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'Taking care together': Conservation as more-than-human commoning III 
Paolo Gruppuso (University of Catania)
Sara Asu Schroer (University of Oslo)
Andrew Whitehouse (University of Aberdeen)
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Tim Ingold (University of Aberdeen)
Great Hall
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

In conservation nature is an asset protected by boundaries that often engender conflicts. This panel challenges such ideas of protecting a common nature, and invites papers exploring conservation as a more-than-human endeavour of 'taking care together' amid asymmetries and differences.

Long Abstract:

Around 17 percent of Earth's land and 10 percent of the ocean are under different kinds of conservation regimes. Calls have been made to increase such percentages and to protect 'half Earth', thus transforming the globe into an immense network of conservation areas. By envisioning nature as an asset protected by boundaries aimed at keeping nature in and people out, these approaches disempower local and Indigenous communities, and engender contestations. Moreover, they often result in neglecting smaller areas that are ecologically significant, and may be counterproductive if not aligned with sociopolitical and economic transformations. It is then urgent to rethink conservation in a way that supports justice for both human and other-than-human beings.

Going beyond the idea of protecting a passive, fragile and objectified nature, this panel approaches conservation from its etymology of 'cum servare', as a collective and more-than-human process, growing from convivial practices of 'taking care together'. It proposes a shift from the anthropocentric idea of protecting a common nature, to an ethics of care; involving collective processes of maintaining ecological, political, social, biological and affective relations across diverse human and nonhuman lifeworlds. Instead of being founded upon a notion of homogenous community or shared essence, more-than-human commoning holds asymmetries and differences in tension, while enabling temporal practices of 'maintaining life together'. We invite papers that reflect on such processes and that explore possibilities of more-than-human commoning within, outside or at the edges of institutionalised forms of conservation, from ethnographic, historical, and speculative perspectives.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -