Sustainability, Conservation, and Creativity : Ethnographic Learning from Small-scale Practices book cover
1st Edition

Sustainability, Conservation, and Creativity
Ethnographic Learning from Small-scale Practices

ISBN 9781138315433
Published October 3, 2019 by Routledge
64 Pages

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Book Description

By examining how small communities have dealt with forces of change and have sought to maintain themselves over time, this book offers pointers and lessons for conservation practices at all levels of society.

"Sustainability" has become an increasingly popular term as a signal of concerns with long-term environmental consequences of human actions. Sustainability as a goal has started to replace "development" as a way of describing policies that go beyond the concept of increasing commercial production or making monetary profits from enterprises. By focusing on topical case histories on agricultural activity, stock-keeping, cash cropping, mining, and renewable energy, the authors highlight how ethnographic studies can and should inform policy decisions at both local and global levels.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of applied anthropology, sociology, and development studies.

Table of Contents

1. Conceptual Orientations 

2. Perceptions and Practices in Papua New Guinea: the Duna Case 

3. Arguments about the Commons 

4. Traditional Conservation and Cash-Cropping in Papua New Guinea 

5. Mining and its Effects in Papua New Guinea 

6. Energy 

7. Farming, Sustainability and Kinship 

8. The Ends of Sustainability

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Pamela J. Stewart (Strathern) is Co-Director of the Cromie Burn Research Unit and Senior Research Associate at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, and Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University

Andrew J. Strathern is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, and Honorary Professor at the Australian National University


"Stewart and Strathern are giants in their field. In this engaging work, they bring a much-needed anthropological approach to the modern sustainability movement, drawing on case studies from places as diverse as Papua New Guinea and Scotland to argue that ecosystem health and human wellbeing are intrinsically connected." — Jeremy L. Caradonna, University of Victoria, Canada

"Slightly more than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas and 68% is projected to live in cities by 2050. Increasingly we become isolated from the natural environments that provide our food and energy and we struggle to understand how to sustain the natural systems that support us. This book by two anthropologists with extensive fieldwork experience in Melanesia, examines how small scale pre-capitalist societies relate to their natural environments through ritual and an appreciation of ecosystem relationships, in order to seek possible solutions to our own pressing problems of environmental sustainability and global warming."Bryant Allen, Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Pacific Affairs, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

"Humanity is faced with challenges of climate change, pollution, and species extinction while striving to feed a growing population and procure sufficient energy to sustain life and fuel development. Stewart and Strathern draw on their extensive ethnographic research in diverse regions of the globe—New Guinea, Scotland, and Taiwan—to offer valuable insight into this complex and nuanced problem."Richard Feinberg, Professor Emeritus, Kent State University, USA