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Saving forests with love? Connection with nature at a tropical deforestation frontier

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Peadar Brehony.

Conservation has traditionally relied primarily on the ‘carrot and stick’ approaches of legal restrictions and economic incentives to motivate the protection of nature. Much less attention has been paid to intrinsic motivations for conservation, such as “loving nature”. Will this change in future? Motivated by interest in the role that feelings and emotions such as love for nature play in biodiversity conservation, Kasia’s PhD focused on psychological nature connection – the self-identification with nature and emotional attachment to the natural world. Using a quantitative survey in a farming population at an Amazonian deforestation, the research challenges persistent conventional wisdoms in conservation, including that poor people don’t care for nature beyond material benefits, and that caring about nature is dependent on knowledge of the natural world. Here she will discuss what this means for conservation in practice and some exciting questions that it opens up for future research.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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