The Changing Face of Conservation: Commodification, Privatisation and the Free Market
This book chapter was originally published as Beder, S, The Changing Face of Conservation: Commodification, Privatisation and the Free Market, in Lavingne, DM (ed), Gaining Ground: In Pursuit of Ecological Sustainability, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Guelph, Canada & University of Limerick, Ireland, 2006, 83-97.
Environmentalists in the late 1960s and 1970s argued that the exponential growth of populations and industrial activity could not be sustained without seriously depleting the planet’s resources and overloading the planet’s ability to deal with pollution and waste materials. They argued that new technologies and industrial products, such as pesticides and plastics, also threatened the environment. Following the protest mood of the times, they did not hesitate to blame industry, western culture, economic growth and technology for environmental problems. They questioned western paradigms of development and industrialisation, and criticising the inequitable distribution of wealth and resource use.