Multiple conceptualizations of nature are key to inclusivity and legitimacy in global environmental governance

In Environmental Science and Policy
Volume (Issue): 104
Peer-reviewed Article

Despite increasing scientific understanding of the global environmental crisis, we struggle to adopt the policies science suggests would be effective. One of the reasons for that is the lack of inclusive engagement and dialogue among a wide range of different actors. Furthermore, there is a lack of consideration of differences between languages, worldviews and cultures. In this paper, we propose that engagement across the science-policy interface can be strengthened by being mindful of the breadth and depth of the diverse human-nature relations found around the globe. By examining diverse conceptualizations of “nature” in more than 60 languages, we identify three clusters: inclusive conceptualizations where humans are viewed as an integral component of nature; non-inclusive conceptualizations where humans are separate from nature; and deifying conceptualizations where nature is understood and experienced within a spiritual dimension. Considering and respecting this rich repertoire of ways of describing, thinking about and relating to nature can help us communicate in ways that resonate across cultures and worldviews. This repertoire also provides a resource we can draw on when defining policies and sustainability scenarios for the future, offering opportunities for finding solutions to global environmental challenges.

Author:
Luca
Coscieme
Håkon
da Silva Hyldmo
Álvaro
Fernández-Llamazares
Ignacio
Palomo
Tuyeni
H. Mwampamba
Odirilwe
Selomane
Nadia
Sitas
Pedro
Jaureguiberry
Michelle
Lim
Maria
P. Barral
Juliana
S. Farinaci
Julio
Diaz-José
Sonali
Ghosh
Joyce
Ojino
Amani
Alassaf
Bernard
N. Baatuuwie
Lenke
Balint
Zeenatul
Basher
Fanny
Boeraeve
Sugeng
Budiharta
Ruishan
Chen
Maylis
Desrousseaux
Gregory
Dowo
Catherine
Febria
Houda
Ghazi
Zuzana
V. Harmáčková
Rodolfo
Jaffe
Mphatso
M. Kalemba
Cosmas
K. Lambini
Felicia
P.S. Lasmana
Assem
A.A. Mohamed
Aidin
Niamir
Patricio
Pliscoff
Rahat
Sabyrbekov
Uttam
B. Shrestha
Aibek
Samakov
Anna
A. Sidorovich
Laura
Thompson
Mireia
Valle
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