Just conservation: In defense of environmentalism

Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Social scientists of conservation typically address sources of legitimacy of conservation policies in relation to local communities' or indigenous land rights, highlighting social inequality and environmental injustice. This chapter reflects on the underlying ethics of environmental justice in order to differentiate between various motivations of conservation and its critique. Conservation is discussed against the backdrop of two main ethical standpoints: preservation of natural resources for human use and protection of nature for its own sake. These motivations will be examined highlighting mainstream conservation and alternative deep ecology environmentalism. Based on this examination, this chapter untangles concerns with social and ecological justice in order to determine how environmental and human values overlap, conflict, and where the opportunity for reconciliation lies, building bridges between supporters of social justice and conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Engaged Sustainability
EditorsSatinder Dhiman, Joan Marques
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783319713120
ISBN (Print)9783319713113
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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