Overcoming racism in the twin spheres of conservation science and practice.
Oommen, Meera Anna
Proc Biol Sci
The Royal Society
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Rudd, L. F., Allred, S., Bright Ross, J. G., Hare, D., Nkomo, M. N., Shanker, K., Allen, T., et al. (2021). Overcoming racism in the twin spheres of conservation science and practice.. Proc Biol Sci, 288 (1962) https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1871
It is time to acknowledge and overcome conservation's deep-seated systemic racism, which has historically marginalized Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities and continues to do so. We describe how the mutually reinforcing 'twin spheres' of conservation science and conservation practice perpetuate this systemic racism. We trace how institutional structures in conservation science (e.g. degree programmes, support and advancement opportunities, course syllabuses) can systematically produce conservation graduates with partial and problematic conceptions of conservation's history and contemporary purposes. Many of these graduates go on to work in conservation practice, reproducing conservation's colonial history by contributing to programmes based on outmoded conservation models that disproportionately harm rural BIPOC communities and further restrict access and inclusion for BIPOC conservationists. We provide practical, actionable proposals for breaking vicious cycles of racism in the system of conservation we have with virtuous cycles of inclusion, equality, equity and participation in the system of conservation we want.
Biological science practices, anti-racism, BIPOC, colonialism, equity, diversity, inclusion
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/L002612/1)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1871
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/330228