When is (bio)diversity good/valuable?

Project ValueDiv

Core Team:
Norman Backhaus
Anna Deplazes
Mollie Chapman
Anna Wienhues

Collaborators:
Owen Petchey
Maria J. Santos
Peter Schaber

Aim: Examining reasons for the value of (bio)diversity via analysis of intersections with concepts around relational values, place, and consideration of nature’s otherness and dynamism

Research: This project combines ideas from the resource frontiers and ecosystem services clusters and includes perspectives from the social and natural sciences, as well as philosophy, synthesize and analyze perspectives on biodiversity’s value; facilitate ajoint manuscript across disciplines; two SNF funding proposals on biodiversity in the Anthropocene. Interactions between people and nature drive feedback cycles around biodiversity loss, articulating the value of biodiversity can foster support for its protection.
A broad range of perspectives provide arguments deeming both biodiversity, and diversity more generally, to be good or valuable. For instance, the loss of diversity has been deplored not only in the context of biodiversity but also in cultural contexts, such as loss of linguistic diversity, where the two are associated, e.g., biocultural diversity (Maffi 2005, Pretty et al. 2009). Moreover, because the (moral) value of biodiversity has been a subject of debate (Newman et al. 2017), it is analytically valuable to situate biodiversity in a broader context of debates on diversity more generally.

References:
Maffi, L. (2005). Linguistic, Cultural, and Biological Diversity. Annual Review of Anthropology, 34(1), 599–617.
http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.34.081804.120437
Newman, J. A., Varner, G., & Linquist, S. (2017). Defending Biodiversity. Cambridge University Press.

Pretty, J., Adams, B., Berkes, F., de Athayde, S. F., DUDLEY, N., Hunn, E., et al. (2009). The Intersections of Biological Diversity and Cultural Diversity: Towards Integration. Conservation and Society, 7(2), 100. http://doi.org/10.4103/0972-4923.58642