Anna Zivian: "Doing Conservation Differently: What Paths Forward?"
The interconnected crises of climate, biodiversity, and equity drive an imperative for conservation practices to be reimagined and reconfigured. Conservation organizations, among others, are starting to adopt new practices and seeing different possibilities to answer a key question: what are the conditions that create a more connected, less exploitative view of the planet, nature, and other humans?
This discussion focuses on three approaches that have the potential to shift how we address these existential crises: alternative economic approaches, rights-based approaches, and anti-colonial approaches. Instead of just continuing to act the same way, we can test these approaches as alternatives that foreground humans and nature as inseparable HumanNature. Economics was originally the study of the household – alternative economic approaches can guide us in understanding how our “household” – that is, ecological and social – systems interact. Rights-based approaches can supersede monetary-based approaches, with a broad vision of rights as applied not just to powerful entities but more expansively and with a lens of equity and justice. And active decolonial and anti-colonial approaches offer redemption and new old, or old new visions for building a world in which all beings and assemblages can thrive.
Anna Zivian is a Senior Research Fellow at the Nature Conservancy.