Next week on Tuesday 29 September kl. 13.15 RivEM professor John Piccolo will hold a seminar entitled “Nature’s contribution to people and peoples’ moral obligations to nature”. He says: “In the seminar, I will discuss the concept of “ecocentrism”, the worldview that attributes “inherent” or “intrinsic” value to nonhuman (as well as human) life. The seminar is part of a project I have been working on for some time, with colleagues from several countries, to highlight the importance of ecocentrism for biodiversity conservation and sustainability, as in this recent article in the leading biodiversity journal Conservation Biology.” You’re very welcome to join John’s Zoom room (https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/jpconbio) on Tuesday 29 September, 13:15 Stockholm time!

In the seminar next week John will focus on the new concept of “Nature’s contributions to people” (NCP) that is currently being popularized by the International Panel of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The concept of NCP is built upon a deeper understanding of the well-known Ecosystem Services paradigm. NCP attempts to capture many of the intangible values of nature that are difficult to measure, especially economically. Thus, NCP encompasses a broader range of worldviews than do previous, largely economic valuations of ecosystem services. Although the IPBES explicitly recognizes intrinsic nature value, they have done a poor job accounting for intrinsic value in their recent publications and reports. He will argue that the IPBES and biodiversity conservation in general requires a much deeper assessment of the philosophical concept of intrinsic natural value. Recognition of intrinsic value is, in fact, the foundation upon which both human rights and nature’s rights are built. Thus, intrinsic value is of primary importance in conservation of biodiversity and the broader concept of sustainability.

You can read more of their recent publications on ecocentrism at the following links:

https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13526

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10806-018-9711-1

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718305020?via%3Dihub

https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13067

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1617138117300742?via%3Dihub

You can even read a statement of commitment to ecocentrism, and join a list of notable signatories at the following link: https://www.ecologicalcitizen.net/statement-of-ecocentrism.php?submit=Sign+the+Ecocentrism+Statement

In the beginning of March, John Piccolo from Karlstad University, and Haydn Washington (University of New South Wales), Helen Kopnina (Hague University of Applied Sciences) and Bron Taylor (University of Florida) published the paper Why conservation scientists should reembrace their ecocentric roots” in the scientific journal Conservation Biology. In the article impact statement the authors say that “ecocentrism, the recognition of intrinsic natural vaule, is and should continue to be a vital element of biodiversity conservation”.

You can access the paper here.

Conservation biology is concerned with maintaining the rich biodiversity of Planet Earth. Over the past 50 years scientists have come to recognize that humans are the driving force behind an unprecedented loss of biodiversity. Conservation scientists work for social and ecological justice for a sustainable future of human and non-human life on Earth. The ecosystem services that nature provides for humans is what sustains us – food, clean water, recreation and cultural values. Ecosystem services provide a powerful justification for nature protection, but many people believe that we need to also look more deeply to recognize nature’s intrinsic values. A new peer-review journal, The Ecological Citizen, is dedicated to publishing research on ecocentrism, “Striving for harmony with the rest of nature”.

http://www.ecologicalcitizen.net/

 

John Piccolo from Karlstad University has been contributing to a research network in publishing articles related to ecocentrism and conservation ethics. You can read more about this work here:

http://www.ecologicalcitizen.net/article.php?t=why-ecocentrism-key-pathway-sustainability

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10806-018-9711-1

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1617138117300742

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/oryx/article/if-we-want-a-whole-earth-nature-needs-half-a-response-to-buscher-et-al/27ACE7EBAA074C875C4F16B1BD05F12B

 

The online “statement of commitment to ecocentrism” has been signed by a number of well-known ecologists and conservationists including Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Ann and Paul Erhlich, Herman Daly, David Ehrenfeld, Michael Soulé, Holmes Rolston, Sarah Darwin, Reed Noss, and J. Baird Callicott.

You can read more about and sign the statement of commitment to ecocentrism here.

 

A spawning male sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)

During the 50th anniversary meeting of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles at the University of Exeter in July 2017, the participants held a workshop to develop a publication titled “Valuing and understanding fish populations in the Anthropocene: key questions to address”, for the special issue of the Journal of Fish Biology.

John Piccolo from Karlstad University contributed to this paper, focusing on a current research theme on conservation ethics. The paper is now published. Access the paper here, or contact any of the authors. John has also promised a coming NRRV post highlighting some recent work in this area.

In the abstract of the paper, the authors write:

“Research on the values of fish populations and fisheries has primarily focused on bio-economic aspects; a more nuanced and multidimensional perspective is mostly neglected. Although a range of social aspects is increasingly being considered in fisheries research, there is still no clear understanding as to how to include these additional values within management policies nor is there a cogent appreciation of the major knowledge gaps that should be tackled by future research.
This paper results from a workshop held during the 50th anniversary symposium of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles at the University of Exeter, UK, in July 2017. Here, we aim to highlight the current knowledge gaps on the values of fish populations and fisheries thus directing future research. To this end, we present eight questions that are deeply relevant to understanding the values of fish populations and fisheries. These can be applied to all habitats and fisheries, including freshwater, estuarine and marine.”