Corporate Nature: Insights from a Long-Term Project Ethnography of Global Conservation in CambodiaCancelled
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The ideas and organisational forms that we deploy to conserve biodiversity are important, because they shape the nature that we get. In this seminar Dr Milne shall explore the kind of nature or socio-nature that emerges from dominant approaches in global conservation, as practiced by big international non-government organisations (BINGOs).
These groups consume and channel a significant portion of available conservation funding, with concomitant influence over global policy. After a decade of ethnographic observation and practical experience within these BINGOs, Dr Milne proposes that they are generating a form of socio-nature that she calls corporate nature - that which emerges from the technocratic, bureaucratic, neoliberal and power-laden practices of mainstream global conservation. These practices are now endemic within global conservation BINGOs: business models are the norm, branding is fundamental, market-based and technocratic solutions are naturalised, and the appearance or performance of success underpins both organisational survival and the generation of financial value. Furthermore, Dr Milne shall show how these organisations often flail in the face of complexity and contestation – instead relying upon the production of ignorance. These findings prompt us to re-imagine conservation practice. Furthermore, she argues that engaged scholars and project ethnographers can play a key role in this process.