This chapter discusses the diversity of concepts and values of ‘nature’. It provides a background to the Western Enlightenment construct of ‘nature’ and examines the ways in which this worldview has historically shaped the designation, management, and governance of protected areas—with particular reference to the perspectives and work of the IUCN. We also consider why a Western concept of nature as separate or contrary continues to be applied, but equally the ways in which diverse worldviews—expressed in language and religion, for example—are re-shaping conservation practice. We conclude by discussing the opportunities and challenges that recognising and integrating diverse concepts and values of nature has for the conservation community.
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