The inherent sharing of conservation decisions

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Kapelouzou, Iris;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 57, Number 3, p.172-182 (2012)


This paper provides an understanding of an under-explored aspect of the sharing of conservation decisions. In particular, it argues that conservation decisions are inherently shared in at least three senses. First, conservation is conceived as a field of shared values, principles, and decision-making methodology, and aspires to a universally shared ethic. This view is supported by the logical and ethical consistency of existing Codes of Ethics, and is made manifest with the aid of a conceptual model of what science is. Second, conservation decisions are conditioned by the identity of heritage entities. The values comprising the heritage identity of an entity transcend space and time boundaries; they are interrelated and interdependent and, as such, shared. Third, the benefits but also the harms stemming from conservation decisions and actions are distributed and shared among all people for whom the object of a conservation decision is heritage. As dictated by the do-no-harm principle, conservators have a duty to consider risks of such harms when making decisions.