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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 73-82

What Conservation Is: A Contemporary Inquiry

Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Correspondence Address:
Rogelio Luque-Lora
Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_26_22

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Recent debates regarding conservation's proper objectives have been underlain by the more fundamental question of what conservation is and what it is not. In this essay, I elaborate and justify the following definition: the promotion (or the intended promotion) of the continued existence of valuable things in the living world in extended human time. I then use this definition to ask whether two recent proposals, so-called new conservation and compassionate conservation, are truly conservation. In asking these questions, I explore how conservation relates to ecological change and to the welfare of nonhuman animals. I end by situating conservation within the broader array of societal relations with the living world.

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