Recommended Reading on Conservation from IUCN's Jeff Sayer

Jeff Sayer recently invited all of his IUCN colleagues to nominate those books that they thought should be "must read" for IUCN staff. The list is compiled in order of popularity. He also compiled a list of his own preferred books.

Jeffrey Sayer, IUCN Science Advisor, Forest Conservation Programme

Jeff is Senior Scientific Adviser in the IUCN Forest Conservation Programme. He is a specialist in natural resource management and sustainable development. Jeff and his wife, Intu Boedhihartono, will be leaving IUCN early in 2010 to launch a new initiative to provide post-graduate multi-disciplinary training in conservation and development practice based at James Cook University in tropical north Queensland, Australia. The initiative is funded by the MacArthur Foundation and aims to meet an urgent need for people trained to understand the broad social, economic and political context of conservation and development problems. The training will emphasize field work and will operated in close collaboration with IUCN – it will focus on the problems of insular SE Asia with special attention given to the island of New Guinea.

Recommended Reading on Conservation and Development -- Jeff Sayer's List

Must read, very well written and vital new ideas

  1. Easterley, William, 2006. The White Man’s Burden; Why the West’s efforts to aid the rest have done so much harm and so little good. Penguin Books, New York, USA.
  2. Flannery, T. The Weathermakers.
  3. Lovelock, James. 2006. The Revenge of Gaia. Allen Lane, Penguin Books, London, UK.
  4. Pollan, M. 2006. The Omnivore's Dilemma. Penguin Books, New York, USA.

Very good; highly recommended

  1. Collier, Paul. The Bottom Billion
  2. Diamond, J. Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed
  3. Friedman, Hot, Flat and Crowded
  4. Garrett, The Coming Plague; Newly emerging diseases in a world out of balance
  5. Gore, A. An Inconvenient Truth
  6. Homer-Dixon, T. 2006. The Upside of Down. Souvenir Press, London, UK.
  7. Lomberg, B. 2007. Cool it; the skeptical environmentalist’s guide to global warming. Vintage Books, Random House, New York, USA.
  8. Louv, Last Child in the Woods
  9. Sayer, J.A. and B. Campbell 2004. The Science of Sustainable Development: Local livelihoods and the Global Environment. Cambridge University Press, UK.
  10. Weismann, The World without us
  11. Wilson, E.O. The Future of Life

Good read; importent content

  1. Brafman, O. and R.A. Beckstrom. 2006. The Starfish and the Spider; the unstoppable power of leaderless organizations. Portfolio, the Penguin Group, New York. P 1-232.
  2. Ehrenfeld, David. 2009. Becoming Good Ancestors. Oxford University Press, New York.
  3. Moyo, Dambisa. 2009. Dead Aid; Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa.  Allen Lane, Peguin Books, London, UK.

Also on Jeff's reading list

  1. Gribben, John. 2002. Science; A history. Penguin Books, London, UK.
  2. Hawken, Paul. 2007. Blessed Unrest; How the largest social movement in history is restoring grace, justice and beauty to the world. Penguin Books, New York, USA.
  3. Paarlberg, R. 2009. Starved for Science; How biotechnology is being kept out of Africa. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. USA.
  4. Ronald, Pamela and Raoul Adamchak, 2008. Tomorrow’s table; Organic farming, genetics and the future of food. Oxford University Press. New York, USA.
  5. Speth, James Gustav, 2008. The bridge at the edge of the world. Yale University Press – Caravan books, New Haven and London.
  6. Stiglitz, Globalisation and its discontents.

Recommended by IUCN staff (total survey response: 13)
Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed, Diamond
Millenium Ecosystem Assessment
The Weathermakers, 2005, Flannery
The Bottom Billion, Collier
The White Man's Burden, Easterly
The Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollen
The World Without Us, Weisman
Forests in Landscapes: Ecosystem approaches to sustainability, 2005, Sayer and Maginnis, Earthscan
Last Child in the Woods, 2008, Louv
Sustainable Development as a Principle of International Law, 2009, Voigt, University of Oslo
Restoring Nature's Capital: An action agenda to conserve ecosystem services, 2007, Irwin & Ranganathan, WRI
At Loggerheads, 2007, Chomitz, World Bank
Poverty and Conservation, Fisher
Nature's Services, Daly
The Future of Life, Wilson
Linking Conservation and Poverty rRduction, Maginnis et al
Earth Abides, Stewart
The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee, Diamond
The God Particle, Lederman
The Thread of Life, Kendrew
Our Common Journey - The transition towards sustainability, National Research Council
Does Foreign Aid Really Work, Ridell
The End of Poverty, Sachs
The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon
The Ends of the Earth: A journey to the frontiers of anarchy, Kaplan
The Coming Plague: Newly emerging diseases in a world out of balance, Garrett
An Inconvenient Truth, 2006, Gore
Hot, Flat and Crowded , 2008, Friedman
Sustaining life; 2008, Chivian and Bernstein

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