Decolonizing biodiversity conservation

Esteve Corbera, Sara Maestre-Andrés, Yolanda Ariadne Collins, Mathew Bukhi Mabele, Dan Brockington

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Abstract

Decolonizing biodiversity conservation science and practice involves a transition towards more locally rooted, plural, socially just, and convivial forms of conservation, moving away from mainstream conservation approaches, such as protected areas, sustainable resource management plans, or market-based instruments that are strongly rooted in Eurocentric ontologies and epistemologies. In this article, we introduce and review the contributions to the special issue "The challenges of decolonizing conservation" and we identify six principles that can be thought of as starting points in efforts to decolonize conservation: recognition, reparation, epistemic disobedience, relationality, power subversion, and limits. We explain how these principles feature in the collection's contributions and how they can contribute to decolonizing conservation science, policy, and practice. We also acknowledge that there can be differences over meaning and emphasis regarding the principles among Indigenous and local peoples, scholars, and practitioners. Yet we think that their
implementation can result in subtler and less universalizing conservation approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-903
JournalJournal of Political Ecology
Volume28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2021

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