Revisiting the challenge of intentional value shift: reply to Ives and Fischer


Manfredo et al. (2017) had a dual purpose: to presenta social–ecological systems approach to understanding social values and, given that approach, to describe the difficulty of trying to change society’s values to meet sustainability and conservation goals. Ives and Fischer (2017) generally agree with our systems approach. They insist, however, that efforts to change societal values are nonetheless important for achieving sustainability goals. We argue that intentional change in societal values is unrealistic. We agree with Ives and Fischer that values are at the root of action. They point out, “culture and values stemming from enlightenment, the industrial revolution, and the principles of capitalism” make it difficult to achieve sustainability in our modern global society. Indeed, beyond the realm of conservation, findings suggest that values play a critical role in determining the success of social, economic, and political development across countries (Harrison & Huntington 2000). If values could somehow be shifted, that shift might lay a foundation for effective biodiversity conservation and broader sustainability.

Manfredo, M. J., Bruskotter, J. T., Teel, T. L., Fulton, D. C., Oishi, S., Uskul, A. K., Redford, K. H., Schwartz, S. H., Arlinghaus, R., Kitayama, S., Sullivan, L. (2017). Revisiting the challenge of intentional value shift: reply to Ives and Fischer. Conservation Biology, 31, 1486-1487

Published : 2017
Appeared in : Conservation Biology, 31, 1486-1487