Noted with Interest

The Politics of Happiness. What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being. Bok, D. 2010. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 272 pp. $24.95 (hardcover). ISBN 978-0-691-14489-4.

Once basic necessities are met, happiness comes from having close relationships with family and friends, helping others, and being active in community, charitable, and political activities. This book by the former president of Harvard suggests that happiness can be the basis for enabling policies. I suggest happiness may also help address some of the underlying constraints to achieving conservation.

Natural Solutions. Protected Areas Helping People Cope with Climate Change. Dudley, N., S. Stolton, A. Belokurov, L. Krueger, N. Lopoukhine, K. MacKinnon, T. Sandwith, and N. Sekhran, editors. 2010. International Union for Conservation of Nature-World Commission on Protected Areas, Gland, Switzerland, The Nature Conservancy, Washington, D.C., and United Nations Development Program and Wildlife Conservation Society, World Bank, and World Wildlife Fund, New York. 126 pp. ISBN 978-2-88085-308-2. Available for free download from

One in the series “Arguments for Protection,” this volume addresses the policy opportunities that protected areas provide for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and makes the case for strengthening systems of protected areas so they can reach their full potential.

Insect Conservation. A Handbook of Approaches and Methods. Samways, M. J., M. A. McGeoch, and T. R. New. 2010. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. 432 pp. $55 (paperback). ISBN 978-0-19-929822-8.

A wonderfully detailed handbook, covering insect conservation in a range of contexts, from sampling of tree canopies to landscape analyses, that incorporates traditional and new approaches to the study and conservation of insects.

The New Presence of China in Africa. Van Dijk, M. P., editor. 2010. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 224 pp. $49.95 (paperback). ISBN 978-90-8964-136-6.

In 2008 China replaced the European Union and the United States as Africa's major trading partner. As described in this short, rich volume, Chinese investment, trade, people, and influence have affected the continent in ways that conservationists are only beginning to understand.