Special Section: The challenges of decolonizing conservation, edited by Dan Brockington, Esteve Corbera and Sara Maestre-Andrés

Decolonizing, conviviality and convivial conservation: towards a convivial SDG 15, life on land?



In their article 'Towards convivial conservation' (2019), Büscher and Fletcher propose a vision for conservation which partly builds on Ivan Illich's 1973 book Tools for conviviality. Given a growing chorus of voices calling for decolonizing conservation to address the ramifications of racialized mindsets and biases,this article asks: what role could conviviality play in envisioning alternative, decolonizing conservation ideas, particularly for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15? The article first reflects on the case for decolonizing conservation. It then conducts an in-depth analysis of Illich's radical ideas as well as subsequent understandings of conviviality, before juxtaposing Illich's ideas with Büscher and Fletcher's suggestions through a decolonizing lens. Finally,the article reviews SDG 15, 'Life on Land', against the backdrop of the prior decolonizing and convivial perspectives. The article argues that Illich's conviviality and related ideas have much to offer in envisioning alternative, decolonizing conservation ideas by promoting grassroots, democratic decision-making, living within bounds by the rich, emphasizing interdependencies between and within people and the environment, yet need to avoid imposition and incorporate intergenerational and marginalized viewpoints adequately.

Keywords: Decolonization, conviviality, convivial conservation, Sustainable Development Goal 15, justice

How to Cite: Krauss, J. E. (2021) “Decolonizing, conviviality and convivial conservation: towards a convivial SDG 15, life on land?”, Journal of Political Ecology. 28(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.3008