On the Politics of Biodiversity and Forests

Andrea Brock // International Relations // Wednesday 27th April 2016//1-2pm//Arts C133



What is biodiversity and why should it matter? What are some of the politics involved in nature conservation? Can we solve our biodiversity crisis through privatising, commodifying, marketising and financialising nature? I suggest we can’t, but we need much more fundamental transformations of our political economic system. Current approaches to “neoliberal conservation”, especially biodiversity markets, pretend that we can have a win-win-win, saving nature, enabling ‘development’ and making money off it. Instead, these policies legitimise an inherently unsustainable system and facilitate business as usual, as I show with a case study of biodiversity offsetting in Malaysia.


Andrea is a doctoral researcher and Associate Tutor in International Relations, member of the Centre for Global Political Economy and STEPS Centre. Her PhD research is about the development of the No Net Loss of biodiversity initative in the European Union. She has worked for a number of social and environmental nongovernmental organisations in the past and considers herself an activist for social and ecological justice.

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