Toward a pluralistic conservation science

Research output: Journal contributionsOther (editorial matter etc.)Research


This editorial reflects on the history of the conservation movement, the strong continuing influence of its colonial past, and the counter-emergence of a more pluralistic and respectful worldview. Conservation Letters seeks to support and foster an ethical and inclusive discipline of conservation that discards elements of its colonial and racist history. This will involve broadening the disciplinary scope of “conservation” and paying greater attention to traditional ecological knowledge and nonwestern conservation approaches. We also see a particular need for theoretical advances that guide conservation practice by informing and connecting different kinds of expertise to understand social-ecological interactions and their implications for both people and ecosystems. Conservation can and should play a vital role in securing the joint future of ecosystems and people, but it will only achieve its full potential if it retains its social license and stays relevant to emerging concerns and values.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12952
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number3
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

    Research areas

  • biodiversity, conservation biology, conservation practice, Indigenous knowledge, justice, wildlife management
  • Environmental planning