Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Beyond the Square Wheel: Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of Biodiversity Conservation as Social and Political Process

Author:Steven R. Brechin, Peter Wilshusen, Crystal Fortwangler and Patrick West
Date: January 2002
Publication:Society and Natural Resources, 15, pp.41-64

In this article we build on an accompanying critique of recent writings in international biodiversity conservation (this issue). Many scholars and observers are calling for stricter enforcement of protected area boundaries given the perceived failure of integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) and other people-oriented approaches to safeguard biodiversity. Pointing to many ongoing, field-based efforts, we argue that this resurgent focus on authoritarian protection practices largely overlooks key aspects of social and political process including clarification of moral standpoint, legitimacy, governance, accountability, learning, and nonlocal forces. Following a discussion of these six points, we offer a series of recommendations aimed at highlighting existing work and encouraging dialogue and constructive debate on the ways in which biodiversity protection interventions are carried out in developing countries
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 06/14/2006 13:06:05