will necessitate better sharing, certainly if human natures are growing accustomed to different systems of needs, wants and actions. In the process, we need to start 'seeing' nature differently. Nature, under conviviality, is always already visible. To 'render nature's values visible', as the capitalist TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) project aims to do (MacDonald and Corson 2012), would thus be unthinkable. The importance of nature - the web of life, the basis of all life - should never have to be 'made' visible. Living with nature means that it is 'visible' by definition. 'Money' – the universal equivalent that is supposedly the tool to make nature 'visible' under capitalism – only renders nature visible on spreadsheets and through necessarily simplistic, technocratic decision-making models outside of relevant contexts (Sullivan 2018). This renders nature unidimensional – solely what it is worth 'to' humans-as-investors. It does not –cannot – facilitate the kind of lived relationship to multidimensional (human and nonhuman) natures that convivial conservation envisions.

But 'visible' is not the right word for conviviality, as we are focused here on the levels of being and becoming and their dialectical relationship. As humans are, so nature is – and vice versa. As humans become, so nature becomes – and vice versa. Living with nature, in many ways, is acute: it directly (ful)fills the senses – positively and negatively – and as such enables a continuous, direct and emergent feedback loop (we might call this metabolism!) 'between' humans and the rest of nature. Convivial conservation is therefore about different uses, frames and forms of embeddedness of multiple natures. It is about not setting nature apart but integrating the uses of (non-human) natures into social, cultural, and ecological contexts and systems (i.e., re-embedding). In each of the five elements of the vision, important practical steps can immediately be taken to bring convivial conservation into being. But before we get there, let us reflect on the process of transition itself.

   From Here to There Top

So how do we get to convivial conservation? What, in other words, is our theory of change? We highlight three important elements: power, time and actors.

Dealing with power

A central problematic for us concerns how to build resistance to the power of capitalism and its 'commodification of everything'. In much literature this issue seems to boil down to the question of whether effective action is about micro-politics or about 'taking (macro) power'. We argue that power is both structural and dispersed in micro-settings. Hence, we are not disputing that power is “complex, scattered and productive” (Braidotti 2013: 26–27), but to leave it at that, which many poststructuralists do, is a fundamental mistake that plays in the hands of structural capitalist power itself. Zizek rightfully notes that a focus on an “irreducible plurality of struggles” runs the risk of renouncing “any real attempt to overcome the existing capitalist liberal regime” (Butler et al. 2000: 95).

In our writing, we have consistently argued for a co-constitutive understanding of structural power and the power of agency (see Fletcher and Büscher 2017, 2018). Hence dispersed forms of resistance matter, but these alone will not achieve our aims. The point is that these must be accompanied by more organised efforts to effect large-scale structural change so as not to be undermined by these same forces. Given the imperative to organise power across different levels of governance, this 'organised effort' must work through centralised structures, though not the contemporary capitalist state (Parenti 2013), and with power shared with and among civil society actors as well.12

Dealing with time: A two-step strategy of change

Any act of change must – whatever else it is – be a political struggle and a strategy to deal with institutionalised forms of accumulated power across both material and discursive domains. Peck (2010) shows that this was actually a core component of neoliberals' own theory of change. As Milton Friedman famously proclaimed,

“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable” (2002: xiv).

The remarkable prescience of this statement implies that change requires both promotion of a coherent conceptual structure vis-à-vis the status quo and transformation in the underlying material structures able to create a new opening for this promotion.

This is no different in conservation. Despite neoprotectionists' occasional implicit assertions to the contrary, conservation is not somehow separate from the broader capitalist order but is an inherent part of it. This is why we believe a two-step strategy for dealing with change over time is most realistic, one that moves from (radical) reformism to systemic change away from capitalist modes of production, valuation, exchange and living. Hence, we are talking about a short(er) term and a medium to long(er) term strategy enacted at the same time. One part of the strategy must always be accompanied by the other, as each needs to lead to, and be inspired by, the other.

In the short term, we must do what we can to subvert the logic of capital in micro, mesa, and macro-political practice, through state, non-state and individual action simultaneously. In this we take inspiration from the community economies perspective pioneered by Gibson-Graham (2006), which points to the ways that postcapitalist practice can be effected in myriad forms within the overarching capitalist order.13 In the medium to longer term, immediate actions must be accompanied by larger-scale efforts to conceptualise and build 'alternative economic spaces', based not on logics of capital and growth but of equality, radical ecological democracy and bioregional economics (Shrivastava and Kothari 2012; Cato 2013). Likewise, for conservation, the short-term actions described below always need to be inspired by and work towards the convivial conservation vision outlined above.

The actual outcomes of these interlinked strategies of change (for nature and conservation) depend on complex, contrived and contradictory processes that no one can foresee. Hence, this will require political expediency, shrewdness, organisation and persistence. But we do believe that this two-part strategy is the most realistic to start building an appropriate context for a productive future for global conservation.

Dealing with actors

Within structures of power across space and time, different actors take different positions. These cannot be homogenised or generalised easily. And yet, it is important that we still do so for heuristic purposes. Following our conviction that conservation is but one element within a broader process of 'uneven geographical development', we need to acknowledge the variegated political positions of different actors within a fundamentally 'uneven' conservation landscape. This will allow us to politically account for the relation between local actors who live in/near conservation spaces or spaces of conservation interest, and the actors who in terms of their position in the global capitalist system live far from these, but put much pressure on them - and biodiversity in toto. After all, a major contradiction of conservation has long been that the focus of interventions is on local actors ('community based') because they have a direct link to certain species or ecosystems (Wells and McShane 2004). Conservation interventions focus much less often on extra-local actors responsible for adding to the general pressure on biodiversity. This demands redress.

To start doing so, distinguishing four different categories of global conservation actors is a useful starting point (see [Figure 1]).14 Actors within these four categories have differential (historical and contemporary) responsibilities and roles within and for conservation. Local residents who often live in or with biodiversity and who (still) depend on the land for subsistence, especially in tropical countries, comprise category 4: the lower rural classes. They are often (seen as) poor and have least contributed to global problems of biodiversity loss (historically and contemporarily). Yet they are most often targeted in conservation interventions and forced or 'incentivised' to change their livelihoods to meet biodiversity targets. Category 3 consists of the urban, semi-urban or semi-rural middle and lower classes throughout world, who do not depend directly on the land for subsistence and are mostly involved in global or local labor and consumer markets that they participate in but have little control over save for their consumption choices. Via this consumption they do heavily influence biodiversity in many places, but are often not part of or specifically targeted by conservation interventions, except as potential donors or the general 'public' for (political) legitimacy.
Figure 1: Generic categorisation of classes important for conservation

Click here to view

Next, we distinguish land-owning capitalist classes such as major capitalist farmers and/or landholders for agro-industry. They are often targeted by conservation, for example as partners in conservation efforts or as targets of (so-called) activist interventions or forms of resistance. In many places (e.g. Indonesia, Brazil, Central Africa) these classes are also part of violent frontiers of land conversion, and hence difficult to target and engage. Lastly, there are the global upper classes that are, politically, economically or otherwise, at the helm of the global capitalist system. Interestingly, these elites are often both urban and rural - owning multiple properties, including in rich residential areas in cities to be close to elite political-economic circles, but also with second, third or more properties in rural, semi-rural and biodiversity rich spaces, including large estates and private reserves (Holmes 2012).

Upper class elites are often recruited as funders or included on boards of conservation organisations, but rarely targeted as part of conservation initiatives aiming at behavioural or livelihood change, as they are often either seen as unreachable (they live behind walls, security systems, or simply remotely, etc) or as doing good for the environment through their philanthrocapitalism or other forms of conservation related charity (including through the privatisation of nature/parks, etc). Hence the upper classes play a strange double role as they are at the helm of the system that keeps the pressure on biodiversity intense and high, while considered either untouchable or even seen as championing conservation through their large donations to conservation causes, NGOs and more.

While empirical reality is much more complex than this figure can depict, its point is that convivial conservation should not aim only or even mostly at category 4 actors, as it tends to do at present. Rather, it should target actors according to their differential responsibilities and accountabilities in relation to both the direct and indirect impacts their actions have on biodiversity, as well as the relative power these actors possess within broader structures of capitalist accumulation. Paraphrasing Jason Moore (2016: 94), it is about identifying, targeting and “shutting down the relations” that produce biodiversity loss.

In this way, we might reverse the model of 'polycentric' governance proposed by Ostrom and Cox (2011). In this standard model, governance is seen to start with local people and then must consider their embeddedness within overarching structures of governance with which they must contend to assert their space for self-governance. In our vision, by contrast, effective conservation governance would start by addressing actors in these superordinate levels in order to first target their actions, then work down towards the local people in direct contact with the biodiversity in question. In this way, the pressures exerted on local conservation initiatives can be proactively addressed at their source rather than merely retrospectively in relation to their impacts.

We should clarify that this governance model pertains only to how conservationists frame and confront threats to conservation, not to how decision-making regarding effective conservation should proceed. As previously stated, this latter must embody deeply democratic forms of engagement in which local actors are placed at center stage. A comprehensive conservation politics, therefore, must simultaneously centre local people as key decision-makers in conservation planning and decentre them as the central targets of interventions aimed at behavioural change. This, we believe, is the only way to do democracy justice: to place the possibility for democratic arrangements in larger structures of power that strongly influence whether and how these succeed (or not) in practice. Phrased differently: merely focusing on local democracy without taking into account the power of 'outside' actors is naïve. The difficult tension between centering and decentering local people is therefore the right place to situate the politics of convivial conservation.

   From the Long Term to the Short Term: Concrete Actions Top

Convivial conservation calls for consideration of new ways to transform mainstream forms of economic development as neoprotectionists contend, while at the same time transcending human-nature divides as promoted by new conservationists. What types of concrete, short-term actions befit this approach and might enable us to move closer to the broader vision outlined earlier? We propose several, along different registers and foci. These derive logically from the foregoing discussion but are anything but exhaustive (and indeed not intended to be).

Historic reparations

Convivial conservation needs to start by doing justice to conservation's history, especially (neo)colonial and other dynamics of dispossession and displacement that long characterised protected area formation and are still ongoing today in many places. Historic reparations – mainly directed at category 4 actors - are thus in order, which we believe need to be focused on the relations between people and their land, the biodiversity conserved on or through this land and the benefits communities do or do not derive from these (Mollett and Kepe 2018). Importantly, these benefits, and the reparations, are material and non-material: acknowledgement of past (colonial) injustices and the (re)distribution of resources need to go hand-in-hand (Mbembe 2017: 182–183).

Ideally, reparations mean that local communities receive (access to) their land back or at the very least obtain co-ownership of or co-management responsibilities over it. We recognise that these are anything but straightforward issues, especially since the land, the dispossessed peoples and the contexts in which these functions have changed over time, and often drastically so (Koot and Büscher. In press). Moreover, the value and needs of the biodiversity itself also need to be taken into account. These considerations can lead to myriad outcomes that must be worked out in context specific ways. Regardless of the contextual specificities, however, a concern with historical justice needs to pervade convivial conservation moving forward, with special attention for the ways that indigenous and other (previously) marginalised peoples themselves lead and inspire different forms of resistance to the violence exercised in relation to the sixth extinction crisis (Mitchell. In press).

Conservation Basic Income (CBI)

Above and beyond historic reparations through repossession of land and resources we advocate a 'conservation basic income' for communities living in or next to important conservation areas. We describe this proposal in much greater detail in another paper (Fletcher and Büscher. under review) but will briefly outline it here. A Conservation Basic Income (CBI) is a monetary payment to individual community members living in or around promoted areas that allows them to lead a (locally defined) decent life. We consider this the conservation equivalent of a 'basic income grant' that is the hallmark of the new 'politics of redistribution' within international development circles (Ferguson 2015).15 This should be aimed at allowing people to (hopefully) sustain biodiversity-friendly livelihood pursuits without having to compete within a ruthless global marketplace in ways that undermine the sustainability to which these pursuits aim. CBI should be provided to communities by coalitions of resourceful conservation actors, especially (BI)NGOs, states and the private sector.

Clearly, there are major challenges in determining who should receive such a grant, but we believe the policy should be substantial and include both communities of place (residing close to the area) and communities of use (those making use of the area) that need it. Moreover, these payments are not meant to bribe or 'incentivise' communities away from their resources. They are meant to provide people with options for livelihoods that will always need to include use of and interaction with biodiversity and resources (ideally in a way similar to many ICCAs but certainly including a focus to care for biodiversity). This (financial) unconditionality linked (conceptually and practically) to care for biodiversity makes CBI fundamentally different than the payment for ecosystem services schemes already operating in many places (Fletcher and Büscher 2017. under review). It should provide local people with more autonomy and options for democratic resource control vis-a-vis more powerful actors.

To enable these two actions, we suggest that conservation NGOs set up convivial conservation departments, which could replace or be merged with their current business or private sector liaison departments. This institutional innovation addresses two important issues: first, it enables a shift in stakeholders considered most important for conservation NGOs. These should be local people living in or around, or making use of, conservation areas, not wealthy companies as now often seems to be the case. Second, it enables a shift in the terms of engagement between corporations and conservation NGOs. Clearly, the policy of trying to 'engage business' on the latter's terms (by making nature profitable and turning it into natural capital) has failed; hence this relationship needs drastic rethinking.

Rethinking (relations with) corporations

Does this mean that conservation NGOs should no longer work with corporations? Not necessarily, but such engagement should proceed only under strict conditions. One of these is that conservation NGOs should only work with companies if the latter pledge that they understand the necessity of moving towards a different economic model beyond capitalist accumulation and GDP-based economic growth. Ideally, and for the longer term, this should be focused on degrowth (Kallis 2018), but for the short term this could be towards a circular or doughnut economy (Raworth 2017). If they are not willing to do so, then the NGO should not waste energy on 'engagement' as this would lead to a problematic position of dependency and allow for green washing. Rather, NGOs should spend their energy on building countervailing power from an independent position.

After all, major conservation BINGOs such as WWF, CI, TNC and many others often collude with actors in category 1, while targeting actors in category 3 merely for modest consumption changes and donations and directly targeting category 4 for livelihood restrictions - sometimes even to enable category 1 actors to buy nice biodiversity-rich properties. This is not just historically unjust but does little, in the end, to solve the problem. Hence conservationists' relations with corporations, and upper classes more generally, need to be drastically reconsidered.

We understand that this would inevitably exclude many large corporations that are not (yet) willing to consider the necessity for more radical change towards an alternative economic model. But even many corporations and their CEOs should and do realise that their future, as well as that of their children, depends on a healthy planet, which should provide ample reason to come on board with convivial conservation. We also realise that this means that many conservation NGOs, especially the large BINGOs, may lose out on currently essential sources of income. But if their main goal is maximum income instead of maximum (or even minimum!) benefit for nature over the long term, then clearly their priorities are distorted and not deserving of support. Foregoing such revenue will indeed be a hard choice, as less income would also mean a more limited ability to pay historic reparations and provide for CBI. But at least they become part of the solution again, rather than being part of the problem. And as a convivial conservation approach takes hold, new sources of funding would become available as states and IFIs refocus towards supporting CBI and other forms of redistributive remuneration (for example by radically reverting all current fossil fuel subsidies).

Convivial Conservation Coalition (CCC)

All this should lead to a different global coalition – not a natural capital coalition, but a Convivial Conservation Coalition (CCC) that focuses on the transition towards convivial conservation. The work of the CCC would focus on gaining power not to get money and a small seat at the table but rather to hold other powerful actors accountable for their actions while supporting and building countervailing power. This coalition can help local, place-based actors to defract attention away from only category 4 actors to include the others as well. This can be done, for instance, by mapping fine grained 'footprint chains' to identify the broader actors responsible for putting pressures on specific areas. An important example here is the Rainforest Action Network 16, which does exactly this, but also others like Greenpeace.

As more and more groups and organisations come on board, the coalition can become increasingly influential in shaping global conservation policy and consequently its materialisation within local spaces around the world. Yet convivial redirection can never be (just) top-down. It requires redirection in and rethinking concrete conservation spaces also. This, however, is part of the book but beyond the scope of this paper, which has focused more on the politics needed to start turning conservation into a force that can both resist contemporary authoritarian tendencies while imagining a more sustainable world.

   Conclusion: Another Conservation Politics Is Needed Top

The emergence of the Anthropocene has made the choices that conservation faces even more difficult than they already were. This, then, is the basic reality facing conservation: radical choices have to be made. The idea that we can incorporate all manners of different interests in finding a way forward (through 'integrated conservation and development projects', 'peace parks', or the like) or simply see 'what works' regardless of political context or commitment is over. Perhaps not (yet) in many policy circles or neoliberal, social democratic communities. But even these spheres are now, after Trump, Brexit and Bolsonaro, forced to consider that we can no longer ignore making radical political choices. This is not to say that we should not look for complementarities and things that unite. This remains vital. Yet we must always do so in the context of the broader systemic change that is needed, and full awareness that this is resisted violently by entrenched and institutionalised forms of power. To continue to try to please, accommodate or ignore these entrenched powers is a defeatist politics.

The alternative radical proposals now on the table go some way towards accepting and accomplishing elements of this. Driven by the credo 'desperate times call for desperate measures', they have led an increasing number of conservationists to propose radical changes to our society and economy to halt the current (socio)ecological crisis. But they do not get to the roots of the problems they address. New conservation points to the limits of a nature-culture dichotomy and the need to address poverty in cultivating effective conservation, while neoprotectionists point to the problematic promotion of capitalist conservation. At the same time, new conservationists fail to connect their critique of the nature-society dualism with a capitalism that perpetuates both the dualisms and poverty they wish to address, while neoprotectionists fail to explain how an autonomous nature could possibly be defended from this same capitalism that is grounded upon cannibalising nature in its quest for continual growth, nor how issues of poverty or social development could be addressed within their half-earth platform.

We thus hold that our convivial conservation alternative is more realistic for a simple reason: it is more logical and consistent with empirical reality than these other two radical alternatives. Following Wark (2015), we propose convivial conservation as a deliberate act of alternative realism that imagines conservation outside of the capitalist box. This we find a liberating exercise that allows for harnessing the anxieties triggered by the devastating implications of our contemporary crises in order to unleash positive energy and anti-catastrophic prospects. It also evokes time-honoured traditions of critical scholarship. If the point of critical scholarship is, ultimately, to change the world in which we live (Castree et al. 2010), then we need to make sure we actually respond to the world we live in. Current conservation politics does this half-heartedly. With the momentum on the side of increasingly authoritarian leaders and movements, this is a time to be astute and uncompromising in our response. Not by responding in kind. But by matching our politics to the challenges we face.

   Acknowledgements Top

Thanks to three reviewers for very important, critical and constructive feedback on the paper, to Susanne Vogel, Maya Pasgaard and their colleagues from the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University who discussed the paper and gave detailed feedback, and to CONVIVA and other colleagues and friends for critiques, comments and suggestions.

   Notes Top

  1. https://conservationoptimism.org/.
  2. See Harcourt and Nelson (2015), Bryant (2015) and Perrault et al (2015) for some recent, inspiring volumes highlighting political ecology scholarship.
  3. https://entitleblog.org/2017/02/02/the-trump-moment-in-environmental-conservation/.
  4. https://global.nature.org/content/envrionment2017. Accessed on November 10, 2018.
  5. We realise that we do not have the space here to give extensive evidence for this, and many other claims. We base them on our book, where we do provide extensive evidence for the claims made with respect to the different positions.
  6. To a degree, it could be argued that this process had already started in the 1970s with the then radical critique of protected areas and top-down, colonial conservation. However, this process that led to manifold forms of community-based conservation was effectively cut short by a neoprotectionist revival and neoliberal restructuring.
  7. We are not arguing here that 'protection' is only negative, as obviously protecting that which we love or care about is not something negative; our reason for moving away from the term 'protected areas' is a deliberate political move within the context of the political economic history and present of conservation.
  8. https://www.iccaconsortium.org/, https://www.forestpeoples.org/en. Accessed on November 12, 2018.
  9. This also does not mean that population (growth) is not important and should not be addressed. Yet, we believe, the only way to respectfully address the issue is by doing so in its multiple political economic and historical contexts, with a special emphasis on the historical colonial burden still deeply affecting non-western societies and people (Dawson 2016).
  10. Obviously, desired natures, species or ecosystem traits are also protected from other, non-desired natures, species or ecosystem traits.
  11. One of the main current empirical manifestations of this is the BBC's Planet Earth series which are, interestingly, criticised on exactly this point. See: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/01/bbc-planet-earth-not-help-natural-world. Accessed on January 2, 2017.
  12. See Harvey (2000: 263) for a proposal on how to organise power and livelihoods across scale in a postcapitalist society.
  13. Key micropolitical practices to promote include the key degrowth proposals detailed earlier: truly 'green' production; elimination of perverse subsidies for unsustainable production; augmenting and redirection of public spending to support green production and community-based conservation; taxing CO2 and financial transactions to generate the finance needed to do this; defusing competitive pressure; slowing down international trade; reducing advertising; promoting alternative cosmological visions and values; myriad household changes in terms of consumption, energy use, building materials, and so forth.
  14. Crucially, this categorisation (in table five) is meant as a heuristic, not to provide an adequate reflection of empirical reality in actual places.
  15. Basic income grants can be structured in various ways, not all of them progressive. The key is to combine CBI with the other elements of convivial conservation to ensure that it functions as a transformative form of resource redistribution rather than a bulwark of the current social order (Fletcher and Büscher. forthcoming).
  16. See for example this recent pamphlet: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rainforestactionnetwork/pages/17702/attachments/original/1497287352/RAN_Every_Investor_Has_A_Responsibility_June_2017.pdf?1497287352, Accessed on February 25, 2018.

   References Top

Albó, X. 2019. Suma Qamaña or Living well together: a contribution to biocultural conservation. In: From biocultural homogenization to biocultural conservation (eds. Rozzi, R., R. May Jr., F. Chapin III, F. Massardo, M. Gavin, I. Klaver, A. Pauchard, et al.). Pp. 333–342. Cham: Springer.  Back to cited text no. 1
Berberoglu, B. (ed.). 2018. The Palgrave handbook of social movements, revolution, and social transformation. Cham: Palgrave.  Back to cited text no. 2
Berkes, F. 2008. Sacred ecology: traditional ecological knowledge and resource management. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.   Back to cited text no. 3
Borgerhoff Mulder, M. and P. Coppolillo. 2005. Conservation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.  Back to cited text no. 4
Borrini-Feyerabend, G. and J. Campese. 2017. Self-strengthening ICCAs – guidance on a process and resources for custodian indigenous peoples and local communities - draft for use by GSI partners. https://www.iccaconsortium.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ICCA-SSP-Guidance-Document-14-March.pdf. Accessed on May 22, 2019.  Back to cited text no. 5
Braidotti, R. 2013. The posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Press.  Back to cited text no. 6
Brockington, D., R. Duffy, and J. Igoe. 2008. Nature unbound: conservation, capitalism and the future of protected areas. London: Earthscan.  Back to cited text no. 7
Brockington, D. and R. Duffy 2010. Conservation and capitalism: an introduction. Antipode 42(3): 469–484.  Back to cited text no. 8
Bryant, R. (ed.). 2015. The international handbook of political ecology. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.  Back to cited text no. 9
Bunn, D. 2003. An unnatural state: tourism, water and wildlife photography in the early Kruger National Park. In: Social history and African environments (eds. Beinart, W. and J. McGregor). Pp. 199–220. Oxford: James Currey.   Back to cited text no. 10
Büscher, B. 2016. “Rhino poaching is out of control!” violence, race and the politics of hysteria in online conservation. Environment and Planning A 48(5): 979–998.  Back to cited text no. 11
Büscher, B., W. Dressler, and R. Fletcher (eds.). 2014. NatureInc.: Environmental conservation in the neoliberal age. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.  Back to cited text no. 12
Büscher, B. and M. Ramutsindela. 2016. Green violence: rhino poaching and the war to save southern Africa's peace parks. African Affairs 115(458): 1–22.  Back to cited text no. 13
Büscher, B., R. Fletcher, D. Brockington, C. Sandbrook, W. Adams, L. Campbell, C. Corson, et al. 2017. Half-Earth or whole earth? radical ideas for conservation and their implications. Oryx 51(3): 407–410.  Back to cited text no. 14
Büscher, B. and R. Fletcher. In press. The conservation revolution. radical ideas for saving nature beyond the Anthropocene. London: Verso.  Back to cited text no. 15
Butler, J., E. Laclau, and S. Žižek. 2000. Contingency, hegemony, universality. London: Verso.  Back to cited text no. 16
Castree, N., P. Chatterton, N. Heynen, W. Larner, and M. Wright (eds.). 2010. The point is to change it: geographies of hope and survival in an age of crisis. New York: Wiley.  Back to cited text no. 17
Cafaro, P., T. Butler, E. Crist, P. Cryer, E. Dinerstein, H. Kopnina, R. Noss, et al. 2017. If we want a whole earth, nature needs half: a response to Büscher et al. Oryx 51(3): 400.  Back to cited text no. 18
Cato, M. 2013. The bioregional economy. land, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. London: Earthscan.  Back to cited text no. 19
Cavanagh, C.J. and T.A. Benjaminsen (eds.). 2017. Special section: political ecologies of the green economy. Journal of Political Ecology 34: 200–341.  Back to cited text no. 20
CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity). 2014. Global Biodiversity Outlook 4. Montreal: CBD Secretariat.  Back to cited text no. 21
Ceballos, G., P. Ehrlich, and R. Dirzo. 2017. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signalled by vertebrate population losses and declines. PNAS 114(30): E6089–E6096.  Back to cited text no. 22
Corson, C., R. Gruby, R. Witter, S. Hagermand, D. Suarez, S. Greenberg, M. Bourqueg, et al. 2014. Everyone's solution? defining and redefining protected areas at the Convention on Biological Diversity. Conservation and Society 12(2): 190–202.  Back to cited text no. 23
Cronon, W. (ed.). 1996. The trouble with wilderness. In: Uncommon ground. Pp. 69–90. New York: W.W. Norton.  Back to cited text no. 24
Dawson, A. 2016. Extinction. a radical history. New York: OR Books.  Back to cited text no. 25
Dudley, N., H. Jonas, F. Nelson, J. Parrish, A. Pyhälä, S. Stolton, and J.E. Watson. 2018. The essential role of other effective area-based conservation measures in achieving big bold conservation targets. Global ecology and conservation 15: e00424.  Back to cited text no. 26
Duffy, R., F. Massé, E. Smidt, E. Marijnen, B. Büscher, J. Verweijen, M. Ramutsindela, et al. 2019. Why we must question the militarisation of conservation. Biological Conservation 232: 66–73.  Back to cited text no. 27
Ferguson, J. 2015. Give a man a fish: reflections on the new politics of distribution. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.  Back to cited text no. 28
Fletcher, R. 2011. Sustaining tourism, sustaining capitalism? the tourism industry's role in global capitalist expansion. Tourism Geographies 13(3): 443–461.  Back to cited text no. 29
Fletcher, R. 2014. Orchestrating consent: post-politics and intensification of Nature ™ Inc. at the 2012 World Conservation Congress. Conservation and Society 12(3): 329–342.  Back to cited text no. 30
Fletcher, R. 2017. Connection with nature is an oxymoron: a political ecology of “nature-deficit disorder”. The Journal of Environmental Education 48(4): 226–233.  Back to cited text no. 31
Fletcher, R. and B. Büscher. 2018. Neoliberalism in denial in actor-oriented PES research? a rejoinder to Van Hecken et al. and a call for justice. Ecological Economics 156: 420–423.  Back to cited text no. 32
Fletcher, R. and B. Büscher 2017. The PES conceit. revisiting the relationship between payments for environmental services and neoliberal conservation. Ecological Economics 132: 224–231.  Back to cited text no. 33
Fletcher, R., W. Dressler, Z. Anderson, and B. Büscher. In press. Natural capital must be defended: green growth as neoliberal biopolitics. Journal of Peasant Studies.  Back to cited text no. 34
Fletcher, R. and B. Büscher. Under review. Conservation Basic Income. Biological Conservation.  Back to cited text no. 35
Haraway, D. 2008. When species meet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  Back to cited text no. 36
Harcourt, W. and I. Nelson (eds.). 2015. Practicing feminist political ecologies: moving beyond the 'Green Economy'. London: Zed.  Back to cited text no. 37
Harvey, D. 2000. Spaces of hope. Berkeley: University of California Press.  Back to cited text no. 38
Harvey, D. 2014. Seventeen contradictions and the end of capitalism. London: Profile.  Back to cited text no. 39
Heatherington, T. 2012. From ecocide to genetic rescue: can technoscience save the wild? In: The anthropology of extinction. essays on culture and species death (ed. Sodikoff, G.). Pp. 39–66. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.  Back to cited text no. 40
Higgins-Desbiolles, F. 2009. Capitalist globalisation, corporatised tourism and their alternatives. New York: Nova Science.  Back to cited text no. 41
Holmes, G. 2012. Biodiversity for billionaires: capitalism, conservation and the role of philanthropy in saving/selling nature. Development and Change 43(3): 185–203.  Back to cited text no. 42
Igoe, J. 2010. The spectacle of nature in the global economy of appearances: anthropological engagements with the images of transnational conservation. Critique of Anthropology 30: 375–397.   Back to cited text no. 43
Igoe, J. 2017. The nature of spectacle: on images, money, and conserving capitalism. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.  Back to cited text no. 44
Igoe, J., K. Neves, and D. Brockington. 2010. A spectacular eco-tour around the historic bloc: theorising the convergence of biodiversity conservation and capitalist expansion. Antipode 42(3): 486–512.  Back to cited text no. 45
Illych, I. 1973. Tools for conviviality. New York: Harper and Row.  Back to cited text no. 46
IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). 2019. Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Bonn: IPBES.  Back to cited text no. 47
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2018. Global Warming of 1.5C. Bonn: IPCC.  Back to cited text no. 48
Kallis, G. 2018. Degrowth. Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing.  Back to cited text no. 49
Kareiva, P., M. Marvier, and R. Lalasz. 2012. Conservation in the anthropocene. Breakthrough Magazine. https://thebreakthrough.org/journal/issue-2/conservation-in-the-anthropocene. Accessed on May 22, 2019.  Back to cited text no. 50
Koot, S. and B. Büscher. In press. Giving land (back)? indigeneity and the meaning of land in the ontological politics of the South Kalahari Bushmen land claim in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies.  Back to cited text no. 51
Kothari, A. 2014. Radical ecological democracy: a way for India and beyond. Development 57(1): 36–45.  Back to cited text no. 52
Loftus, A. 2012. Everyday environmentalism: creating an urban political ecology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  Back to cited text no. 53
Lunstrum, E. 2014. Green militarization: anti-poaching efforts and the spatial contours of Kruger National Park. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 104(4): 816–832.  Back to cited text no. 54
MacDonald, K. and C. Corson. 2012. TEEB begins now: a virtual moment in the production of natural capital. Development and Change 43(1): 159–184.  Back to cited text no. 55
Magnusson, W., C. Grelle, M. Marques, C. Rocha, B. Dias, C. Fontana, H. Bergallo, et al. 2018. Effects of Brazil's political crisis on the science needed for biodiversity conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6(163): 1–5.  Back to cited text no. 56
Marris, E. 2011. Rambunctious garden. saving nature in a post-wild world. New York: Bloomsbury.  Back to cited text no. 57
Massumi, B. 2018. 99 thesis on the revaluation of value. a postcapitalist manifesto. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  Back to cited text no. 58
Mbembe, A. 2017. Critique of black reason. Durham: Duke University Press.  Back to cited text no. 59
Meyer, S.M. 2006. The end of the wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  Back to cited text no. 60
Mitchell, A. In press. Revitalizing laws, (re)-making treaties, dismantling violence: indigenous resurgence against 'the sixth mass extinction'. Social & Cultural Geography.  Back to cited text no. 61
Mogg, S., C. Fastre, and P. Visconti. In press. Targeted expansion of protected areas to maximise the persistence of terrestrial mammals. bioRxiv: 608992.  Back to cited text no. 62
Mollett, C. and T. Kepe (eds.). 2018. Land rights, biodiversity conservation and justice rethinking parks and people. London: Routledge.  Back to cited text no. 63
Moore, J.(ed.). 2016. The rise of cheap nature. In: Anthropocene or capitalocene? nature, history, and the crisis of capitalism. Pp. 78–115. Oakland: PM Press.  Back to cited text no. 64
Newbold, T., L. Hudson, A. Arnell, S. Contu, A. De Palma, S. Ferrier, S. Hill, et al. 2016. Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? a global assessment. Science 353(6296): 288–291.  Back to cited text no. 65
Ogden, L., N. Heynen, U. Oslender, P. West, K.A. Kassam, and P. Robbins. 2013. Global assemblages, resilience, and earth stewardship in the Anthropocene. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 11(7): 341–347.  Back to cited text no. 66
Ostrom, E. and M. Cox. 2011. Moving beyond panaceas: a multi-tiered diagnostic approach for social-ecological analysis. Environmental Conservation 37: 451–463.  Back to cited text no. 67
Parenti, C. 2013. The environment making state: territory, nature, and value. Antipode 47(4): 829 848.  Back to cited text no. 68
Pearce, F. 2015. The New Wild. why invasive species will be nature's salvation. Boston: Beacon Press.  Back to cited text no. 69
Perrault, T., G. Bridge, and J. McCarthy (eds.). 2015. The Routledge handbook of political ecology. London: Routledge.  Back to cited text no. 70
Raworth, K. 2017. Doughnut economics. seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist. London: Penguin.  Back to cited text no. 71
Sahlins, M. 2008. The western illusion of human nature. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.  Back to cited text no. 72
Sandbrook, C. 2015. What is conservation? Oryx 49: 565–566.  Back to cited text no. 73
Schilthuizen, M. 2018. Darwin comes to town. how the urban jungle drives evolution. London: Quercus.  Back to cited text no. 74
Shrivastava, A. and A. Kothari. 2012. Churning the earth: the making of global India. New York: Penguin.  Back to cited text no. 75
Singh, N.M. 2015. Payments for ecosystem services and the gift paradigm: sharing the burden and joy of environmental care. Ecological Economics 117: 53–61.  Back to cited text no. 76
Sodikoff, G. (ed.). 2012. The anthropology of extinction. essays on culture and species death. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.  Back to cited text no. 77
Sullivan, S. 2018. Making nature investable: from legibility to leverageability in fabricating 'nature' as 'natural capital'. Science and Technology Studies 31(3): 47–76.  Back to cited text no. 78
Thomas, C. 2017. Inheritors of the earth. how nature is thriving in the age of extinction. New York: Allen Lane.  Back to cited text no. 79
Tucker, M., K. Böhning-Gaese, W. Fagan, J. Fryxell, B. Van Moorter, S. Alberts, A. Ali, et al. 2018. Moving in the anthropocene: global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements. Science 359(6374): 466–469.  Back to cited text no. 80
Turnhout, E., C. Wateron, K. Neves, and M. Buizer. 2013. Rethinking biodiversity: from goods and services to “living with”. Conservation Letters 6(3): 154–161.  Back to cited text no. 81
Wark, M. 2015. Molecular red. theory for the Anthropocene. London: Verso.  Back to cited text no. 82
Watson, J, D. Shanahan, M. Di Marco, J. Allan, W. Laurance, E. Sanderson, B. Mackey, et al. 2016. Catastrophic declines in wilderness areas undermine global environment targets. Current Biology 26(21): 2929–2934.  Back to cited text no. 83
Wells, M. and T.O. McShane. 2004. Integrating protected area management with local needs and aspirations. Ambio 33(8): 513–519.  Back to cited text no. 84
Wilson, E.O. 2016. Half-earth. our planet's fight for life. London: Liferight Publishing.  Back to cited text no. 85
Wuerthner, G., E. Crist, and T. Butler (eds.). 2015. Protecting the wild. parks and wilderness, the foundation for conservation. London: Island Press.  Back to cited text no. 86
WWF. 2018. Living Planet Report 2018. Gland: WWF.  Back to cited text no. 87


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]


Previous articleNext article
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

   A New Moment in ...
   Conservation in ...
     Elements of a Vision
   From Natural Cap...
     From Here to There
   From the Long Te...
   Conclusion: Anot...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded2167    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal