Confronting Grief and Finding Hope in the Future of Conservation.


Biodiversity conservation can be a difficult topic to study when catastrophic projections and bad news is ever-present, combined with the intense urgency to act. Soulé (1985) referred to it as a ‘crisis discipline’, while terms such as ‘eco-anxiety’ and ‘ecological grief’ are gaining popularity and relevance. Fischer and Riechers (2021) therefore try to understand how conservation professionals can change their inner worlds and perspectives, in order to confront feelings of grief, and channel these to more empowering and hopeful visions of the future.

Fischer and Riechers (2021) were inspired by and reflected on the works of Michael Soulé, and presented this paper to incite conversations and focus on themes relating to compassion, interrelatedness, impermanence and normativity in conservation.

The authors focussed on centering compassion in order to reduce scapegoating and blame games. Often, our own research comes from a place of life-affirmation, and the authors highlighted that by understanding differences…

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