The Dynamics of Biocultural Approaches to Conservation in Inner Mongolia, China

  • Ruifei Tang
  • Michael C. Gavin
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 3)


Biocultural approaches to conservation aim to provide ethically sound and effective mechanisms for confronting widespread cultural and biological homogenization. Here we use eight principles of biocultural approaches to conservation as an analytical framework to examine potential drivers of biological and sociocultural change in Inner Mongolia, China. We present two case studies to examine how national-level policy changes from the 1960s to early 2000s have either increased or decreased adherence to principles of biocultural conservation, as well as the subsequent impacts on social-ecological conditions in Inner Mongolia. We find that greater adherence to principles of biocultural conservation may be linked to potential increases in positive social and ecological outcomes. Our analysis also emphasizes that even long-standing trends in resource management institutions and their social and ecological implications can be reversed in relatively short time spans given the proper enabling conditions.


Bridging organizations Dynamic social-ecological systems Facilitated co-management Government policy Resource management institutions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruifei Tang
    • 1
  • Michael C. Gavin
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.CEESP (Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy)IUCNWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Human Dimensions of Natural Resources DepartmentColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Linguistic and Cultural EvolutionMax Planck Institute for the Science of Human HistoryJenaGermany

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