Which ethics work best

Having just read Robinson’s paper Ethical pluralism, pragmatism, and sustainability in conservation practice I’m now thinking about some issues raised in the paper:
Three values/ideologies:

  • intrinsic value and holistic approaches, including the argument for existence value which can still be anthropocentric, IUCN Red Listing is given as an example
  • Traditional values and indigenous people
  • Pro-poor conservation – emphasizing the utilitarian value and sustainable livelihoods
  • Economism – relating to the value of BD to our well-being

Conservation approaches:

  • protected areas
  • giving authority to the local level (Social Ecology model – follow up by reading Sarkar and Montoya, same issue)
  • mainstreaming conservation – aiming for greatest economic and social returns (requires some level of valuation), can include sustainable use

Some take-home messages:

  • The relationship between the three ideologies and the three approaches listed is not rigid.
  • The specific context of a conservation project determines the approach to choose, and a plurality of values and approaches can (and should) be embraced.

Some questions:

  • Which conservation approaches have seen the biggest successes?
  • Which approaches appear to have the longest-lasting impacts?
  • What impact does an organization’s statements on values have on perceptions of it? (e.g. IUCN quoted re: sustainable use, values of BD, etc)

Key ideas: integrated conservation and development (ICD), ethics, values, approaches, what works, social/ecological trade-offs,

Follow up reading:

  • Berkes, 2007 – re: role of partnership of local authorities and international NGOs
  • McShane et al 2010 – re: values of stakeholders and trade-offs
  • Wells  and Brandon, 1992, Robinson and Redford, 2004 – re: ICD
  • Holling 1978 – re: adaptive management
  • Robinson, JG 1993 – The limits to caring: sustainable living and the loss of bidoviersity