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The case for conservation podcast

A monthly Science, Nature and Natural Sciences podcast
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Episodes of The case for conservation podcast

Freshwater biodiversity tends to be the most threatened of all types of biodiversity. In this episode I speak with Jenny Day about the state of freshwater biodiversity in South Africa's drought-prone Southwestern Cape, and elsewhere in the worl
Much has been written about why we wish to protect nature. The initial motivation for conservation was ostensibly for nature's own sake. Around the 1980s, the concept of ecosystem services began to highlight  ways in which we depend on nature,
People from various walks of life have an affinity to nature. Why is that, and why is nature important to us? This episode is less of an inquiry and more of a ramble through this topic, with one of the most nature-loving, inspiring and interest
Why has environmentalism  come to be considered a left-wing  agenda, even though much of its history has conservative roots? And what does it even mean to be conservative when it comes to conservation and environmental issues?Quill Robinson has
Most conservationists are motivated by the purpose of their work. But that work often involves a lot of struggle and it can be daunting, especially when one does not yet have the experience of hard-won success to draw inspiration from. So, how
There is a lot in the media these days about how protecting biodiversity reduces the risk of zoonotic disease spillover, and hence the risk of epidemics and pandemics. There seems to be  a lot of good evidence for this in published studies on t
The scientific method remains the best systematic approach we have been able to develop in our ongoing endeavor to advance human flourishing. But that does not mean it's perfect - indeed, it probably never will be. But what are the ways in whic
These days some very impressive-sounding conservation projects are catching the public eye, from massive tree-planting initiatives to high-profile urban greening. They capture the headlines and they capture the imagination. But do they deserve
Protected areas like nature reserves and national parks are about the most fundamental manifestation of nature conservation there is, and have existed in various forms for centuries. But are they achieving what they are meant to achieve? Does f
Many Western nations have been undergoing a period of intense reflection on issues of discrimination. Recent incidents have re-ignited social movements like Black Lives Matter. Public intellectuals are addressing the topic with a variety of opi
Indigenous peoples and local communities are increasingly recognized for the importance of their contribution to global biodiversity knowledge. But is indigenous & local knowledge (ILK) being vetted, in a parallel to peer review's vetting of sc
One of the challenges facing certain surgical procedures is how to glue tissue in a wet environment. The sandcastle worm (Phragmatopoma californica) solved a similar problem millions of years ago, and we have managed to mimic the recipe.
Invasive alien species are considered one of the five main direct drivers of biodiversity loss, worldwide, as well as causing untold damage to economic assets like agriculture. Is there ever anything to be said for accepting them into the lands
We conserve nature ultimately for our own good - to sustain the benefits that it offers humankind. Curiously, nature's diversity is seldom given the attention it deserves for its role in human flourishing. But every organism has untold potentia
Since about 2007 most of the world's population has been living in cities and, if there's one thing we're learning about conservation, it's that people matter. But why do people in cities matter? Why do cities themselves matter? And why are cit
Uncertainty of outcomes is a feature of conservation. That's perhaps why the "precautionary principle" is held so sacred in this field. But, considering the potential cost of inaction in a rapidly-changing world, are we being a bit too cautious
The conservation of nature and biodiversity is often considered to be a labor of love. After all, why would anyone want to dedicate their career to such a daunting task, which is not known for its moneymaking potential? In the developing world
Ongoing biodiversity loss is most severe in the developing world, but the funding for conservation comes mostly from the developed world. In the past, conservation notoriously ignored the needs of local people. Times have changed, but how well
In this introduction I explain the purpose of the case for conservation podcast, and outline some basic concepts. I also describe the format that I will be using, and generally try to give the listener some idea of what to expect from subsequen
This episode explores the links between nature and COVID-19, and between nature and zoonotic disease in general. We examine the common assertion that the degradation or destruction of ecosystems is a cause of pandemics, and not just correlated
This episode explores the question of whether the conservation message is "getting through" and, if not, why not? Communication of this message is necessary because governments, businesses, communities, organizations and individuals need to be
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