The ideas put forward in this original book are are at odds with the major trends of some of the large conservation organisations. These latter advocate targeted land purchases of protected areas as a strategy for preserving natural resources and biodiversity. The authors in Nature's Matrix argue that recent advances in ecological research make such a general approach anachronistic. They call, instead, for solidarity with the world's small farmers, who, they maintain, represent the best hope for protecting the environment and preventing mass extinctions of species.

To support their theory, the authors explore a range of peasant farming scenarios. Among those that come under their scrutiny are coffee, cacao and tropical food crops grown in tropical settings. The best way to ensure conservation, they maintain, is to work with these small-scale farming groups who offer the only real alternative to the industrial monocultural model of agriculture.

Nature's Matrix
Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty
By I Perfecto, J Vandermeer & A Wright
Earthscan, 2009. 272 pp.
ISBN 978 184407782 3
GBP24.95 - €28
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