Conservation and Novel Futures: Managing Biodiversity in Multifunctional Landscapes in the Age of the Anthropocene

Clement, SE ORCID: 0000-0002-5422-622X, Standish, RJ and Fischer, T ORCID: 0000-0003-1436-1221
(2017) Conservation and Novel Futures: Managing Biodiversity in Multifunctional Landscapes in the Age of the Anthropocene. In: International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM), 2017-6-19 - 2017-6-22, Umeå.

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Species loss is estimated to be >1,000 times the background rate and increasing. In what has now been dubbed ‘the Anthropocene’, human actions are the major cause of biodiversity decline; while strong pressures such as climate change will likely transform landscapes that are highly valued socially, economically, and ecologically. New combinations of species, interactions, and functions (i.e. novel ecosystems) are already emerging. The discussion about how to deal with novelty has been contentious and debated on both scientific and philosophical grounds, with questions about whether deliberately managing novel ecosystems is an adaptive response to change, or whether it is simply giving up (and giving in) to failure. While humans have created the Anthropocene, they are also integral to solving its problems. This research focuses on governance, as a process for both deciding how to navigate environmental change and deploying the capacity to deal with it. Our current governance systems are not, however, fit for purpose. In a time of social and ecological transformation, anchoring conservation success to historical baselines, as is most often the case, is expensive, technically difficult, and contributes to conservation failure. This research identifies the most important factors for achieving conservation ‘success’ in transforming landscapes and tests practical ways in which governance can provide a space for positive intervention, particularly in multifunctional landscapes where the need to adapt is most urgent. Using an original conceptual framework for analysing capacity for conserving biodiversity, practical reforms are developed. These are then tested using innovative, collaborative scenario planning and citizens juries methodologies to determine not only how governance can positively influence biodiversity outcomes in the future, but also provide a means to explicitly deal with difficult questions about novel ecosystems and conservation in the Anthropocene.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Unspecified)
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity, novel ecosystems, transformation, governance
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2017 07:25
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:57