Why conservation scientists should re-embrace their ecocentric roots

John J. Piccolo, Haydn Washington, Helen Kopnina, Bron Taylor
  • Conservation Biology, March 2018, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13067

Discussing why ecocentric ethic is most suitable for the practical task of conservation

What is it about?

In this article we take a closer look at the explicit ecocentric roots of the discipline of conservation biology, and we note that a growing number of conservationists have recently voiced support for ecocentric natural value. We argue that although ecosystem services arguments may play an important role in stemming our deepening biodiversity crisis, a true transformation of our relationship with nature ought to be based in part on ecocentric valuation; conservation biologists have, and ought to continue to play a role in leading such a transformation.

Why is it important?

Over 600 scientists, scholars, conservationists and citizens, among them some of the leading founders of conservation biology, have recently added their signatures to a Statement of Commitment to Ecocentrism (Washington et al. 2017b). We take this as a hopeful sign that conservation biologists will continue to play a leading role in efforts to sustain Earth’s wondrous biodiversity, and we urge all SCB members to think deeply about why we ought to conserve it.


Dr Helen Kopnina
The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Deep ecology, Nature Needs Half, bioproportionality perspectives

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina