The (Mis)use of Messaging in Biodiversity Loss Prevention

The (Mis)use of Messaging in Biodiversity Loss Prevention

One of the challenges of biodiversity conservation is evoking a sense of place and an urgency of action to people. When we can t even agree on a definition of what biodiversity is , it makes it all the more difficult to tell the public they should give a damn. Nonetheless, scientists keep hammering it in. Biodiversity good. Industry bad. The monotony of the debate can be deafening at times.

In my opinion, the problem is two-fold. Connecting people to the benefits of conservation – why it is in THEIR interest – and marketing the concept to industry and government. Both of these involve how we communicate these concepts to the public. At the core of this is how do people respond to messaging strategies. Wallace J. Nichols wrote a wonderful essay on Oceanophilia in 2009 where he urged that we need to more strongly grasp the neurological basis for conservation in order to really take a foothold on this issue.

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