Digital conservation: an introduction

René van der Wal, Koen Arts

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


In the last two decades, the World Wide Web and subsequent associated developments (e.g., widely available computers, broadband, Web 2.0, the Internet of Things) have shaped old and created new modes of business, management, communication and governance. The implications for modern societies are deemed so important that some sociologists dub the current era the Digital Age (e.g., Orton-Johnson and Prior 2013). While the attributes and the dynamics of the Digital Age are subject to study in several domains, they have received relatively little attention from scholars focussing on environmental management in general and nature conservation in particular. Here, we introduce a body of work representing a new concept, ‘digital conservation,’ to start the quest for better understanding the impacts of digital innovation on nature conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-521
Number of pages5
Issue numberSupplement 4
Early online date27 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

We thank all participants of the Digital Conservation Conference (May 2014, Aberdeen, UK) for laying the foundations of this Special Issue, Annie Robinson and Gina Maffey for their crucial input into the conference, all authors for contributing their work to the issue, and Bo Söderström, Ambio’s Editor-in-Chief, for the large amount of skill, energy and time invested. All papers have been rigorously peer-reviewed. We are very grateful to the 36 referees listed below: Steve Albon, the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK; Arjun Amar, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Karen Anderson, University of Exeter, UK; Debora Arlt, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden; Bob Askins, Connecticut College, New London, USA; Tom August, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK; Iain Bainbridge, Scottish Natural Heritage, Edinburgh, UK; Elizabeth Boakes, University College London, UK; Bram Büscher, University of Wageningen, the Netherlands; Guillaume Chapron, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Riddarhyttan, Sweden; Heather Doran, University of Aberdeen, UK; Rosaleen Duffy, University of London, UK; Gorry Fairhurst, University of Aberdeen, UK; Ioan Fazey, University of Dundee, UK; Rachel Finn, Trilateral Research and Consulting, London, UK; John Fryxell, University of Guelph, Canada; John Hallam, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Sandra Hamel, University of Tromsø, Norway; Maarten Jacobs, University of Wageningen, the Netherlands; Lucas Joppa, Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA; Steve Kelling, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA; Kerry Kilshaw, University of Oxford, UK; Christiane Lellig, Stratageme, Agentur für Social Change, Aldershot, UK; Nick Littlewood, the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK; Gina Maffey, University of Aberdeen, UK; Mariella Marzano, Forest Research, Roslin, UK; Fran Michelmoore Root, Northern Rangelands Trust, Isiolo, Kenya; Steve Redpath, University of Aberdeen, UK; Mark Reed, Birmingham City University, UK; Chris Sandbrook, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK; Lisa Sargood, Digital Strategy & Innovation, Bristol, UK; Bill Sutherland, University of Cambridge, UK; Chris Thaxter, British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, UK; Jean-Pierre Tremblay, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada; Audrey Verma, University of Aberdeen, UK; Jerry Wilson, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Edinburgh, UK.


  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Internet
  • Inventions
  • Journal Article


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