Nature™ Inc? Questioning the Market Panacea in Environmental Policy and Conservation
Conference to be held at ISS from 30 June to 2 July 2011
Nature is dead! Long live Nature™ Inc.! This adagio inspires many environmental policies today. In order to respond to the many environmental problems the world is facing, new and innovative methods are necessary, or so it is argued, and markets are posited the ideal vehicle to supply these. Indeed, market forces have been finding their way into environmental policy and conservation to a degree that seemed unimaginable only a decade ago. Payments for ecosystem services, biodiversity derivatives and new conservation finance mechanisms, species banking, carbon trade and conservation 2.0 are just some of the market mechanisms that have taken a massive flight in popularity in recent years, despite, or perhaps because of the recent “Great Financial Crisis”.
The upcoming Nature™ Inc. conference seeks to critically engage with the market panacea in environmental policy and conservation in the context of histories and recent developments in neoliberal capitalism. The conference is steeped in traditions of political economy and political ecology, in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of where environmental policies and conservation in an age of late capitalism come from, are going and what effects they have on natures and peoples. “Nature™ Inc” follows a successful recent conference in Lund, Sweden, in May 2010 and several earlier similar initiatives that have shown the topic to be of great interest to academics, policy-makers and civil society. The present conference is thus meant not only to deepen and share critical knowledge on market-based environmental policies and practices and nature-society relations more generally, but also to strenghten and widen the networks enabling this objective.
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