Wiped Off the Map Disturbing Toronto's Draft Biodiversity Strategy
thesisposted on 2022-10-05, 17:34 authored by Maya Watson
As policies to conserve urban “green spaces” in cities like Toronto proliferate, it is vital to reexamine the frameworks employed to communicate these issues to the public. A sub-section of recent biodiversity conservation analysis has examined the rhetorics that global neoliberal systems have employed to undermine traditional ways of regulating the natural environment (notably: Brockington and Duffy 2010; Macdonald 2010; Brockington and Igoe, 2010). Contributing to this literature, this paper critically examines the rhetorical maneuvers at work in Toronto’s Draft Biodiversity Strategy, focusing on the ways that “harm” is constructed and how these frameworks are put to work. In particular, this paper uses invasive species as an example of a “harm” framework that diverts public attention from the de-regulation of natural spaces that the conservation movement arose to combat. The case studies for this paper begin to examine this tension in three current cartographical frameworks in Ontario and the policies that shape and make use of these frameworks. Through these case studies, this paper begins to elucidate the written and visual rhetorics that Toronto’s DBS must critically analyze before developing their maps. To resist neoliberal ideologies that deregulate natural spaces, this paper makes the case for developing public communication frameworks that are intensive, adaptable, and locally informed. Explicitly engaging with the rhetorics that legitimize these extensive systems locally allows public communicators to resist (if only temporarily) the re-deployment of these local frameworks for global neoliberal aims.