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Faces of the same coin? Conservation of biodiversity and extractivism in Latin America

Faces of the same coin? Conservation of biodiversity and extractivism in Latin America

"Our hypothesis indicates that extractivism and the conservation of biodiversity present complementary pillars, referring to the relationship between the human and the environmental, as well as regarding the conception of Nature"

In this work we focus on the analysis and comparison of the assumptions that underlie two types of human practices that are indicated as antagonistic: the current model called "extractivist" and the hegemonic practices linked to conservation, in particular, those from the area of conservation biology. To do this, we have analyzed three assumptions common to both practices: their global character, the exclusion of human living and the reification of nature. Our hypothesis indicates that extractivism and the conservation of biodiversity present complementary pillars, referring to the relationship between the human and the environmental as well as regarding the conception of Nature.

Facing the ends of worlds, facing the advance of the "desert", different voices have emerged. Among them, the voice of "conservation" has filtered into various fields and institutions such as NGOs, government organizations and the different sciences. In this work we will focus on the analysis and comparison of the assumptions that underlie predatory forms of the environment, particularizing our analysis on the situation in Latin America and the current so-called “extractivist” model and on the hegemonic practices linked to conservation, in particular from the area of ​​conservation biology. Our hypothesis is that, despite the fact that extractivism and the conservation of biodiversity are often presented as antagonistic, both have common fundamental pillars, so they should be understood as complementary, that is, “two sides of the same coin”.

In this way, we will propose that conservation biology, in the version analyzed here, generates a configuration of the sense of Nature and of the human bond with it common to that of the extractivist model. At the same time, with the goal of opening future debates, we will seek to recover certain disputes that have occurred within conservation, in order to provide elements for a reflection on new horizons of environmental care.

As a plot strategy, we will determine some defining characteristics that allow us to compare conservation biology and extractivism. In order to select the categories for comparison, we have made a preliminary reading of texts understood as canonical of conservation biology and of the discourses that analyze extractivism, in particular from Latin American authors. The three dimensions that we have recognized and analyzed are the global character, linked to the idea of ​​Humanity (I), the exclusion of human living (II) and the reification of Nature (III).

Later we will present some "exceptions", leaks and stories, within conservation biology, which escape the logic that we mentioned earlier. Finally we offer some conclusions about the "intimate" links that appear between these two views.

Download the document here: Biodiver Conservation… (528.45 kB)

Source: CENSAT


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