Article | Valuation Studies | The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia





Title:
The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia
Author:
Simon Foale: College of Arts, James Cook University, Australia Michelle Dyer: College of Arts, James Cook University, Australia Jeff Kinch: PNG NFA National Fisheries College, Papua New Guinea
DOI:
10.3384/VS.2001-5992.164111
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Abstract:
In this paper we discuss differences in the ways transnational conservationists and Melanesian farmers, hunters and fishers value ‘biodiversity’. The money for conservation projects in developing countries originates from people who are embedded in a capitalist system, which allows engagement with nature as an abstract entity. Their western education has given them a scientific/ evolutionary-based worldview, which attributes intrinsic value to all species (and particular arrangements of species, e.g. rainforests and coral reefs), irrespective of economic value or ecosystem function. Because this value system is mostly not shared by the custodians of the biodiversity that conservationists want to save, alternative tactics and arguments are utilised. These inevitably take the form of so-called ‘win-win’ economic rationales for preserving biodiversity, most of which do not work well (e.g. bioprospecting, ecotourism, non-timber forest products, environmental certification schemes, payments for ecosystem services, etc.), for reasons which we detail. Agriculture- and aquaculture-based livelihoods appear to enjoy more success than the ‘win-win’ options but do not necessarily obviate or deter further biodiversity loss. Artisanal use of species-poor but productive and resilient pelagic fisheries is increasing. These ecological and economic realities bring into sharp focus the importance of understanding differences in value systems for successful biodiversity conservation in the tropics.
Keywords:
Epistemology; worldview; poverty; conservation; education; development
Year:
2016
Volume:
4
Issue:
1
Pages:
11-39
No. of pages:
29
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2016-11-25

Volume 4, Issue: 1, Article 2, 2016

Author:
Simon Foale, Michelle Dyer, Jeff Kinch
Title:
The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia:
DOI:
10.3384/VS.2001-5992.164111
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Volume 4, Issue: 1, Article 2, 2016

Author:
Simon Foale, Michelle Dyer, Jeff Kinch
Title:
The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia:
DOI:
10.3384/VS.2001-5992.164111
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
  • Stacy Jupiter (2017). Culture, kastom and conservation in Melanesia: what happens when worldviews collide?. Pacific Conservation Biology, 23(2): 139. DOI: 10.1071/PC16031
  • Thane A Milit & Simon Foale (2017). The “Nemo Effect”: Perception and reality of Finding Nemo 's impact on marine aquarium fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 18(3): 596. DOI: 10.1111/faf.12202
  • Julian Clifto & Simon Foale (2017). Extracting ideology from policy: Analysing the social construction of conservation priorities in the Coral Triangle region. Marine Policy, 82: 189. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.03.018
  • Caleb Scoville (2017). “We Need Social Scientists!” The Allure and Assumptions of Economistic Optimization in Applied Environmental Science. Science as Culture, : 1. DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2017.1354846
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