The Conservation Revolution
Convivial Conservation is inspired by a new book by Bram Büscher and Robert Fletcher, out now from Verso Books. Titled The Conservation Revolution: Radical Ideas for Saving Nature beyond the Anthropocene, it outlines the conceptual framework guiding the convivial conservation proposal and CONVIVA research project. It was published early February 2020 here and via other major booksellers.
Conservation needs a revolution. This is the only way it can contribute to the drastic transformations needed to come to a truly sustainable model of development. The good news is that conservation is ready for revolution. Heated debates about the rise of the Anthropocene and the current ‘sixth extinction’ crisis demonstrate an urgent need and desire to move beyond mainstream approaches. Yet the conservation community is deeply divided over where to go from here. Some want to place ‘half earth’ into protected areas. Others want to move away from parks to focus on unexpected and ‘new’ natures. Many believe conservation requires full integration into capitalist production processes.
Building a razor-sharp critique of current conservation proposals and their contradictions, Büscher and Fletcher argue that the Anthropocene challenge demands something bigger, better and bolder. Something truly revolutionary. They propose convivial conservation as the way forward. This approach goes beyond protected areas and faith in markets to incorporate the needs of humans and nonhumans within integrated and just landscapes. Theoretically astute and practically relevant, The Conservation Revolution offers a manifesto for conservation in the twenty-first century—a clarion call that cannot be ignored.
“The debate over the conservation of creation is necessarily deep and contentious–this new approach deserves a careful reading from everyone who cares about human and more-than-human nature!”
Bill McKibben, Author, Environmentalist and founder of 350.org
“In our era of unprecedented conservation needs and challenges, this hard-hitting, clear-sighted book offers a radical and timely way forward. Two eminent and committed political ecologists cut a path through old and new conservation debates and dichotomies—people vs. nature, capitalism vs. post-capitalism—to offer a new paradigm and politics around conviviality. Vital reading, and a vital manifesto for all concerned with how people and non-human natures can live well together.”
Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
“Büscher and Fletcher significantly advance radical alternatives to mainstream conservation, especially by locating them within the need for systemic alternatives to capitalism (and hopefully by implication, though not explicitly stated, patriarchy). Their notion of convivial conservation, building on innovative traditions that have broken away from dominant notions of progress and development, helps envisage an end to the human domination of the earth, so desperately needed.”
Ashish Kothari, co-author with A. Shrivastava of Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India
“This book is a remarkable intellectual and political achievement, demonstrating nothing less than how to organize and practice revolutionary conservation beyond the Anthropocene, but within the ruins of uneven socio-ecological capitalist development. A razor-sharp analysis of conservation and how to politicize its futures.”
Erik Swyngedouw, University of Manchester