An antiracist, anticolonial agenda for urban greening and conservation
Mullenbach, L. E., Breyer, B., Cutts, B. B., Rivers, L., III, & Larson, L. R. (2022, June 13). CONSERVATION LETTERS.
Abstract Productive discourse regarding the role of racism and colonialism in conservation is growing but still limited. Inadequate recognition of these powerful forces has significantly impeded socially just conservation efforts. This paper integrates multiple disciplinary perspectives to discuss historical conservation practices in the United States and abroad to reveal challenges with moving beyond traditional approaches to conservation that perpetuate systemic racism and colonialism. Using urban greening (e.g., tree planting) in the United States as an example, we show how these challenges manifest as White ideals of nature, power disparities, and displacement and exclusion. We then put forth an agenda for antiracist, anticolonial urban conservation and urban greening. This agenda uses the tripartite environmental justice framework (i.e., distributional, recognition, and procedural justice) as a starting point, integrating and adapting more critical views of contemporary environmental justice to highlight specific policies and practices that can be applied to many conservation problems.