Nature Crime: How We’re Getting Conservation Wrong by Rosaleen Duffy - review by Sara Wheeler

Sara Wheeler

Endangered Animals Happy Meal

Nature Crime: How We’re Getting Conservation Wrong

By

Yale University Press 288pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

Earlier this year, I travelled on assignment to southern India to investigate the plight of the Asian elephant. Villagers were killing marauding pachyderms, and a British charity had launched a conservation campaign. But when I saw what was happening in Kerala, I found my sympathies lay with the villagers. They were poor farmers with a plot the size of your kitchen and eight or nine children to feed – and elephants had destroyed their small crop many times already.

In this fascinating book, Rosaleen Duffy reveals the multiplicity of ways in which environmentalists’ good intentions disadvantage local people. All too often, there is a human cost, hidden from unwitting donors. The Foreign Office, for example, supports a complex scheme to develop the world’s largest marine protected area

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