Global biodiversity is facing a catastrophic decline. However, today’s international conservation efforts are overwhelmingly concentrated on the protection of so-called charismatic megafauna such as pandas, whales and elephants. While numerous other species are also exposed to existential threats due to human activities, the conservation of these species receives little to no attention and is extremely under-funded. How does a new issue emerge in such an environment?
My presentation illustrates how protection of the pangolin (an endangered mammal traded in Asia and Africa for traditional medicine and wildlife meat) became a salient issue in international biodiversity governance. Drawing on in-depth interviews with conservation professionals, I highlight the advocacy strategies of pangolin specialists and the overarching structural conditions that enabled the appeal of pangolin conservation among audiences in the Global North. I discuss implications of my findings, including the othering of local practices in the Global South and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on conservation advocacy.
This seminar is organised by the Interdisciplinary Research Cluster Environmental Challenges and Climate Change Governance.
Please register via the link below by Thursday 18 February 2021. Registered participants will receive the Zoom link shortly before the event.