Studying Global Environmental Meetings to Understand Global Environmental Governance: Collaborative Event Ethnography at the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity



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Global Environmental Politics


The papers in this issue of Global Environmental Politics result from a research innovation we call collaborative event ethnography (CEE),1 applied at the 2010 Tenth Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to study the politics of global biodiversity conservation. CEE combines and modiªes rapid ethnographic assessment, team ethnography, and institutional or organizational ethnography to account for the untraditional nature of meetings as ªeld sites and the challenges they pose for ethnographic researchers. 2 At COP10, seventeen researchers—professors, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students from geography, anthropology, and interdisciplinary studies—worked together towards three broad objectives: 1) to analyze the dynamic role of individuals, groups, and objects, situated in networks, in shaping the ideological orientation of global biodiversity conservation; 2) to document the social, political, and institutional mechanisms and processes used to legitimate and contest ideas about what biodiversity conservation is; 3) to relate team members’ individual research experiences in diverse locales around the world to the agendas established in venues like COP10 in order to better understand how ideas about conservation travel and with what consequences.



method, CBD