How can the international conservation movement protect biological diversity, while at the same time safeguarding the rights and fulfilling the needs of people, particularly the poor? Contested Nature argues that to be successful in the long-term, social justice and biological conservation must go hand in hand. The protection of nature is a complex social enterprise, and much more a process of politics, and of human organization, than ecology. Although this political complexity is recognized by practitioners, it rarely enters into the problem analyses that inform conservation policy. Structured around conceptual chapters and supporting case studies that examine the politics of conservation in specific contexts, the book shows that pursuing social justice enhances biodiversity conservation rather than diminishing it, and that the fate of local peoples and that of conservation are completely intertwined.