NCEAS Product 25662

Gavin, Michael C.; McCarter, Joe; Berkes, Fikret; Mead, Aroha Te Pareake; Sterling, Eleanor J.; Tang, Ruifei; Turner, Nancy J. 2018. Effective Biodiversity Conservation Requires Dynamic, Pluralistic, Partnership-Based Approaches. Sustainability. (Abstract) (Online version)


Biodiversity loss undermines the long-term maintenance of ecosystem functions and the well-being of human populations. Global-scale policy initiatives, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, have failed to curb the loss of biodiversity. This failure has led to contentious debates over alternative solutions that represent opposing visions of value-orientations and policy tools at the heart of conservation action. We review these debates and argue that they impede conservation progress by wasting time and resources, overlooking common goals, failing to recognize the need for diverse solutions, and ignoring the central question of who should be involved in the conservation process. Breaking with the polarizing debates, we argue that biocultural approaches to conservation can guide progress toward just and sustainable conservation solutions. We provide examples of the central principles of biocultural conservation, which emphasize the need for pluralistic, partnership-based, and dynamic approaches to conservation.