By Joern Fischer
There’s a new issue of Conservation Biology, and there’s yet another commentary on “conservation science” (as opposed to conservation biology — see this earlier blog entry, and this one). This one is called “New Conservation is True Conservation“, by Michelle Marvier. Its goal appears to be to put right some of the criticisms against “new conservation” expressed by Michael Soule in an earlier editorial.
I guess the main point is that “new conservation” is trying to get people interested in conservation who otherwise won’t be. By appealling to human well-being, not just instrinsic values of nature, it’s possible to reach different, and arguably more people, and thus get them into the “conservation tent”.
Michelle Marvier explicitly argues against creating schisms in conservation. I agree, and on this blog, this was eloquently put by Dave Abson just very recently. We can highlight useful aspects of nature to people, but we can also work to conserve life for the sake of conserving life.
(Funnily enough, the same issue of Conservation Biology has an article saying that Snow Leopard conservation hinges on the religious belief of Tibetans that killing them is “wrong”… not much of an ecosystem services argument showing that both view can occur side by side in the same journal)
With all this understanding that polarisation is just silly and won’t do anyone any good, just one question remains: If your goal is to avoid polarisation, why choose a title like “New Conservation is True Conservation”? 🙂
To be contiued, I suspect …