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Christoph Rupprecht
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Geographer (PhD), translator, photographer. Interests: informal urban greenspace (非公式緑地), cities, nature, culture and travel!
Geographer (PhD), translator, photographer. Interests: informal urban greenspace (非公式緑地), cities, nature, culture and travel!

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Interested in the future of food?
I had a go at a critique of the World Economic Forum's food future report and argue that we can't be satisfied with choosing from the proposed scenarios. To build a brighter food future we need to look to radically different ways of food and agricultural policy -- such as #foodsovereignty and #agroecology, concepts that at their heart embrace the idea of biocultural diversity!

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I had a go at a critique of the World Economic Forum's food future report and argue that we can't be satisfied with choosing from the proposed scenarios. To build a brighter food future we need to look to radically different ways of food and agricultural policy -- such as #foodsovereignty and #agroecology, concepts that at their heart embrace the idea of biocultural diversity!

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Very short notice, I just heard about this:

October 27(Thurs.) - 29(Sat.), 2016
Wakura-onsen, Nanao, Ishikawa
Organizers: UNESCO, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations University, Ishikawa Prefectural Government, Nanao City

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And another one! Biocultural Diversity of Urban Green Space in European Cities

The study contains a literature review, spatial analysis and fieldwork.

The literature review concludes "Especially at the species level, outcomes of
perception and valuation studies vary widely, and the gene level is not studied at all. Also, a range of important socio-demographic and cultural characteristics of the population sample are not systematically included in most studies."

The spatial analysis found: "Whereas some European urban regions have
rather few green spaces in the inner parts of their cities, other urban areas show a greater or more even distribution of the green spaces over the whole city area. The analyses also demonstrate that data on such a broad spatial scale are vastly inconsistent, making overarching spatial analyses still difficult. Demographic and socio-demographic data are comparatively up-to date, while land cover data stem from 2006."

Fieldwork is still underway and results are expected in a forthcoming second report. 

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A report from the EU Green Surge project that provides a "conceptual framework of [Biocultural Diversity] for urban context and analyses of BCD interpretations, manifestations and practices in governance and planning policy of green areas in 20 European cities."

Green Surge as a project works on linking green infrastructure, biodiversity, green economy and sustainable development.

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Dennis and James (2016) suggest that community participation in #urban green commons positively impacts #biodiversity in a study based in Manchester, UK. They argue that positive socio-ecological feedbacks may thus be possible, and that the study provides "support for the promotion of a highly decentralised, stakeholder-led stewardship of green space as a valid consideration in the management of urban ecosystem services."


Abstract:
"Polycentric governance and stakeholder participation in natural resource management have potential benefits for both human and environmental well-being. Researchers and decision-makers have attempted to conceptualise the ecological, social and political potential of such semi-formal approaches to urban green space management. However, few studies have quantified the actual benefits in terms of biodiversity and associated ecosystem service provision, or the factors that mediate levels of participation.

The links between biodiversity potential, site access and user participation were explored in a case study comprising ten established examples of organised social–ecological initiatives in the inner-city area of Greater Manchester. At the micro-scale, the case study quantified the levels of community involvement (measured in volunteer hours month−1) in local green commons and the biodiversity potential (assessed using floristic and structural diversity as a surrogate) of the ten sites. Descriptive analysis identified that site spatial and design characteristics affected all three measures and subsequent correlational analyses revealed a high degree of synergy between site use and biodiversity.

The study thereby provides quantitative evidence of the synergistic relationship between green space use and urban biodiversity and, importantly, the positive feedbacks which should result between volunteer input and the local generation of ecosystem services. The study provides support for the promotion of a highly decentralised, stakeholder-led stewardship of green space as a valid consideration in the management of urban ecosystem services."

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Here is a new form of biocultural diversity which we haven't had before, I think! And I'm fairly certain there are huge difference in home-internal ecosystems around the world. (via the Ecology community)

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Four job opportunities at the level of postdoc/project researcher and senior project researcher! Detailed requirements vary, check the descriptions.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Contract period: 1 year, renewable up to 5 years

Project: "Lifeworlds of Sustainable Food Consumption and Production: Agrifood Systems in Transition" (PI Prof. Steven McGreevy) (Info: http://www.chikyu.ac.jp/rihn_e/project/PR-2015.html)

Location: Kyoto, Japan (need rights to work in Japan to apply)


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New paper on the "Montérégie Connection (MC) project [which] has used the rapidly suburbanizing agricultural Montérégien landscape just east of Montreal, Québec, Canada, to investigate how current and historic landscape structure influences ES provision". 

I haven't read it in detail, but they write "Our results highlight the importance of forest connectivity and functional diversity on ES provision, and show that ES provision can vary significantly even within single land-use types in response to changes in landscape structure. Our historical analysis reveals that levels of ES provision, as well as relationships among individual ES, can change dramatically through time. We are using these results to build quantitative ES-landscape structure models to assess four future landscape scenarios for the region: Periurban Development, Demand for Energy, Whole-System Crisis, and Green Development. These scenarios integrate empirical and historical data on ES provision with local stakeholder input about global and local social and ecological drivers to explore how land-use decisions could affect ES provision and human well-being across the region to the year 2045."

Here's a CFP for the 2016 AAG:

Association of American Geographers 2016 (March 29 - April 2) Call for papers. Paper Session: Biodiversity conservation, culture and context - new insights from political ecology

Session organisers: Ivan Scales, University of Cambridge and Riamsara Kuyakanon Knapp, University of Cambridge

Global conservation policy and practice have undergone significant change over the last decade. A greater focus on market-based mechanisms, poverty alleviation, economic development, humanitarianism and corporate partnerships has led some to announce the arrival of a ‘New Conservation’ (Soulé 2013), provoking renewed debate on conservation’s core values, as well as a call for the recognition of conservation’s diversity of aims and approaches (Tallis & Lubchenko 2014). 

While the global expansion of protected areas as a fundamental strategy of conventional conservation has continued, there is increasing recognition of the heterogeneity of conservation policy and practice (Dudley et al. 2014, Verschuuren et al. 2010, Sandbrook et al. 2011) and of the importance of culture to conservation outcomes (Waylen et al. 2010, Scales 2012). There have also been renewed attempts to build on local institutions and to engage with indigenous knowledge and beliefs, informed by a more critical appreciation of local complexities (Coombes et al. 2012, Dressler et al. 2010). However, important questions remain about how global biodiversity conservation ‘touches down’ in different contexts, as well as how identity, knowledge and contrasting values play into contestations over natural resources. 

Political ecology has an established history of studying biodiversity conservation, revealing its values and power struggles. While political ecologists have become increasingly eclectic in the theories and tools that they draw on, there have been calls for more sophisticated analyses of power that focus on the roles of gender, ethnicity, knowledge and identity in claims over natural resources (Goldman 2011, Rocheleau 2008). For example, there has been a growing focus on intersectionality, i.e. the way ethnicity, gender, class and other forms of social difference interact simultaneously to shape and constrain identity and social roles. There has also been a greater focus on multiple and situated knowledges and the interactions between them (Goldman et al. 2011).

How are these more pluralistic political ecologies contributing to analyses of diverse conservation practices in diverse contexts? 

In this session we will explore recent trends in global biodiversity conservation through more pluralistic political ecologies. We are particularly interested in conservation policies and practices that focus on working with / through ‘local’ beliefs, values and institutions. We are also interested in novel political ecology approaches that seek to move beyond more traditional analyses of power. 

*Possible topics / themes could include (but are not limited to): *

• Identity. What factors shape the identities of resource users; how do identities shape resource use; and how do conservation policies and practices shape identities (and vice versa). 

• Intersectionality. How does a focus on the intersection between class, gender and / or ethnicity contribute to understandings of biodiversity conservation policy and practice? 

• Multiple / situated knowledges, practices and values. How is conservation policy interacting with local knowledges, practices and institutions? Where is the researcher positioned and how does s/he navigate within and across multiple framings?

• Hybridity. How are different knowledges, values and beliefs hybridising through conservation policy and practice?

• Power. How do identity, intersectionality, situated knowledges / values, and hybridity play into contests over resource use? How is power exercised in conservation policies and practices that focus on culture? 


*Abstracts (250 words maximum) should be sent to both Riamsara Knapp (rk391@cam.ac.uk) and Ivan Scales (irs28@cam.ac.uk) by 5pm GMT on Friday 16th October 2015. *

Decisions will be made and communicated by 5pm GMT on Friday 23rd October 2015. 

The deadline for submitting abstracts to the AAG is currently 28th October 2015.  


References

Coombes, B., Johnson, J. T., Howitt, R. (2012) Indigenous geographies I: Mere resource conflicts? The complexities in indigenous land and environmental claims. Progress in Human Geography 36, 810-821. 

Dressler, W., Buscher, B., Schoon, M., Brockington, D., Hayes, T., Kull, C. A., McCarthy, J. and Shrestha, K. (2010) From hope to crisis and back again? A critical history of the global CBNRM narrative. Environmental Conservation 37, 5-15. 

Dudley, Nigel, Craig Groves, Kent H. Redford, and Sue Stolton (2014) Where Now for Protected Areas? Setting the Stage for the 2014 World Parks Congress. Oryx FirstView: 1–8. 

Goldman, M. J. and Turner, M. D. (2011) Introduction. In: Goldman, M. J., Nadasdy, P. and Turner, M. D. (eds) Knowing nature: conversations at the intersection of political ecology and science studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1–23

Rocheleau, D. (2008) Political ecology in the key of policy: from chains of explanation to webs of relation. Geoforum 39, 716–727

Sandbrook, C., Scales, I.R., Vira, B. and Adams, W.M. (2011) ‘Value Plurality among Conservation Professionals’. Conservation Biology, 25, 285-294

Scales, I.R. (2012) ‘Lost in translation: Conflicting views of deforestation, land use and identity in western Madagascar’ The Geographical Journal, 178, 67-79

Soule, M. (2013) The ‘New Conservation’. Conservation Biology, 27, 895-897

Tallis, H., and Lubchenco., J. (2014) “Working Together: A Call for Inclusive Conservation.” Nature, 515 (7525), 27–28

Verschuuren, Bas, Robert Wild, Jeffrey A. McNeeley, and Gonzalo Oviedo, eds. (2010) Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving Nature and Culture. 1st ed. London: Earthscan.

Waylen, Kerry A., Anke Fischer, Philip J. K. Mcgowan, Simon J. Thirgood, and E. J. Milner-Gulland (2010) Effect of Local Cultural Context on the Success of Community-Based Conservation Interventions. Conservation Biology, 24, 1119–29
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