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School of Business and Management

Book Launch: ‘Hottest of the Hotspots: The Rise of Eco-precarious Conservation Labor in Madagascar’

When: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

CLaSP, Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) and the POLLEN London-Node invite you to the book launch of Hottest of the Hotspots: The Rise of Eco-precarious Conservation Labor in Madagascar.

About the book:
Continually recognized as one of the “hottest” of all the world’s biodiversity hotspots, the island of Madagascar has become ground zero for the most intensive market-based conservation interventions on Earth.
This book details the rollout of market conservation programs, including the finding of drugs from nature—or “bioprospecting”—biodiversity offsetting, and the selling of blue carbon credits from mangroves. It documents the tensions that exist at the local level, as many of these programs incorporate populations highly dependent on the same biodiversity now turned into global commodities for purposes of saving it. Proponents of market conservation mobilize groups of ecologically precarious workers, or the local “eco-precariat,” who do the hidden work of collecting and counting species, monitoring and enforcing the vital biodiversity used in everything from drug discovery to carbon sequestration and large mining company offsets.
Providing a voice for those community workers many times left out of environmental policy discussions, this volume proposes critiques that aim to build better conservation interventions with perspectives of the local eco-precariat.

About the Author:
Benjamin Neimark is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Business and Management, and a Fellow at the Institute of Social Science and Humanities (IHSS) at Queen Mary University of London. Benjamin is a human geographer and political ecologist (defined as the intersections of ecology and a broadly defined political economy) whose research focuses on politics of biological conservation and resource extraction, high-value commodity chains, ‘green’ precarious smallholder production, and agrarian change and development. He has a geographic focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. His current research looks at the US military as a global climate actor and, more broadly, the environment footprints of the world’s militaries.

Sian Sullivan is Professor of Environment and Culture at Bath Spa University. She is interested in discourses and practices of difference and exclusion in relation to ecology and conservation. She has carried out long-term research on conservation, colonialism and cultural heritage in Namibia ( and, and also engages critically with the financialisation of nature (see She has co-edited Political Ecology: Science, Myth and Power (2000), Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-embodiments (2016), Valuing Development, Environment and Conservation: Creating Values that Matter (2018), and Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis (2021).

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