Connected Conservation: rethinking conservation for a telecoupled world
24 May 2023
This paper offers a new conservation model and highlights the need to tackle distant wealth-related drivers of biodiversity loss, while empowering local stewards.The convergence of the biodiversity and climate crises, widening of wealth inequality, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the urgent need to mobilize change to secure sustainable futures. Centres of tropical biodiversity are a major focus of conservation efforts, delivered in predominantly site-level interventions often incorporating alternative-livelihood provision or poverty-alleviation components. Yet, a focus on site-level intervention is ill-equipped to address the disproportionate role of (often distant) wealth in biodiversity collapse. Further these approaches often attempt to ‘resolve’ local economic poverty in order to safeguard biodiversity in a seemingly virtuous act, potentially overlooking local communities as the living locus of solutions to the biodiversity crisis.