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Biodiversity and the challenge of pluralism

Abstract

The lack of progress in reversing the declining global trend in biodiversity is partly due to a mismatch between how living nature is conceived and valued by the conservation movement on the one hand, and by many different people, including marginalized communities, on the other. Addressing this problem calls for a pluralistic perspective on biodiversity. This requires consideration of the use of the concept of biodiversity, willingness to expand its ambit, and engagement with the multiple and multi-level drivers of change. We propose ways for conservation science, policy and practice to deliver more effective and socially just conservation outcomes.

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Fig. 1: An agenda for a pluralistic perspective about biodiversity in science, policy and practice.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to offer a humble tribute to the life and ideas of Georgina M. Mace who as co-author of this paper, was a firm supporter of the role of interdisciplinary biodiversity science for improving the quality of life of all people on Earth. We thank the Luc Hoffman Institute for inviting us to be part of the Biodiversity Revisited project, which created a fertile space among conservation scientists, policymakers and practitioners, and nurtured dialogue among the authors of this article. U.P. was supported under the Basque Centre for Climate Change ‘Unit of Excellence’ (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness; grant number MDM-2017-0714). S.D. was supported by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI; grant number SDG 090), CONICET and Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. S.L. was supported by the NERC-Formas-DBT project ‘Nature4SDGs’ (grant number BT/IN/TaSE/73/SL/2018-19).

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U.P. led the writing of the paper and W.M.A., S.D., S.L., G.M.M. and E.T. all contributed equally to the writing and editing.

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Correspondence to Unai Pascual.

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Peer review information Nature Sustainability thanks Bernd Hansjürgens and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Pascual, U., Adams, W.M., Díaz, S. et al. Biodiversity and the challenge of pluralism. Nat Sustain 4, 567–572 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-021-00694-7

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