The case for conservation podcast

The case for conservation podcast

The case for conserving the biodiversity of life on Earth needs to be credible and robust. Sometimes that requires a willingness to question conventional wisdom. The case for conservation podcast features long-form conversations with conservation thinkers, in which we try to untangle issues into which they have some insight.

Episodes

May 2, 2021 54 min

Protected areas like nature reserves and national parks are about the most fundamental manifestation of nature conservation there is, and have existed in various forms for centuries. But are they achieving what they are meant to achieve? Does formal protection necessarily translate into biodiversity conserved?

Brian MacSharry is well placed to respond to these questions. He is Head of the Biodiversity and Nature Group at the Europea...

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Many Western nations have been undergoing a period of intense reflection on issues of discrimination. Recent incidents have re-ignited social movements like Black Lives Matter. Public intellectuals are addressing the topic with a variety of opinions - often confined to their own echo chambers. Are all concerns about discrimination justified? Are people too easily assuming that discrimination is the reason for injustice? And... what...

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Indigenous peoples and local communities are increasingly recognized for the importance of their contribution to global biodiversity knowledge. But is indigenous & local knowledge (ILK) being vetted, in a parallel to peer review's vetting of scientific knowledge? And how does ILK add to global biodiversity knowledge, if it is typically very localized?

Zsolt Molnár helps me to explore these questions. Zsolt is a botanist and...

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Invasive alien species are considered one of the five main direct drivers of biodiversity loss, worldwide, as well as causing untold damage to economic assets like agriculture. Is there ever anything to be said for accepting them into the landscapes or seascapes they've occupied? And what about non-invasive alien species, and invasive native species? 

Martin Schlaepfer is an ecologist and senior lecturer at the University of Gen...

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Since about 2007 most of the world's population has been living in cities and, if there's one thing we're learning about conservation, it's that people matter. But why do people in cities matter? Why do cities themselves matter? And why are cities not playing a more prominent role in conservation globally?  

I ask Debra Roberts, whose experience and skills range from academia to policy to implementation; across local...

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Uncertainty of outcomes is a feature of conservation. That's perhaps why the "precautionary principle" is held so sacred in this field. But, considering the potential cost of inaction in a rapidly-changing world, are we being a bit too cautious? Michelle Marvier and Peter Kereiva recently tackled this topic, and Michelle discussed it with me on the podcast.

Michelle Marvier is a professor in the Department of Environment...

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The conservation of nature and biodiversity is often considered to be a labor of love. After all, why would anyone want to dedicate their career to such a daunting task, which is not known for its moneymaking potential? In the developing world especially, as explained by a previous guest, more lucrative jobs are pursued as a way out of poverty. And yet we need conservationists of all stripes to tackle the biodiversity crisis.

Nick A...

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Ongoing biodiversity loss is most severe in the developing world, but the funding for conservation comes mostly from the developed world. In the past, conservation notoriously ignored the needs of local people. Times have changed, but how well are conservation initiatives working for people and for nature in the developing world now?

Mao Amis is a Ugandan conservationist based in South Africa. His PhD is in natural resources manage...

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This episode explores the question of whether the conservation message is "getting through" and, if not, why not? Communication of this message is necessary because governments, businesses, communities, organizations and individuals need to be aware, and inspired, in order to take action. My guest had some insightful, and surprisingly positive, perspectives on this issue.

Tim Hirsch studied history at Cambridge University b...

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This episode explores the links between nature and COVID-19, and between nature and zoonotic disease in general. We examine the common assertion that the degradation or destruction of ecosystems is a cause of pandemics, and not just correlated with them. David helps to alleviate some (but perhaps not all) of my concerns about the accuracy of the literature on this subject.

David Duthie is a conservationist who worked on biodiversit...

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In this introduction I explain the purpose of the case for conservation podcast, and outline some basic concepts. I also describe the format that I will be using, and generally try to give the listener some idea of what to expect from subsequent episodes. In all of those subsequent episodes, I will be interviewing guests, and getting into specific topics.

My name is André Mader. I am a conservation biologist by training, with a foc...

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