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The moral landscape of biological conservation: Understanding conceptual and normative foundations


Wienhues, Anna; Luuppala, Linnea; Deplazes-Zemp, Anna (2023). The moral landscape of biological conservation: Understanding conceptual and normative foundations. Biological Conservation, 288:110350.

Abstract

Biological conservation practices and approaches take many forms. Conservation projects do not only differ in their aims and methods, but also concerning their conceptual and normative background assumptions and their underlying motivations and objectives. We draw on philosophical distinctions from the ethics of conservation to explain variances of different positions on conservation projects along six dimensions: (1) conservation ideals, (2) intervention intuitions, (3) the moral considerability of nonhuman beings, (4) environmental values, (5) views on nature and (6) human roles in nature. The result is a map of the moral landscape of biological conservation, on which these six dimensions are layered. This map functions as a heuristic tool to understand conceptual and normative foundations of specific conservation projects, which we will illustrate with four paradigmatic examples: the Pisavaara Strict Nature Reserve, Predator Free New Zealand, the Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve and the Great Green Wall Project. With this map as a heuristic tool, we aim to conceptually illuminate disagreement and clarify misunderstandings between representatives of different environmental protection strategies and to show that the same project can be supported (or criticised) on different grounds.

Abstract

Biological conservation practices and approaches take many forms. Conservation projects do not only differ in their aims and methods, but also concerning their conceptual and normative background assumptions and their underlying motivations and objectives. We draw on philosophical distinctions from the ethics of conservation to explain variances of different positions on conservation projects along six dimensions: (1) conservation ideals, (2) intervention intuitions, (3) the moral considerability of nonhuman beings, (4) environmental values, (5) views on nature and (6) human roles in nature. The result is a map of the moral landscape of biological conservation, on which these six dimensions are layered. This map functions as a heuristic tool to understand conceptual and normative foundations of specific conservation projects, which we will illustrate with four paradigmatic examples: the Pisavaara Strict Nature Reserve, Predator Free New Zealand, the Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve and the Great Green Wall Project. With this map as a heuristic tool, we aim to conceptually illuminate disagreement and clarify misunderstandings between representatives of different environmental protection strategies and to show that the same project can be supported (or criticised) on different grounds.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
08 Research Priority Programs > Global Change and Biodiversity
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Nature and Landscape Conservation
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nature and Landscape Conservation, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 December 2023
Deposited On:19 Jan 2024 13:36
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0006-3207
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2023.110350
Project Information:
  • : FunderHorizon 2020
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderNOMIS Stiftung
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID948964
  • : Project TitleDynamiTE - Dynamic Territory: A Normative Framework for Territory in the Post-Holocene
  • : FunderEuropean Research Council
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)