The current ‘sixth extinction’ event represents a major crisis for conservation as well as for global society more generally. But how to interpret this event in relation to the highly uneven patterns of species life and death across the planet and within historical and often highly unjust trajectories of uneven capitalist development? The project proposes the concept of uneven extinction to develop and empirically illustrate a theoretical framework that can provide a more realistic explanation of how and why extinction of biodiversity unfolds across time and space, and how this fits within changing forms of capitalist development. Building on multi-level ethnographic research on crisis conservation situations in Africa, Asia and Latin America and on in-depth literature research, the project advances a more robust understanding of the unevenness of extinction in its political economic, social and ecological contexts, which in turn is critical for finding equitable, sustainable and decolonial forms of conservation and development in Africa and beyond.
Büscher, Bram. 2021. Between overstocking and extinction: conservation and the intensification of uneven wildlife geographies in Africa. Journal of Political Ecology, 28(1). https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.2956