Nature and Culture: Rebuilding Lost Connections

Nature and Culture. 2010. Edited by Sarah Pilgrim and Jules Pretty. London, Earthscan

There is a growing recognition that the diversity of life comprises both biological and cultural diversity. But this division is not universal and, in many cases, has been deepened by the common disciplinary divide between the natural and social sciences and our apparent need to manage and control nature.

This book goes beyond divisive definitions and investigates the bridges linking biological and cultural diversity. The authors explore the common drivers of loss, and argue that policy responses should target both forms of diversity in a novel integrative approach to conservation, thus reducing the gap between science, policy and practice.

While conserving nature alongside human cultures presents unique challenges, this book forcefully shows that any hope for saving biological diversity is predicated on a concomitant effort to appreciate and protect cultural diversity.

Endorsements for Nature and Culture: 

  • “This collection provides a glimpse of paradise re-gained, when our mis-judged separation from and ambition to master Nature can be repaired. If we are to survive and prosper in the decades to come, we must knit ourselves back into the web of life, recognising the resilience which stems from investing in diverse social, dietary and eco-systems.” Dr Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development
  • “This richly textured book tells vitally important stories about how indigenous cultures are closely tied to the ecosystems they inhabit. As their societies are harassed by encroaching and usually hostile forces, those close links are being stretched and broken. Quite apart from their right to continue to live as they choose, there is much we can learn from them about how to live in harmony with nature.  Indeed, our very existence may depend upon our recognizing this.” Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE, President Survival International
  • “People have been considered separate from nature for far too long, and this book provides a welcome antidote. With a group of experienced contributors, it provides a kaleidoscope of the unity of people with the rest of nature. These perspectives have immediate application for anyone seeking a more sustainable future for both biological and cultural diversity, which this book shows to be part of the same unity.” Dr Jeffrey A. McNeely, Senior Science Advisor, IUCN

See more on the book on the publishers’ website.