Saving nature? Reflections on the ethics and practice of global conservation

Book cover from

Event details

Panel Discussion

Date & time

Tuesday 02 May 2023


Seminar Room 1.04 Coombs Extension Building #8 Fellows Road ANU


Sarah Milne

The ideas and institutions that we deploy to “save nature” are important because they shape the socio-natural contours of our world.

In her new book Corporate nature: an insider’s ethnography of global conservation, Sarah Milne raises questions about the kind of world that emerges from mainstream green intervention – as seen in the work of big international NGOs, which have significant influence over nature conservation in the global south.

Sarah’s book draws on a decade of ethnographic observation and practical experience with Conservation International, and its operations in Cambodia. She reveals how big international NGOs struggle in the face of complexity; and how neat policy ideas like Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are transformed on the ground, often with perverse side-effects. New insights emerge about the power and ethics of global conservation in practice.

Three respondents - Jenson Sass, Rosie Cooney and Sango Mahanty - will reflect on the book in relation to their own work on corporate power, global conservation, and Cambodian resource frontiers respectively.

About the author

Dr Sarah Milne is a Senior Lecturer at the Crawford School of Public Policy, College of Asia and the Pacific. She gained her PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge, and has over twenty years’ experience with conservation projects - as a practitioner, scholar and advocate. Her book Corporate nature: an insider’s ethnography of global conservation was published by the University of Arizona Press in late 2022.

COVID protocols

The ANU strongly encourages you to keep a mask with you at all times (for use when COVID-19 safe behaviours are not practicable) and to be respectful of colleagues, students and visitors who may wish to continue to wear one. Please continue to practice good hygiene. If you are unwell, please stay home. The ANU’s COVID Safety advice can be accessed here.

This seminar presentation will be in-person only.

Image credit: Book cover from The University of Arizona Press website.

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