Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA
Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham
Chapter 1: Nature Protection in Nine Countries: A Framework for Analysis
William T. Markham and C.S.A. (Kris) van Koppen This book is about organizations and networks created by citizens of Western societies to protect nature. We focus on them because the story of nature protection in these societies is largely their story. Nature protection organizations and networks were among the ﬁrst national-level, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in these societies, and they have survived over a century of wars, dictatorships, depressions and political turmoil. At times, they have participated in social movements that counted nature protection among their goals – including most recently the environmental movement; however, they have also promoted nature protection when it ranked far down the public agenda. Although nature protection advocates have often called on the state for support, and the state has occasionally taken the initiative in this area, nature protection has always been propelled, in large measure, by non-governmental organizations, networks and discourses. Nature protection remains a vital endeavour today. The environmental movements of the 1960s and 1970s and the subsequent institutionalization of environmentalism did change the context in which nature protection groups operate, but nature protection was neither fully assimilated nor shunted aside by environmentalism. Instead, nature protection groups gained support, and many broadened their agendas to incorporate new themes, while new environmental organizations typically accorded nature protection a prominent role. Today, even as concern about pollution and resource depletion appears to be waning in many nations, nature protection organizations and networks continue to display remarkable vitality and, in some cases, spectacular growth. Indeed, organizations with nature...
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