For thirty years, advocates of the economic valuation of nature have been claiming that it contributes to making the ecological crisis more tangible. The valuation framing fosters a shared vision of nature as capital amenable to management and protection. Yet, this approach has scarcely been applied in practice and has therefore not yielded tangible conservation outcomes. Why is economic valuation of nature consistently presented as a panacea in the absence of the slightest evidence to that effect? Beyond conventional answers—policy path dependency, alignment with the dominant balance of power—we propose to analyze the centrality of nature valuation in conservation discourses using the notion of valuation-centrism forged from Gibson-Graham’s capitalocentrism. By valuation-centrism, we mean a system of discourse and knowledge that subverts all exit strategies from the ecological crisis into valuation practices, that reinforces hegemonic capitalist representations of nature, and that thwarts the imagining of “other natures.”

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