Moral-Material Ontologies of Nature Conservation: Exploring the Discord between Ecological Restoration and Novel Ecosystems

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Title: Moral-Material Ontologies of Nature Conservation: Exploring the Discord between Ecological Restoration and Novel Ecosystems
Authors: Lennon, Mick
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Date: 2016
Abstract: The 'Anthropocene' was coined at the turn of the millennium to describe a new geological epoch where human activities have generated global impacts equalling or surpassing natural processes (Crutzen, 2002, Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000). As a concept, it delineates a period 'pregnant with risks as well as generative opportunities' (Johnson et al., 2014, 440) by confronting humanity with a reality that ‘graphically transgresses the ontological distinction that supposedly exists between humans and those globe-girdling environmental systems that have remained relatively stable for the last 12000 years’ (Castree, 2014c, 450). A prominent effect of this reflective concern has been to intensified anxiety that ‘we have destroyed something worth preserving’ (Robbins and Moore, 2013, 8). In few places has this been felt more strongly than in nature conservation, which ‘encourages societies to reflect upon and regulate their relationship with the non-human world’ (Jepson and Ladle, 2010, 2). Here, concern centres on how we should conduct conservation activities in a world of human altered biophysical conditions where environments characterised by species invasions and altered climat es render questionable traditional conservation methods devised under the more stationary assumptions of twentieth century ecological science (Bridgewater and Yung, 2013). Hence, by rethinking the conventional understanding of nature as removed from society, this reflective stance 'challenges the modern science-politics settlement, where natural science speaks for a stable, objective Nature’ (Lorimer, 2012, 593).
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: White Horse Press
Copyright (published version): 2016 The White Horse Press
Keywords: Charles Taylor;Thomas Kuhn;Ecological restoration;Novel ecosystems;Values
DOI: 10.3197/096327117X14809634978474
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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