skip to content

Department of Zoology


News about the environment can seem like one long litany of loss, but is nature’s continued decline inevitable? Certainly not, argues Andrew Balmford in his book Wild Hope, published by University of Chicago Press, which instead explores the successful side of conservation.


From the floodplain of Assam to the mountains of western Ecuador Andrew discovers remarkable creatures and places, meets the heroes and foot soldiers who are working to save them and learns about innovative approaches and incentives being used to effect real change.

“In conservation, we immerse ourselves in the bad news”, says Andrew. “We document it, we cleverly investigate its causes and consequences, and we find ever more compelling ways to communicate it to the outside world.”

Yet most people hearing that message still don’t translate it into action. “Faced with an unending barrage of bad news, they see no hope for turning things around. This book is about challenging that sense of hopelessness, by unearthing and celebrating initiatives around the world where people are succeeding in stemming the tide.”

“A very important book by a very knowledgeable author”
Robert May

 “Humane, intelligent and inspirational”
William Foster

Andrew is talking about Wild Hope at

Topping and Company books in Ely at 7pm on Tue 2 October

The Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley at 7pm on Mon 8 October

The Royal Society at 6.30pm on Mon 10 December

You can also download podcasts about Wild Hope from The Guardian Science Weekly and Cambridge 105