Oxford Real Farming Conference Session
7 January 2021, 3pm – 4pm GMT
Chair: Barbara Ntambirweki
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent crises, as a result of lockdowns, have exposed the fractures of human societies’ relationship with nature. In a world dominated by capitalist globalisation, these crises are not blips or anomalies that require a few tweaks to make the system a little more sustainable. No, it is a forceful reflection of processes that engender the economic, ecological and social crises that already existed.
Key international forums and publications are focusing during this critical juncture on identifying drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change, and powerful forces are rallying to advance false solutions that ensure powerful economic actors maintain their profit-making while pretending to preserve nature. The tragic story of the Ebola outbreaks in Central Africa and the DRC in particular, cannot be told apart from interconnections between resource extraction and exploitation, ecological collapse, precarious livelihoods, financialisation and crippling indebtedness.
In this session, the panel will discuss how the relationship between ecological disturbance and human health has been shaped by distorted logics of austerity, profiteering and financialisation of human life and death, shaped largely by the pressures of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They will highlight how the collaboration between big Northern based conservation groups, industry and governments are pushing a battery of dangerous and false solutions, embedded in destructive and exclusionary logics of commodification, dispossession and financialisation.