Ethics in biodiversity conservation : The meaning and importance of pluralism
Cortés-Capano, G., Hausmann, A., Di Minin, E., & Kortetmäki, T. (2022). Ethics in biodiversity conservation : The meaning and importance of pluralism. Biological Conservation, 275, Article 109759. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109759
Published inBiological Conservation
© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Addressing the global extent of the current biodiversity crisis requires engaging with the existence of multiple equally legitimate values, but also with diverse ethical perspectives underpinning conceptions of right and wrong actions. However, western monist positions have mostly explicitly or implicitly directed conservation strategies by defining the space of legitimate arguments, overlooking solutions that do not fit neatly the chosen approaches. As ignoring diverse ethical positions leads to injustices and reduces the potential of conserving biodiversity, there is a need to recognise and navigate the ethical landscape. Ethical pluralism may provide opportunities to do so. However, the ethical underpinnings of pluralism have not been fully considered in biodiversity conservation. In this article, we elaborate the meaning, importance and limits of ethical pluralism while highlighting opportunities and challenges that the position may entail in biodiversity conservation science and practice. We argue that ethical pluralism allows recognising not only the existence of incommensurable plural values, but also that moral conflicts should embrace intra and inter-cultural criticism and the legitimacy of agonism and dissent, as opposed to monistic and relativistic approaches. We conclude by discussing how grounding ethical pluralism in environmental justice and environmental pragmatism may contribute to navigating the ethical landscape in biodiversity conservation. Particularly, we highlight opportunities to: i) promote (non-anthropocentrically understood) recognition and environmental justice in biodiversity conservation and, ii) move beyond theoretical debates seeking the single best ethical theory and focus on ethical diversity as a common source of possible solutions. ...
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Related funder(s)Maj ja Tor Nessling Foundation
Additional information about fundingG.C.C, A.H., and E.D.M. thank the European Research Council (ERC) for funding under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement #802933). G.C.C thanks the National Research and Innovation Agency, Uruguay (grant number POS_EXT_2015_1_123575). A.H. thanks the Mai and Tor Nessling Foundation (grant number 202200342).
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