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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 : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-68

Exploring Convivial Conservation in Theory and Practice: Possibilities and Challenges for a Transformative Approach to Biodiversity Conservation

1 Sociology of Development and Change Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2 Institute for Global Sustainable Development, University of Sheffield, UK
3 Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania

Correspondence Address:
Kate Massarella
Sociology of Development and Change Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen
The Netherlands
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_53_22

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Convivial conservation has been put forward as a radical alternative to transform prevailing mainstream approaches that aim to address global concerns of biodiversity loss and extinction. This special issue includes contributions from diverse disciplinary and geographical perspectives which critically examine convivial conservation's potential in theory and practice and explore both possibilities and challenges for the approach's transformative ambitions. This introduction focuses on three issues which the contributions highlight as critical for facilitating transformation of mainstream conservation. First, the different ways in which key dimensions of justice — epistemic, distributive, and participatory and multi-species justice — intersect with the convivial conservation proposal, and how potential injustices might be mitigated. Second, how convivial conservation approaches the potential to facilitate human and non-human coexistence. Third, how transformative methodologies and innovative conceptual lenses can be used to further develop convivial conservation. The diverse contributions show that convivial conservation has clear potential to be transformative. However, to realise this potential, convivial conservation must avoid previous proposals' pitfalls, such as trying to 'reinvent the wheel' and being too narrowly focused. Instead, convivial conservation must continue to evolve in response to engagement with a plurality of perspectives, experiences, ideas and methodologies from around the world.

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