Biodiversity and Democracy: Rethinking Society and Nature

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9780774806893: Biodiversity and Democracy: Rethinking Society and Nature
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This work argues that the problem of extinction can be traced to how we think about biodiversity and democratic societies. While biodiversity is usually confused with biological resources, Wood argues that it should be conceived as an essential environmental condition.

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About the Author:

Paul M. Wood is assistant professor in the Department of Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia.

Review:

Interesting stuff, and indicative of the kinds of land planning decisions we will be forced to make over the next generation or two ... is well written and well indexed. (C.H. Smith Choice)

The world's species, genes, and ecosystems are going extinct at an alarming and unprecedented rate, largely as a result of human activities. If this trend continues, human civilization itself is at risk. Yet we remain either unaware or unconcerned.

In Biodiversity and Democracy, Paul Wood looks at this dilemma from another perspective. He argues that the problem can be traced back to how we think about both biodiversity and democratic societies. He examines the concept of biodiversity, recasting it as an essential environmental condition that is being irreversibly depleted, not a biological resource that can simply be replaced. He then demonstrates how democratic policies cater to short-term public preferences, with little or no concern for the long term.

Wood considers a number of contemporary theories of justice and concludes that biodiversity conservation is a legitimate constraint on current collective preferences and that biodiversity should be conserved, even if it is not in the public's current best interest to do so. This is a strong message that carries serious implications for constitutional and statutory legal reform in liberal democracies.

This book will be of interest to academics and professionals in the related fields of conservation biology, environmental law, public policy, environmental ethics and political philosophy. Public interest groups, environmental advocacy groups and government agencies will also find Wood's approach thought-provoking.

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9780774806886: Biodiversity and Democracy: Rethinking Society and Nature

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ISBN 10:  0774806885 ISBN 13:  9780774806886
Publisher: UBC Press, 2001
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