by Margi Prideaux
There is a storm brewing. Humans may survive the turmoil and onslaught of climate change and political upheaval, but the world they create will be brittle and harsh. In choosing between the market, people, and wildlife, we are casting a future where a tiger’s footprints will not be seen in snowdrifts, and the deep, pungent smell of elephant musth won’t carry on the wind. Drawing on decades of experience as a wildlife activist, international negotiator, and academic, Dr Margi Prideaux describes how we can amplify voices from Africa, Asia and Latin America. She presents a poignant essay—we need not march into a tragic future where wildness disappears. Tapping local community wisdom, we can design promising potential. We can choose to hear birdsong after the storm.
Clearsighted, passionate and inspiring, Margi Prideaux has written a vital reimagining of the destiny of environmental activism. Birdsong After the Storm is a clarion call for civil society to step forward and demand greater power. This important and wise book will reshape the thinking of activists, environmentalists, NGOs and policy makers.
–Micah White, The End of Protest.
An extraordinary book responding with experiential brilliance to the violent storm raging across the whole of planet earth. Writing with the deep knowledge of a scholar, the engaged fervor of a veteran activist, and the wisdom of a poetic visionary Margi Prideaux has produced an inspiring text for our time enlivened by its focus on the frightening ordeal we humans inevitably share with the animal wonders of nature also entrapped in this predatory capitalist world. Without exaggeration, a thrilling and indispensable guide to the future.
–Professor Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Fellow of the Orfalea Center of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Power Shift: On the New Global Order; and (Re)Imagining Humane Global Governance.
This work by Dr Prideaux, Birdsong After the Storm, is the exemplar of what happens when you combine more than two decades of cutting edge conservation at the practical level by a leading NGO, and critical thinking of what solutions, at the theoretical level, to some of the most pressing problems of our generation are required. This book is radical. From the personal journeys at the micro level, to the clashing of states at the macro level, this work will make you think as philosophy, politics and law are all tightly weaved into a convincing narrative. This is an excellent piece of scholarship.
–Professor Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato. International Environmental Law, Policy and Ethics; and Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law.
Birdsong After the Storm offers a call to action. It powerfully makes the case for expanding the parameters of governance beyond states and corporations to include an enhanced, energized, networked civil society capable of caring for local communities and the more-than-human world. Marrying a scholar’s analysis with a poet’s sensitivity, the book is essential reading for understanding both the constraints and opportunities for creating a more just and ecologically vibrant world. Given that the stakes involve nothing less than the life-support system of the planet, we would be wise to heed Margi Prideaux’s deep understanding and astute counsel.
–Professor Paul Wapner, American University. Living through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism.
A poignant, inspiring, empowering and timely book that shines light on the global conservation issues of our time. It closed the gap between academia and grassroots conservation efforts offering a true insight into the world of those fighting tooth and nail to save our planet. I learned of effort, struggle, triumphs, political and social challenges, but most of all I learned there is hope. This is an outstanding book, written by an extraordinary woman.
–Donna Mulvenna, Wild Roots Coming Alive in the French Amazon.
Margi Prideaux’s career of civil society activism gives her profound insights into why so many well-meaning international conservation efforts are failing so many communities and so many species. Her spirited and brave call for truly collaborative governance with local communities deserves a full airing in the boardrooms of the big NGOs. –Professor Peter Dauvergne, University of British Columbia. Canada. In this learned and passionate book, environmentalist Margi Prideaux has an indispensable message: a vast ecological storm is coming, and global governance is failing meet it. At once a window onto civil society and a critique of elite diplomacy, this book’s powerful call for a new earth-centred democracy cannot be ignored.
–Professor Anthony Burke, University of New South Wales. Australia.
Dr Prideaux’s life time of work as an environmentalist and community advocate has been combined in this extraordinary book. Passionate, compelling and inspiring. The beautifully told unique stories of people and place and the pathways to the conclusions are compelling and empowering. At a time of global unease with leadership and governance, it challenges the norm and gives hope for the future. It is a book that will stay with you long after you have finished reading.
–Jayne Bates, OAM, Former Mayor, Kangaroo Island Local Government. Australia.
Birdsong After the Storm is a wake-up call on all who are concerned about nature’s gift to humanity. The use of birdsong is a metaphor for action. The book is a must read by all nature lovers at all levels.
–Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Former Chair of the Standing Committee of the United Nations Environment Programme/Convention on Migratory Species. Germany/Ghana.