BIOSEC AT POLLEN20 | Contested Natures: Power, Politics, Prefiguration

BIOSEC are participating in this year's POLLEN conference. Details of our plenary, panels and papers here.

*** UPDATE: You can now watch the ‘Conservation Futures’ plenary panel here.***

The BIOSEC team are looking forward to participating in the POLLEN 2020 conference, Contested Natures: Power, Politics, Prefiguration. The conference takes place online from 22-25 September. The full programme is available here.

BIOSEC will be hosting the ‘Conservation Futures’ plenary panel on Thu 24th September at 9am – 11am on the Hummingbird Stage. Chaired by Professor Rosaleen Duffy and Dr George Iordăchescu, it welcomes panellists Dr Carina Wyborn, Dr Mathew Bukhi Mabele, Dr Anh Vu and Dr Hannah Dickinson. You can view full details of the panel below or here on the POLLEN website.

In addition, the BIOSEC team will also be chairing and presenting papers at the following sessions:

Mon 22 September

10:30-12:15 – D020-D0 ‘Deconstructing the fluidity in ranger-poacher binaries: Quotidian hierarchies of power, surveillance and technology. Panellist: Francis Massé.

Tue 23 September

12:30 – 14:00 – P055-LO0 ‘Environmental Peacebuilding in a changing climate: ‘Greenwashing’ sustainability or building environmentally and socially just peace?’. Chair: Teresa Lappe-Osthege. Papers: Teresa Lappe-Osthege ‘Future sustainability built on present injustice? A critical engagement with the concept of environmental peacebuilding’.

14:15 – 15:35 – P026-K2 ‘Convivial conservation: approaches for linking social and environmental justice, II’. Papers: George Iordăchescu ‘Making a case for convivial conservation in Europe – lessons from other radical conservation proposals’.

Thu 24 September

09:00-11:00: K003 ‘Conservation Futures’ Keynote 3. Chairs: Rosaleen Duffy, George Iordăchescu. Keynotes: Hannah Dickinson ‘Geopolitical Ecologies of EU Biodiversity strategies’.Anh Vu ‘Critical insights from Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) demand-side interventions’.

14:45-16:15 – P046-D0 ‘Reframing legality and power in the contested terrain of wildlife trade governance’. Chairs: George Iordăchescu, Hannah Dickinson. Papers: Hannah Dickinson Regulating illegal caviar trade in the European Union: Contested expressions of legality and power’, George Iordăchescu ‘Reconsidering the (il)legality of logging and timber trade and the protection of old-growth forests in the EU’.

14:45-16:15 – D005-M0 ‘Political Ecologies of the Illicit’. Chair: Francis Massé. Panellist: Jared Margulies


Full details of BIOSEC plenary and keynotes:

‘Conservation Futures’.

This panel will debate future directions for conservation. The 2020 Super Year for Biodiversity acted as a focal point for developing and discussing new ideas for ‘saving’ biodiversity because any threat to biodiversity presents a threat to our very ability to survive. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment Report in 2019 indicated that an estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction. Conservationists (amongst others) have repeatedly sounded the alarm that these losses pose an existential threat to all life on Earth. Different explanations are offered for these negative trends – ‘human’ pressures of the Anthropocene, the fundamental unsustainability of global capitalism (Capitalocene), colonial and hierarchical modes of thinking and practice, amongst others. These raise the questions about how to tackle biodiversity losses, and several high profile initiatives have gained traction, including Half-Earth, the new EU Strategy for Biodiversity and 30 by 30 Campaign for Nature. However, to achieve conservation goals, these proposals still rely on traditional (and failed) models of separating humans and nature. This panel will address the broader questions around the future for conservation in different contexts, drawing together practitioner and theoretical perspectives to debate how conservation of the future can be socially and ecologically just.

The session is chaired by Professor Rosaleen Duffy (University of Sheffield) and Dr George Iordăchescu (University of Sheffield).

Panellists include:

Dr Carina Wyborn, Australian National University
Revisiting biodiversity futures: doom and gloom or hope and agency?

Carina Wyborn is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a background in science and technology studies and human ecology. She works at the Institute for Water Futures at the Australian National University, where she conducts research on the science, policy, and politics of environmental futures. After completing her PhD at the ANU in 2012, Carina conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Montana and then moved to the Luc Hoffmann Institute in 2014 where she was the research advisor until mid 2020. She is the co-lead author of ‘Biodiversity Revisited’. Carina is particularly interested in the capacities that enable future-oriented decision making, and the methods and practices that are used to support decision-making in the context of uncertainty. Her research has traversed a variety of environmental governance domains including climate adaptation, biodiversity conservation, wildfire, and water. She has published widely on the science policy interface and in particular on the processes and politics of co-production.

Dr Mathew Bukhi Mabele, University of Dodoma
What is a desirable conservation future? Insights from a political ecology hotspot

Mathew Bukhi Mabele is an environmental (conservation) social scientist, working in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Dodoma in Tanzania. He applies a radical (critical and engaged) political ecology lens to explore politics (power) over representations (framings) of environmental concepts such as conservation, Anthropocene, environmental degradation, green transformations, poaching, REDD+, and sustainability at policy level, and resulting consequences for day-to-day resource governance and socio-ecological justice in the miombo woodlands and related ecosystems in Tanzania. His recent works appear in World DevelopmentEnergy Policy, Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space and Review of African Political Economy.

Dr Anh Vu, University of Sheffield
Conservation Futures: Critical insights from Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) demand-side interventions

Dr Anh Vu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the BIOSEC Project at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield. She is an interdisciplinary researcher bringing expertise in development studies, politics, anthropology and geography. Anh’s research retains a strong link with the worlds of practice and policy and over the past ten years she has collaborated with various government agencies, bilateral and international organisations (World Bank, UN, Oxfam), and national NGOs. Before her postdoctoral research, she researched and published on environmentalism and authoritarianism in Southeast Asia. Her current research examines local environmentalism and the politics of Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) demand reduction campaigns in authoritarian Vietnam.

Dr Hannah Dickinson, University of Sheffield
The Geopolitical Ecologies of EU biodiversity conservation strategies

Dr Hannah Dickinson is a Research Associate on the BIOSEC Project. Hannah’s doctoral research examined the impact of caviar trade regulations upon the dynamics of illegal caviar trade and geopolitics in the European Union. More generally, Hannah is interested in investigating illegal wildlife trade and biodiversity conservation issues in Europe, and theorising how wildlife crimes in Europe intersect with issues of organised crime, geopolitics and political ecology.

Professor Rosaleen Duffy is Professor of International Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. She leads the BIOSEC Project that investigates the implications of how conservation and security are becoming integrated. More broadly, her previous work examined the politics of international conservation, including neoliberalisation of nature, global environmental governance, transfrontier conservation, community-based natural resource management, human-wildlife conflict and ecotourism.

Dr George Iordăchescu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the BIOSEC Project at the University of Sheffield. Over the last few years, he has done fieldwork in the Romanian Carpathians and Poland where he researched private conservation projects, commons and forest livelihoods. Currently, George studies the impact of EU regulations on timber trade and securitisation in Romania. He aims to understand how a redefinition of illegal logging and timber trade as a security threat has triggered a massive citizen involvement in monitoring and reporting of environmental crimes.