Abstract: Frustration with the lack of action on conservation issues by governments has sparked debate around the policy role of conservation biologists. We analyzed the political economy of conservation biology, that is, of the dynamics of the political and economic structures within which conservation biology operates, and we suggest more productive means for conservation biologists to achieve conservation goals. Within the modern state, conservation goals are marginalized because the growth needs of industrial capital have the highest priority. Environmental advocacy within this system largely addresses only proximate concerns and has limited success. Science is a product of modern society, but scientists now need to foster novel institutional arrangements in which humans can function within the limits of natural systems. This entails a larger recognition of the inherent contradictions residing within current institutions that themselves depend on unsustainably high resource flows. As one critical counterbalance to these institutions, we discuss community‐based management and research as primary institutions through which sustainable use of natural resources might be achieved.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Aug 3, 2001
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