Questioning calls to consensus in conservation: a Q study of conservation discourses on Galápagos

Cairns, Rose, Sallu, Susannah M and Goodman, Simon (2014) Questioning calls to consensus in conservation: a Q study of conservation discourses on Galápagos. Environmental Conservation, 41 (1). pp. 13-26. ISSN 0376-8929

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Efforts to frame conservation interventions in terms of idealized outcomes that benefit both human well-being and biodiversity, and the rhetoric of consensus that often accompanies these, have been criticized. Acknowledgement of trade–offs between often incommensurable interests and perspectives, has been argued to be more democratic and transparent. This paper critically examines calls to consensus in conservation on the Galápagos Islands, where the population has been urged to unite around a shared vision of conservation in order to secure a sustainable future. Q methodology was used to examine the discourses of conservation on the islands, and to assess whether a shared vision of Galápagos is either achievable or desirable. Thirty-three participants carried out Q sorts about Galápagos conservation. Three discourses emerged from the analysis: conservation of Galápagos as an international/global concern; conservation linked with sustainable development; and social welfare and equitable development. The results highlight the subjective and political nature of the different discourses, and the paper concludes that calls to consensus or shared visions, while seductive in their promise of harmonious cooperation for conservation, can be read as attempts to depoliticize debates around conservation, and as such should be treated with caution.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: seg
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: A General Works
H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Rose Cairns
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:08
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2017 22:45

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