Conservation and development: A cross-disciplinary overview

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The ability of national governments to set and implement policies that protect biodiversity is currently facing widespread scepticism within the conservation movement. Here, we review the literature from several disciplines to outline a positive agenda for how the global conservation movement can address this. We combine the strengths of the people-centred and science-led conservation approaches to develop a framework that emphasizes the importance of ecological infrastructure for the long-term prosperity of human societies in an ever-changing world. We show that one of the major goals of the conservation movement (enhancing global ecological infrastructure to end species and ecosystem loss) remains central and irreplaceable within the broad sustainable development agenda. Then, we argue that the conservation community is now more prepared than ever to face the challenge of supporting societies in designing the ecological infrastructure they need to move towards more sustainable states. Because it is where global and local priorities meet, the national level is where impactful changes can be made. Furthermore, we point out two priorities for the conservation movement for the next decade: (1) substantially increase the amount of financial resources dedicated to conservation; and (2) advance the next generation of policies for ecological infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Conservation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • biodiversity
  • conservation
  • public policy
  • sustainability
  • sustainability science
  • sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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