Critical review essay: Sustaining native biodiversity through conservation and nature-friendly farming

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Growing populations, farming into virgin lands and industrialization over the last two centuries have led to relentless destruction of native biota on land and sea and there is growing awareness that this process of extinction of species could be accelerated by human-induced climate change. Farming virgin lands poses the risk of destroying unique native species and agriculture and conservation appear like two diametrically opposed endeavours. This approach is undergoing serious rethinking by scientists, farmers, policy makers and other interested groups who argue for cooperation in finding a solution. Two recent books underline this change in thinking. Linking Australia’s Landscapes (Fitzsimons, Pulsford, & Wescott, 2013b) and Nature and Farming (Norton & Reid, 2013) demonstrate how careful management of farms and conservation areas could be mutually beneficial. For this to be fully realized there is need for greater cooperation between farmers and conservationists so that knowledge is shared and common goals and vision identified. Social workers and other social scientists also have an important role as conservation and sustaining biodiversity is a concern for all humanity as we deal with the consequences of climate change, industrial pollution, species extinction and diminishing protected conservation reserves from human encroachment. These two publications are therefore very timely and useful resources for agricultural and environmental sciences students, academics, policy makers and researchers as well as farmers and general readers in Australia and New Zealand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-208
Number of pages11
JournalRural Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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