Once upon a time in the wild west Sometimes life brings experiences that give pause for thought. In recent years I have returned to west Namibia to work with elders of families I’ve known for over almost 30 years – a legacy of a childhood split between Britain and southern Africa. We have been documenting … Continue reading I’m Sian, and I’m a fossil fuel addict: on paradox, disavowal and (im)possibility in changing climate change
Notes from an invited talk given as part of a Public Dialogue on the UK's National Ecosystem Assessment, held at the Royal Society London in 2014. There are a range of different ways of representing the relatively new term and concept of ‘ecosystem services’. Here's one: As you can see, in this image ‘cultural … Continue reading ‘Ecosystem services’ and the role of the market: a concerned view
1. On elephants and economics In 1993, Australian ecologist Graeme Caughley published a paper on elephant conservation and market reasoning in Conservation Biology. Responding to proposals that clear ownership designations and the ability to sell harvested ivory on a free market would incentivise the conservation of African elephants, he showed that this approach might … Continue reading Biodiversity conservation, financialisation and equity: some currents and concerns
On 8 July, an opinion piece was published in the journal Nature under the title ‘The Business of Biodiversity‘. In it, Ricardo Bayon of EKO Asset Management Partners, and Michael Jenkins, Director of Forest Trends, argue that: ‘Imposing a price on natural resources and ecosystem services is by far the most effective way of forcing … Continue reading The business of bio(cultural) diversity?
“People differ not only in their culture but also in their nature, or rather, in the way they construct relations between humans and non-humans.” Loss We hear a lot these days about loss. In April 2009, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that banks, insurance instruments and pension funds have ‘lost’ some US $4.1 trillion … Continue reading Green capitalism, and the cultural poverty of constructing nature as service provider
There is an ancient Greek myth that seems to be a potent parable for our times. Demeter, goddess of grain, fertility and the rhythm of the seasons, appears as a mortal priestess to the imperious King Erysichthon, suggesting he refrain from cutting the trees of a sacred grove planted in celebration of all that she … Continue reading On bioculturalism, shamanism and unlearning the creed of growth