chapter  1
14 Pages

Matrix matters

An overview
ByIvette Perfecto, John Vandermeer, Angus Wright

This chapter provides an overview of the three areas, followed by a glimpse at what the authors regard as a new paradigm of conservation. It makes the case for the intricate connection between biodiversity and the human activity, agriculture. The chapter argues for a new paradigm for biodiversity conservation. If most of the tropical world is a patchwork of fragments in a matrix of agriculture, and most of the world’s biodiversity is located in tropical areas, should we not be concerned with understanding the reality of that patchwork? Yet the vast majority of conservation work concentrates on the fragments of natural vegetation that remain, and ignores the matrix in which they exist. The need for biodiversity conservation has only become clearer and it is evident that national and international organizations are often failing to meet the challenge. This chapter presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the book.