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The University of Southampton
Southampton Ethics Centre

Justice and the Burdens of Conservation Seminar

Southampton Logo
17:00 - 19:00
1 November 2016
Room 65/2117, Avenue Campus

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Mary Andrew at .

Event details

Part of the Southampton Ethics Centre Seminar Series.


Justice plausibly requires that many natural resources ought to be conserved. But conservation often imposes costs, whether this means the costs of actively protecting resources from threats, or the opportunities which are lost when we forego activities which are environmentally destructive. Political theorists (and scholars of global justice in particular) have given too little attention to the important normative question of how those costs ought to be distributed. In our world, the costs of conservation tend to fall with the nation-states in which the resources in question happen to lie. But from the moral point of view this may be objectionable. For instance, it may produce injustice if one community has to pick up the tab for conservation although its members are already relatively badly off, and / or bear little responsibility for the threat which a given resource faces. In this talk I will identify the normative considerations which ought to govern the distribution of the costs of conservation, and show how taking them seriously justifies measures to remove the costs of conservation from countries which are badly-off. I will illustrate the argument by pointing to key real-world examples such as the protection of the rainforests, and the non-exploitation of fossil fuels.

Speaker information

Dr Chris Armstrong,Head of Department of Politics & International Relations within Social Sciences: Politics & International Relations at the University of Southampton.

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