Diverse plurality of biodiversity as biodiverse-scapes. Biodiversity #2
“biodiversity is quantitative without necessarily being quantifiable. As an object of study biodiversity is a bit like an iceberg – most of it is hidden from view…”
Continued quotes from text on biodiversity..
“[The] orthodox view in biology… habitats can be grouped into two great classes – those that are modified (and generally simplified) by human involvement and those that are still in some pristine state, untouched by human activity. Increase in human population numbers, causing loss of natural habitat, is seen as the greatest single threat to species diversity in the modern world”
As a side note -using figures from 2011 (Wikipedia) – there are ~34 people per kilometre square in Africa compared to ~76 people per kilometre square in Europe i.e. Europe has a higher density of people than Africa – the continent at which much ‘overpopulation rhetoric is pitched – even though it has less than half the population density of Europe.
“[Biodiversity] has fallen victim to crisis talk… a discourse that ends up as a tool for the realisation of its own worst nightmares [as exampled by african aid] we tend to neglect biological variety where it is most familiar. Agro-diversity in our own back yard may be as much an unknown quantity as rain-forest biodiversity. how can specialist knowledge claims of biological researchers be reconciled with the competing knowledge claims of those members of rural communities who are often direct custodians of actual reserves of biodiversity? ….we call for a plural approach to the definition and mapping of [icebergs] in the natural world”
“Local knowledge figures in at least three ways: (i) as part of the local ecosystem, (ii) as a source of scientific information about its components and their interaction, and (iii) as a basis for all negotiations among the interested parties in policy matters… meanings of ‘local’ need to be reworked…”
Another note here about the word ‘local’. It is usually assumed to mean ‘geographically’ local, but this is not correct. ‘Local’ in a reworked sense means un-alienated, networked, related, e.g. just as a community of interest is not necessarily geographically determined, that community of interest’s locality is also not necessarily geographically determined but in this case it is the dynamic hum in 4D space-time in which the network of relationships of that interest reside and resonate.
“In lay knowledge… meaning should be assumed as motely not monolith… [compared to] specialists [who] operate within domains, often with their own characteristic intellectual techniques which may or may not operate in other specialist domains, but which – by definition- are different in some way from those of the general population…specialist access [is] through a social relationship rather than through learning, and hence in a context where interests are at play… the relationship between the science of ecology and lay knowledge that creates an anthropogenic landscape does not necessarily lend itself to direct translation…”
My research will in part takes up this challenge – not as translation – but as negotiation. I will later look into the pitfalls of translation as ‘ontological engulfing’.
Landscape…land as understood in and through the human imagination, and shaped by human managerial initiative.
A landscape approach to biodiversity is justified by the frequency with which pristine worlds, as yet little explored by science prove on further examination to yield ready evidence of long-term involvement. The idea of biodiversity should open up the scientific agenda by defining at least a plausibly principled approach to its characterisation. We seek to reinstate a real debate about what biodiversity should and might mean…