Handbook of Biology and Politics
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Handbook of Biology and Politics

Edited by Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit

The study of biology and politics (or biopolitics) has gained considerable currency in recent years, as articles on the subject have appeared in mainstream journals and books on the subject have been well received. The literature has increased greatly since the 1960s and 1970s, when this specialization first made an appearance. This volume assesses the contributions of biology to political science. Chapters focus on general biological approaches to politics, biopolitical contributions to mainstream areas within political science, and linkages between biology and public policy. The volume provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to the subject.
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Chapter 28: From biodiversity to policies to politics

Denis Couvet


Major political issues in biodiversity involve the hierarchy of biodiversity values, building decision procedures integrating complex biological interactions while respecting the diversity of values and stakeholders involved with biodiversity, managing what is a public good in biodiversity, and justice with regard to the access to biodiversity. Relevant biodiversity elements are species richness, functional groups, often associated to ordinary biodiversity and citizen science, and phylogenetic diversity. Pressures on biodiversity are managed with protected areas, and policies to minimize habitat change. Organic economics, considering interactions between production and consumption activities, should contribute to address drivers and avoid rebound effects, in relation with capping of human activities. Future likely issues concern the identity of green economics and its use of market-based instruments, the place of technological, social and ecological innovations, and the merging of biodiversity with other environmental issues, in particular climate change and human development.

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