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Conserving Nature in the Anthropocene

Venue: Online

If we accept we are living in the Anthropocene, having passed a tipping point and entered a new epoch in the history of life on earth, what then are the implications for nature conservation? In this talk, I will consider a few key challenges. First, biodiversity conservation has been drawn fully into mainstream programs to achieve sustainable development, challenging its mission to protect wildlife specifically. Second, this is eroding the very notions of ‘wild’ and ‘wildlife’. Third, in a time when we’re urged to adopt a triage approach, questions around the nature of biodiversity and what to prioritise reveals the extent to which international nature conservation as a sector has been dominated by the West. Yet to succeed, conservation must include local voices and other cultural perspectives. I will draw on my research on human-wildlife conservation and coexistence to offer perspectives on these challenges.

This lecture is a taster session for the MSc Environment and Sustainability programme at Birkbeck. It showcases the programme’s interdisciplinarity by exploring how addressing the urgent environmental challenges of our time requires a range of disciplinary perspectives, and consideration of the underlying scientific concepts, as well as environmental policies and institutional frameworks, and approaches to research and management, to unravel.

This event is open to all interests and aimed at offer holders and potential applicants for the MSc Environment and Sustainability programme.

Contact name:

  • Dr Simon Pooley -

    Simon Pooley is the Director of the MSc Environment and Sustainability Programme and Lambert Lecturer in Environment (Applied Herpetology) at Birkbeck’s Department of Geography. He is active in IUCN conservation groups, and his research foci include Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence, historical and cultural dimensions of nature conservation, and wildfires.