Recent Posts

Crisis

It has been impossible lately to think of anything else but the looming disaster of climate change. It feels irresponsible to think about anything else, to let marches and organizing work go by because of ‘normal life’. Each one of us is, in their own way, insignificant. But together we can demand, in the 11th […]

Who is guarding whom?

I am currently in Aotearoa New Zealand for a three-month fellowship researching two legal persons: the river Whanganui, and the former national park and ancestral Tūhoe homeland, Te Urewera. These natural beings were recognized as persons in law, a move that has generated widespread international media coverage and fawning commentary. I will write in future […]

Moving to a town near you

In many articles on this blog I have spoken about the reintroduction of animals to areas where they have gone extinct. This practice has become common in rewilding projects, and it has many advantages, not least the publicity that comes from releasing charismatic megafauna (yes, mostly them). The public relations campaigns of conservation and rewilding […]

Trial of Fire

In mid-April I travelled to Western Iberia to visit the Faia Brava nature reserve (Portugal) and meet some of the people responsible for it. The name means ‘wild cliff’ in the Portuguese spoken in this remote, achingly beautiful area. The organisation managing the area, the Transhumance and Nature Foundation (ATN), was started in 2000 by […]

A long way to go

My newest research tries to understand what the barriers to truly inclusive conservation projects are. It is of course very hard to generalize from a couple of cases. Especially today, conservation practice has branched off into many different orientations. This being said, I think it is valuable to examine certain cases of conservation to try […]

In Projects we Trust

When I was a child in communist Romania, the butt of many jokes was the government’s five-year plans. The cincinal (from cinci, meaning five in Romanian) was always accomplished in four years and a half, and the initial production goals were always surpassed. This of course had no relation whatsoever with reality. The 1980s that […]

The quest to revive the Aurochs: a brief history of how and why

This Auroch skeleton from Denmark dates to around 7,500BC. The circles indicate where the animal was wounded by arrows. Malene Thyssen./Wikimedia, CC BY-NC Rewilding and restoration of land often rely on the reintroduction of species. But what happens when what you want to reintroduce no longer exists? What if the animal in question is not […]