The maturation of biodiversity as a global social–ecological issue and implications for future biodiversity science and policy

Hill, Rosemary, Halamish, Eyal, Gordon, Iain J., and Clark, Megan (2013) The maturation of biodiversity as a global social–ecological issue and implications for future biodiversity science and policy. Futures, 46. pp. 41-49.

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Achieving the future targets for 2020 under the Convention on Biological Diversity, including that to halve the rate of habitat loss, will require rapid transformation to more effective governance. We present a global analysis of the transformative pathway of biodiversity using the social maturation framework of issue progression through six phases: Observation, Theorization, Popularization, Challenge, Governance and Normalization. Biodiversity is currently caught at a critical juncture between the Challenge and Governance phases. Movement from the Popularization to Challenge phase around 1990 occurred with intensified public discourse about biodiversity. The ongoing decline in biodiversity could be expected to trigger public concern and movement into the Governance phase, but this has not yet occurred. We hypothesize that benefits from expansion of the human ecological footprint acting in the opposite direction to biodiversity decline dampen system response. This dampening limits resolution of key debates and societal consensus about incorporating biodiversity into legislative and market systems. High quality independent science that connects with public discourse is needed to mobilize decision-makers at multiple scales. Ensuring the new Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) connects to non-government actors who catalyze issue-based social discord about biodiversity risks would help ensure future governance and normative responses.

Item ID: 24830
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0016-3287
Keywords: biodiversity, human dimensions, governance, social–ecological systems future transformations
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2013 02:59
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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