Habitat Banking: Instrument or alibi for nature conservation and its societalization

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Central to this research is the question how habitat banking relates to the Dutch governmental ambition to societalize nature policy. This question is answered by outlining and combining a substantial and a governance discourse. From the combination of these discourses, there is concluded that ‘societalization’ is a very misleading concept. Although it links close to ‘social’, this study pointed out that something can be considered societal if it can manifest itself as able to follow the dominant path of economic growth – a development that actually requires an a-socialization of the object. Habitat banking reinforces and further institutionalizes a dominance of economic and scientific discourses in nature conservation over public discourses based on socio-cultural values of nature and relational values with nature, and although it might render the conservation problem more governable, the value of this activity is nihil if it reinforces the risk of silencing more productive discourses and the institutionalization of a discourse that is very likely to be counterproductive for the conservation of nature on the long term as it fuels and institutionalizes the twisted logic that economic growth and project developments that harm nature are responsible for conservation by positively linking production and consumption to it.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen