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Reasons to Conserve Nature [Trends in Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biodiversity, conservation, ecosystem services, valuing nature

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Is it sufficient to base arguments for conservation on the intrinsic value of nature, regardless of the services and economic benefits that biodiversity provides for humans ? This question underlies much recent debate that has been at times acrimonious and has led to calls for a more inclusive approach to conservation. Yet melding different ideologies within a unified conceptual framework has proven difficult. Here I describe an approach that recognizes the importance of the level of biological organization and spatial extent in determining the strength of alternative arguments for why we should conserve nature. I argue that the framework helps reconcile contrasting viewpoints and brings clarity to when different conservation management approaches (for instance, regulation versus monetary valuation) are most appropriate.

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