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Abstract

International environmental agreements assume that nation-states have the capacity, Internal legitimacy, and the will to manage resources within their territorial boundaries. Although many state agencies or factions may be interested in joining international conservation interests to preserve threatened resources and habitats, some state interests appropriate the ideology, legitimacy, and technology of conservation as a means of increasing or appropriating their control over valuable resources and recalcitrant populations. While international conservation groups may have no direct agenda for using violence to protect biological resources, their support of states which either lack the capacity to manage resources or intend to control ‘national’ resources at any price, contributes to the disenfranchisement of indigenous people with resource claims. This paper compares two examples of state efforts to control valuable resources in Kenya and Indonesia. In both cases, the maintenance of state control has led to a militarization of the resource ‘conservation’ process. International conservation interests either directly or indirectly legitimate the states' use of force in resource management.

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... Mary L Pratt (1991) defi nes these as "social spaces" where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in the context of asymmetrical relations of power. They often culminate in a series of negotiations, promises, and compromises where communities are gently, or sometimes violently, forced to agree to the ideas offered by more powerful actors (Peluso 1993). Marginal communities that are already weak and vulnerable are pushed further to the periphery. ...
... While the outcomes of CBC projects are said to empower people, some see this as a coercive way of diffusing ideas of global partners such as funding bodies and international NGOs, and as a way of controlling local resources (Peluso 1993). The expectations of local people from NGOs and vice versa often do not match and it seems as if they are speaking different languages (Brown 1998;West 2006). ...
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With increasing concerns about the degradation of forests threatening the existence of wildlife, conservation projects are seen as the need of the hour. However, conservation as a concept is often understood differently by the local community, the scientific community, and the state. A critical examination of the ongoing efforts for tiger conservation in Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, exposes the fault lines in the narrative of nature conservation as the state imposes its agenda through the establishment of sanctuaries and reserves, without considering the needs of the local Mishmi tribe and excluding their traditional conservation practices.
... By analysing the politicisation of the environment through conflict and seeking to explain how conflicts develop around environmental issues and not as a result of them, political ecology offers a departure from the neo-Malthusian concept of environmental conflict (Le Billon 2015, 598). The relationships between security and conservation are considered from a political ecology standpoint through examples such as how protected areas become intertwined with military practices that seek to protect nature through security measures (Peluso 1993;Peluso and Watts 2001). Political ecologists have deemed neo-Malthusian conceptions of land sparing (as a conservation mechanism) to be often encompassing instances of what has been defined as 'fortress conservation' (Brockington 2002). ...
... Political ecologists have shown how states have appropriated environmental concerns from global institutions not only as a means to attract funding, but also to further their own control over productive natural resources, even at times employing coercion or violence to do so (Peluso 1993). Moreover, although development interventions, such as land investments, are often presented as a way to alleviate rural poverty, from a critical geopolitical reading, the global containment of irregular migration is the backdrop, usually left unspoken, against which the current development-security nexus operates (Duffield 2010). ...
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Adaptation and security framings have gained traction not only to explain the causal chains and impacts of environmental change and/or migration, but also to justify land intensive interventions to address them. Despite progress in the understanding of the complex links between environmental change and migration, academic and policy analyses have paid scarce attention to the ways in which environmental and migration narratives are (re)shaping access to fundamental natural resources and changing migration dynamics in the process. Moreover, in the burgeoning literature on land and green grabs, the impacts of migration narratives on land grabs as well as the impacts of land grabs on migration remain underexplored. In order to fill these gaps and bridge the diverse disciplines that deal with these phenomena, this research uses a ‘variegated geopolitical ecology’ framework to examine the material and discursive interactions between environmental change, land grabbing, and migration. Using a global ethnographic approach, the methodology involves a historical and multi-scalar analysis together with extensive comparative fieldwork conducted in two different socio-political settings: Senegal and Cambodia. Notwithstanding important context specificities, findings across cases show how environmental and migration narratives, linked to adaptation and security discourses, have been deployed – advertently or inadvertently – to justify land capture, leading to interventions that often increase, rather than alleviate, the very pressures that they intend to address. The research shows that despite the opposed assumptions that underpin the ‘migration as adaptation’ or ‘migration as security threat’ narratives, both frames can interact with environmental and climate change justifications in ways that create ‘self-fulfilling risks,’ which make insecurity and maladaptation a reality that extends well beyond the landscapes where land grabs unfold.
... Nel (2014) compared several projects in Uganda and found that encroachers are seen as environmental vandals while private companies are portrayed as saviors (Nel, 2014, 232). The exclusion of local people from protected areas for environmental purposes has a long history (Peluso, 1993). While conservationists in national parks have legitimized exclusion by claiming to protect nature against humankind (Peluso, 1993), this case is symbolic for carbon mitigation projects that seem to protect the economic value of stored carbon against humankind. ...
... The exclusion of local people from protected areas for environmental purposes has a long history (Peluso, 1993). While conservationists in national parks have legitimized exclusion by claiming to protect nature against humankind (Peluso, 1993), this case is symbolic for carbon mitigation projects that seem to protect the economic value of stored carbon against humankind. Following this logic, local 'encroachers' need to be stopped because they threaten the possibility to offset emissions from high-carbon lifestyles and economies in the Global North. ...
Article
The voluntary carbon offset market is legitimated in climate policy debates at the global level and has incentivized a large number of afforestation and reforestation projects that have produced new power relations at the local level. This paper aims to critically examine how a contested Gold Standard certified project in Western Uganda has been justified, opposed and adapted during its implementation. Using a political ecology approach, this article sheds new light on the complexity of global-local interlinkages regarding carbon forestry projects and examines discursive power struggles. Taking a social constructivist perspective, I assume that due to their different values and experiences, actors have differing perceptions of the tensions and power relations arising during the carbon forestry project. Building on interviews and project-relevant certification documents, practices, narratives and counter-narratives were analyzed. The results show that while local actors were excluded from the forest, local communities and civil society actors have resisted against the company's management regime. Although the company remains the most powerful actor, more collaborative and moderate practices have lowered the conflict level. The case study shows that carbon markets need to be legitimated not only at the global level but also during the implementation in interaction with local constituencies.
... 7 This is reflective of conservation environmental narratives more broadly, informed by the "assumption that livelihood activities and nature are incompatible" (Vandergeest 1996:260). elephant separation through coercion and control (Peluso, 1993;Robbins, 2012:21, 176-198). HECM combines variable methods of separation to engage donors, state, consumer and capitalist interests to save charismatic species, secure lucrative protected spaces, and provide 'win-win' outcomes (Brockington, Duffy and Igoe, 2008:12-13;Igoe, Neves and Brockington, 2010:289). ...
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An important pillar to the mainstream conservation of elephants (Loxodonta africana, L. cyclotis and Elephas maximus) is the relatively narrow and growing interest of ‘human-elephant conflict’ prevention and mitigation. This thesis problematises the hegemonic HEC discourse (Igoe, Neves and Brockington, 2010:488) which acts as a powerful resource to promote human-elephant separation, often producing failing and harmful practices, which are often obscured from public view. The discourse frames human-elephant interactions as conflict with elephants, blames local population growth and encroachment for its escalation and in turn fixates on technocratic methods of separation and control while promoting many projects as ‘win-win’ . As methods of separation are favoured, compensation is routinely tested but derided and local financial resilience, autonomy and values largely ignored. Methods of separation are replicated across Asia and Africa, finding some success to avoid crop loss. However, separation seems ill-suited to elephants, ecologically dangerous, physically difficult, and unevenly costly. It is also an appeasement to agribusiness , an acceleration of neoliberal capitalism within traditional communities, a reprise of fortress conservation and a tool to legitimise harmful forms of nature’s commodification. These issues highlight the need to question human-elephant separation and awaken opportunities to realise actively shared spaces.
... The experience with "new environmental policy initiatives," which incentivize corporations and private civil society organizations to act voluntarily have had very mixed effects, with many of these initiatives occurring outside of truly democratic arenas. Even global civil society initiatives often work as mechanisms of "green washing" rather than delivering better environmental performance, often even harming poor people on the ground (Peluso 2003). ...
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Increasing environmental sustainability and reducing the intensity of pollution that harms the climate is intertwined in complex ways with reducing poverty and inequality, all of which are critical policy priorities. Some argue that the problem is best approached with greater egalitarian policy processes for gaining the necessary legitimacy for making hard choices that address environmental concerns. Others suggest that inclusive processes do not necessarily lead to better outcomes on complex issues, particularly if the preferences of people do not align with the hard choices required for climate change mitigation. We employ novel data on egalitarian democracy, which measure the equal access of the poor to political power and societal resources, and data covering weak and strong sustainability measured by the "adjusted net savings" of the World Bank plus several indicators of atmospheric pollution intensity. Our results suggest that greater egalitarian governance reduces weak sustainability and increases the intensity of climate-harming pollution. These results are robust to estimating procedure, several alternative models, data, and sample sizes. While liberté, egalité and fraternité are societal goods in their own right, meeting urgent challenges from global warming may require much more targeted, designed solutions that force (nudge) change rather than seeking change from societal preferences expressed through deliberative political means. 2
... The issue of displacement of people has remained a contentious one in the debates over the merits of biodiversity conservation. Literature suggests that studies on displacement in conservation areas have concentrated on the impacts of conservation projects on subsistence farmers (Schmidt-Soltau 2003;Sunseri 2005;Kabra 2009), and pastoralists (McCabe et al. 1992;Peluso 1993;Fratkin 1997;Mustafa 1997;Brockington 1999). Research on displacement in the name of conservation has not looked at the impacts of eviction on commercial farm workers. ...
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This study presents the case of the creation and expansion of Mapungubwe National Park and the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation area (GMTFCA) to highlight the paradoxes between biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods. The paper highlights the role played by the South African National Parks, wealthy individuals and powerful environmental organizations in supporting the creation and expansion of the park. Two broad questions structure this paper. First, what are the implications of the creation and expansion of Mapungubwe National Park and the GMTFCA on the lives and livelihoods of commercial farm workers and dwellers? Second, what is the future of commercial farm workers and dwellers who are still working on the farms in Mapungubwe? The study argues that the creation and expansion of Mapungubwe National Park and the GMTFCA depended on forceful management techniques that involved displacement of commercial farm workers and dwellers. To substantiate this argument, the study draws on fieldwork material from the South African section of the GMTFCA. © 2015 The Institute for Social Development and Policy Research.
... Where the policies have failed to meet expectations, it has largely been due to three 'wicked characteristics': (1) these policies undermine the power and status of economic and technical elites, who often find ways to limit and undermine them (Larson and Springer, 2016;Sunderlin et al., 2008); (2) it is difficult to guide and support communities effectively without 'crowding out' their own initiative and collective action; and (3) governments have a hard time adapting their generic policies to the specific local institutions, ecology, market conditions, and levels of organization found in each location . Widespread forest destruction in many countries where forestry and conservation policies failed to recognize community rights or provide for community participation undermined the legitimacy of these top-down policies (Grafton, 2000;Peluso, 1993). In other cases, grassroots social movements triggered reforms (Larson and Springer, 2016). ...
Chapter
The Wicked Problem of Forest Policy - edited by William Nikolakis July 2020
... First are the victims, people dispossessed of land or means of making a livelihood, some of whom are killed despite much rhetoric and practice meant to inculcate "community participation" in conservation (Neumann 2001;Hardin, Remis, and Robinson 2014;Robinson and Remis 2014). Then there are the aggressors, usually state actors or their avatars whose goals may include domination, territorialization, and to inculcate new modes of discipline, and who sometimes kill toward achieving those ends (Brockington 2002;Neumann 2004;Peluso 1993;Duffy 2010;. In some conservation wars, in addition to the killing there are public information campaigns to portray illicit hunters as criminals and/or enemies (Neumann 2004). ...
Article
This essay focuses on the northeastern borderlands of the Central African Republic (CAR), an area that though formally part of a state is mostly left to its own devices. It has no single sovereign, but many people participate in the sovereign prerogative of enacting violence in such a way as to claim a right to determine how to live. These dynamics are particularly visible in the area's contests over armed conservation, my ethnographic and historical topic here. These sovereign claims take the form of denunciation: rallying people to take extreme measures against another whose egregious acts threaten fundamental values. In northeastern CAR, the value frequently fought for through denunciation is negative liberty—freedom from molestation for those who carve space for themselves by denouncing. In addition to excavating denunciation as a dynamics of sovereignty, this paper shows that the values motivating sovereign struggles can include not just autonomy—whether devoted to a principle of order or anarchy, as others have explored—but can also be devoted to creating exceptions for those who denounce, such that they are able to participate in projects and access terrains that extend beyond their place of residence without having to consistently abide by others’ rules. Denunciation is thus a dynamics of sovereign claim-making that can shape and mobilize solidarities that are in flux, rather than those calcified by the violent, exceptional decision of a unitary sovereign. Denunciation foregrounds relational and processual aspects of sovereignty and in so doing invites new comparisons.
... The experience with "new environmental policy initiatives," which incentivize corporations and private civil society organizations to act voluntarily have had very mixed effects, with many of these initiatives occurring outside of truly democratic arenas. Even global civil society initiatives often work as mechanisms of "green washing" rather than delivering better environmental performance, often even harming poor people on the ground (Peluso 2003). Thus, the ways in which more inclusive governance might affect climate-friendly policy, or even sustainable development, is highly mixed and indeterminate (Midlarsky 2001;Ward 2008). ...
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Many argue that free market capitalism drives climate change and prevents environmental sustainability. They suggest that democracy and state control of the profligacy of capital is the answer to environmental sustainability. Eco-modernists, contrarily, argue that free-market capitalist policies generate entrepreneurial technological change for reducing poverty and increasing environmental quality. This study contrast the effects of democracy and economic freedom on environmental sustainability and atmospheric pollution. The results show that economies that are friendlier to business (capital) increase their wealth with lower damage to total environmental sustainability, measured as depletion of physical, human and environmental capital, including atmospheric damage from pollution. Democracy robustly and consistently reduces sustainability and increases atmospheric pollution, independently of economic freedom and the level of development. The conditional effect of economic freedom and democracy, however, reduces the intensity of atmospheric pollution, suggesting that people´s preferences for greener outcomes are reflected best when democracies are attended by open markets. The results are robust to a battery of testing procedures, alternative models and data, different sample size, and a barrage of relevant diagnostic tests. The results support those who argue that globalization will spread the best production practices for increasing economic and ecological sustainability. 3 If the 2008 financial crisis failed to make us realize that unfettered markets don't work, the climate crisis certainly should: neoliberalism will literally bring an end to our civilization. Nobel laureate, Joseph Stiglitz (2019). The Death of Neoliberalism and the Return of History.
... In recent studies of conservation and violence, protected areas have been identified as instrumental sites in security projects and as zones to control internal, regional, or national borders. These scholars of 'green militarization' and 'green security' (Bocarejo & Ojeda, 2016;Kelly & Ybarra, 2016;Lombard, 2016;Loperena, 2016;Peluso, 1993;Peluso & Vandergeest, 2011) document the rise of violence within reserves as a practice for building or maintaining international or intranational borders that often coincide with nature parks' boundaries. The critical input from these green security scholars is that conservation is an entry point for violently asserting state or parastatal dominion over human and nonhuman nature. ...
Article
The conservation of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is rearranging the rural landscapes of Michoacán and Estado de México, Mexico. Based on ethnographic and historical data, and combining insights from the green security and neoliberal conservation literatures, this paper examines how monarch butterfly conservation unfolds in an area shaped by a recent designation as a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve as well as increasing violence associated with the Mexican Drug War. I argue that these processes are deeply interconnected. I show how the conservation program, and the broader neoliberal project of which it is part, have undermined social control of land by converting communally managed forests into a supposedly human-free reserve. This has transformed the region into a frontier zone that facilitates the increased presence of organized crime groups and devolves responsibility for forest security to local residents. I show how the monarch reserve’s core and buffer land boundary, and the human and nonhuman divide underpinning it, reconfigures authority in ways that deepen the control of organized crime, facilitate the expansion of il/licit economies, and undermine sustainable community forest management. While international conservation actors view the reserve as the best strategy for preventing the disappearance of the monarch's migratory phenomenon, my analysis concludes that the MAB has increased the risk of disappearance of both its butterfly and human inhabitants. As an alternative to conventional conservation strategies designed to separate human and nonhuman nature, principles from nondualist traditional ecological ethics can inform better pathways for protecting both the region’s humans and nonhumans.
... Cette thèse s'intéresse alors aux politiques forestières himalayennes de deux États distincts, l'Inde et le En proposant une généalogie du pouvoir de l'État moderne dans les forêts, cette thèse montre comment le concept de gestion communautaire est intégré à une reconfiguration plus large et plus longue de l'intervention étatique dans les forêts de l'Himalaya. Au début des années 1970, les perspectives radicales et excluantes de protection de la nature, aussi qualifiées de conservation « forteresse » (Brockington, 2002) ou « coercitive » (Peluso, 1993), sont vivement critiquées (Alexander et McGregor, 2000 ;. Dans l'histoire de la conservation de la 21 nature, ce revirement se traduit par la formulation d'un « contre-récit » (Adams et Hulme, 2001), articulé autour de l'idée de « conservation communautaire » (Barrow et Murphree, 2001). ...
Thesis
Cette thèse s’intéresse aux politiques forestières himalayennes de deux États distincts, l’Inde et le Népal. Depuis les années 1990, la communauté, en tant qu’entité socio-spatiale usagère de ressources, fait l’objet d’une attention particulière et renouvelée dans les programmes forestiers de l’Himalaya. Toutefois, en proposant une généalogie du pouvoir de l'État moderne dans les forêts, cette recherche montre que le concept de gestion communautaire doit être intégré à une reconfiguration plus large et plus longue de l’ intervention étatique dans les forêts. Aujourd’hui, la mobilisation et les pratiques de gestion communautaire sont généralement impulsées par des intermédiaires clés : les militants associatifs et les travailleurs sociaux. Ces intermédiaires ont pour corollaire, dans les Annapurna comme en Uttarakhand, de mobiliser le lexique du commun comme horizon politique. S’ielles se saisissent des institutions organisant l’appropriation et l’exploitation collective des forêts, ielles veulent également installer de nouvelles formes de gouvernement communautaire par le recours à des champs d’action divers nourris par une vague de travaux en sciences sociales. C’est donc à la manière dont ces acteurs et actrices se positionnent entre l’État et les usagers et usagères de la forêt que cette recherche s’intéresse pour analyser les rationalités gouvernementales reposant sur la gestion communautaire des forêts dans l’Himalaya. Cette thèse propose alors une analyse de l’État au quotidien, prenant en compte les pratiques concrètes des agents de l’État – ses élus, ses fonctionnaires, ses intermédiaires privés – lui permettant d’opérer son redéploiement à l’échelle locale, au sein de ses administrations et de ses territoires forestiers.
... In the 1970s, while the environment had begun to move up national and international governance agendas, international businesses continued to trivialize the issue and its consequences, in many instances even joining hands with authoritarian governments to victimize environmentalists and attack early environmental movements as disruptive extremist movements. This tendency is far from dead, not only in many poorer countries that are rich in minerals or resources like timber (Peluso 1993;Peluso and Vandergeest 2011;Neumann 2004;Swain 1997), but in some wealthy countries such as the United States where, as recently as 2017, attempts by a Native American band to block an oil pipeline over their territory (over which they have treaty rights) were met with police and government violence (Sammon 2016). ...
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Rethinking Society for the 21st Century - by International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) July 2018
... Furthermore, under certain circumstances, environmental norms can clash with human rights norms, such as the clash between the norm of conservation of the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples (Peluso 2015). For example, the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights has heard a case about the Kenyan authorities' violation of the Ogiek people's rights with the aim of protecting the Mau forest for environmental purposes (Dupuy and Vinuales 2015). ...
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What happens when environmental protection is framed using human rights language? Here, a new type of norm change-norm fusion-is conceptualized. Linking norms derived from different issue areas, it is realized through continuous use of strategic frames obtained from various issues, acceptance of the norm by society, and action in accordance with the new norm. The fusion process is decentralized and dynamic, does not proceed at the same speed everywhere and involves norm contestation. Norm fusion is discussed through the example of human rights and environmental norms. Environmental activists increasingly use a rights-based discourse, environmental cases are brought before human rights tribunals, and various international documents recognize the link between human rights and the environment. However, due to problems in the implementation of environmental rights in a neoliberal economic framework and clashes between environmental and human rights norms, fusion between environmental and human rights norms remains contested.
... Resistance also occurs when populations openly destroy resources inside protected areas, including rare species and habitats, to protest conservation regulations. For example, Peluso (1993) found that Maasai pastoralists in Kenya started killing rhinoceros and elephants to demonstrate their opposition to conservation. Mariki Svarstad, and Benjaminsen (2015) documented a case in Tanzania where a group of villagers chased a heard of elephants over a cliff to resist conservation practices. ...
Article
This article builds on debates about conflicts surrounding territorialisation for conservation. It elaborates on how slow violence can generate covert resistance which in turn transitions toward forms of overt resistance and sudden violence. Taking eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's Kahuzi-Biega National Park as an example, it argues that the violent reoccupation of the park by indigenous Batwa communities can be explained by three factors: (i) the failure of peaceful strategies of rightful resistance; (ii) an increase in the level of threats to the Batwa; and (iii) the arrival of opportunities for the Batwa to forge alliances with different stakeholder groups.
... The experience with "new environmental policy initiatives," which incentivize corporations and private civil society organizations to act voluntarily have had very mixed effects, with many of these initiatives occurring outside of truly democratic arenas. Even global civil society initiatives often work as mechanisms of "green washing" rather than delivering better environmental performance, often even harming poor people on the ground (Peluso, 2003). Thus, the ways in which more inclusive governance might affect climate-friendly policy, or even sustainable development, is highly mixed and indeterminate (Ward, 2008;Midlarsky, 2001). ...
Article
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Many argue that the twin problems of poverty and environmental degradation are best addressed by adopting greater egalitarian processes of governance. Greater egalitarian societies apparently contain the required social trust and consensus for making hard choices and tradeoffs for achieving environmental gains. We employ novel data on egalitarian democracy, which measure the equal access of the poor to political power and societal resources, and data covering weak and strong sustainability measured by the “adjusted net savings” and several indicators of atmospheric pollution. The results suggest that greater egalitarian governance reduces weak sustainability and increases the intensity of climate-harming pollution. Regardless of democracy, other measures of social equity, such as the GINI and equal access to health and political resources, increase, not decrease, atmospheric pollution. These results are robust to estimating procedure, several alternative models, and data. While liberté, egalité and fraternité should be pursued for their own intrinsic value, meeting urgent challenges from global warming may require more targeted solutions.
Article
This article examines forestry conflict in the Spanish province of León and the struggle between village communities and the state over the control of common lands and forests. One of this article's conclusions is that forestry conflict reflected, on the one hand, the struggle for economic control not only between the peasants and the state but also between the peasants themselves and, on the other hand, the clash between the market economy championed by the state and the traditional arrangements, values, and solidarities defended by the peasants. Another conclusion is that widely used concepts such as “weapons of the weak” or “environmentalism of the poor” are deemed inadequate regarding the peasant protest and resistance analysed here, which in turn calls for a definition of these new forms of rural resistance or a reformulation of those already in use.
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This article provides a comprehensive critique of the culturalist idealizations of community, associated with an essentially tenuous version of environmentalism. To this end, it analyses an ‘eco-governmentality’, observed in the implementation of joint forest management (JFM) policy in India and, in doing so, engages with a rethinking on the historical definitions of community. An explanation of community, popularized by the works of pioneering sociologists like Ferdinand Tonnies and Louis Wirth, had largely built on some immutable dimensions. Most of such dimensions offered are organized on the notion that communities are intractable as well as organic, inhabit a distinct geographical location and have a socio-cultural system relatively undisturbed by external forces. The present study, based on empirical observations from the eco-governmentality of JFM in India, brings in insights to critique the aforementioned line of thought. It offers two levels of insights: (1) a collective can represent itself as a community through shared experiences of marginalization as well as subject-formation, (2) the solidarity of a collective as a community is often invoked as a ‘moral rhetoric’, to ‘exploit the political obligations that the government have for looking after the poor and the underprivileged section of the population’.¹1. Words from Chatterjee (1998: 281)View all notes
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When reading anthropological writings on global nature conservation, one may wonder: Where are the conservationists? Anthropologists have written nuanced ethnographies of how native people encounter and are dispossessed by transnational environmental NGOs and conservation policies. Yet, anthropologists have neglected the other side of those worldwide encounters: the conservation practitioners. Instead, conservationists are sometimes misrepresented as homogenous, impersonal and voiceless. This is surprising, considering anthropologists’ increasing interest in cultures of expertise, including that of professionals in international development. This paper contributes to building the anthropology of professionals in global biodiversity conservation. It locates and reviews disparate material on conservationists from across the ethnographic literature. It argues for attending to the perspectives and diversity of conservation professionals and institutions, their transnational social worlds, naturalist worldviews and emotional lives. A section discusses the key contradictory positionality of the Global South’s local-national professionals. Lastly, the paper reflects on practical challenges to fieldwork in ‘Conservationland’.
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e long-term survival of a protected area (PA) may depend to a greater extent on the goodwill and support of the people residing around it. is study assessed local people's support for private sector driven wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe, using the Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) as a case. Specifically, the objectives of the assessment were threefold: (i) to establish perceptions on the current nature of the relationship between SVC and people living on its edge, (ii) to ascertain the proximate and underlying causes of local resistance to SVC, and (iii) to identify strategies local people employ to resist SVC conservation efforts. Data were collected through a household questionnaire survey during the month of April, 2018. In addition, photographs showing the nature of vandalism and sabotage imposed on the SVC ecosystem by fringe communities were also collected, as part of evidential data. A multistage sampling method was adopted, and this combined purposive sampling to select study wards: random sampling to select villages and systematic sampling to select households (n � 71). Our results show that local people rate the current relationship between them and SVC owners as bad, i.e., undesirable interaction. e nature of this perceived bad relationship is attributed to a host of factors, key among them being, lack of wildlife-related benefits and escalation of wildlife-induced costs, which are crucial in determining local community's support for conservation. We conclude that the studied local community's support for private nature conservation is marginal; hence, there is a need for increased efforts by SVC owners to devise realistic incentives including an active engagement of local communities so that they cooperate with conservation efforts.
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As the North Pacific Fishery Management Council prepared to rationalize the Gulf of Alaska groundfish trawlers under the guise of bycatch management beginning in 2012, a social impact assessment investigated the fishery’s operations, stresses, dependencies, and desires of the primarily local Aleut (Unangan) fleets and families in the Western Gulf villages of King Cove and Sand Point, Alaska. This article describes the historical development of the local trawl fleet, their unique status in the fishery, and their rationale for their near universal rejection of a community protection measure. For these small coastal communities, the keys to success are competition, diversification into many fisheries, and supporting their communities through local hire and investment. Aleut fishermen feared that the impending neoliberal chapter would erase their history and traditions, remove competition, reallocate quota away from those that built the fishery and made it successful, diffuse fishermen’s support of their home communities, and undermine what it means to be Aleut. This fear is compounded by ecological changes affecting marine species abundances in the Gulf of Alaska.
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Human migration plays a critical role in numerous contemporary environmental concerns including global climate change and environmental justice. This review characterizes the ways migration is critical to contemporary human–environment geography. We delineate four themes from the literature based on (a) how migration affects the environment; (b) how the environment and/or environmental events affect migration; (c) how migration produces uneven environmental benefits and burdens; and (d) how environmental displacement/dispossession produces migration and vice versa. We articulate five recommendations for a research agenda that integrates migration processes, recognizes migration as a heterogeneous process, and approaches human–environment interactions holistically and non‐deterministically.
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In forest frontiers, smallholder agrarian livelihoods remain uneasily juxtaposed with conservation interests. Agricultural intensification is often considered a viable means of reconciling competing environmental and livelihood objectives given its potential to concentrate production on less land. However, intensification may have unintended consequences, including loss of resilient agricultural systems. The risks of smallholder agricultural intensification warrant a better understanding of its drivers. This study uses the case of Calakmul, Mexico, to examine the critical role of the state in intensification processes. Drawing on household surveys and key-informant interviews, it traces the linkages between state institutions and local farming practices. Statistical and qualitative analyses reveal how intensification is both incentivized and imposed by prevailing policies, the former via subsidies and the latter via regulations against field rotations. The outcome – increased external inputs and longer cultivation periods between fallows – may undermine the sustainability of smallholders’ agroecosystems, an undesirable consequence amid limited livelihood alternatives.
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p>Este ensayo discute la posición de la sociología en el contexto actual de crisis socio ambiental. Partiendo de una delimitación amplia de la sociología del riesgo, el texto explora una de sus ramificaciones, la sociología del riesgo de desastre, en la cual emergen los problemas de sentido que plantea el modelo comprensivo del mundo al que las ciencias de la tierra han denominado “Antropoceno”. Se plantea que, en la formulación de dicho modelo, los desastres y el riesgo resultan asuntos fundamentales sobre los que la sociología ha desarrollado un importante acervo de conocimiento. Se avanza entonces hacia una definición reflexiva del quehacer de la disciplina, para finalmente, subrayar la vigencia y riqueza de la sociología en el quehacer de la ciencia contemporánea.</p
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Cambridge Core - Political Economy - Rethinking Society for the 21st Century - by International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP)
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Social science is becoming increasingly important in conservation, with more studies involving methodologies that collect data from and about people. Conservation science is a normative and applied discipline designed to support and inform management and practice. Poor research practice risks harming participants and, researchers, and can leave negative legacies. Often, those at the forefront of field-based research are early-career researchers, many of whom enter their first research experience ill-prepared for the ethical conundrums they may face. We draw on our own experiences as early-career researchers to illuminate how ethical challenges arise during conservation research that involves human participants. Specifically, we considered ethical review procedures, conflicts of values, and power relations, and devised broad recommendations on how to navigate ethical challenges when they arise during research. In particular, we recommend researchers apply reflexivity (i.e., thinking that allows researchers to recognize the effect researchers have on the research) to help navigate ethical challenges and encourage greater engagement with ethical review processes and the development of ethical guidelines for conservation research that involves human participants. Such guidelines must be accompanied by the integration of rigorous ethical training into conservation education. We believe our experiences are not uncommon and can be avoided and hope to spark discussion to contribute to a more socially just conservation. © 2020 Society for Conservation Biology.
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Long described as the “largest poorest” country, Bangladesh has been a prime target for massive infusions of foreign aid for decades. Through historical and ethnographic investigation, I document how flood control and agricultural intensification projects underwritten by foreign institutions exacerbate vulnerability to water crises in Bangladesh. These ostensibly pro-poor water governance and economic development programs engender cycles of crop loss, groundwater and soil salinization, reduced fisheries, and impeded navigation that erode agrarian livelihoods, thereby reproducing the conditions and rationale for continued flows of aid dollars into the country. Shifting attention away from depoliticized problems and solutions, I develop the concept of the interest-shed as a broadly applicable method for intervening in cycles of failure by examining the interests that they serve. This framework can also be used in the planning process by enabling differently situated groups to evaluate how proposed schemes include, ignore, or prioritize their interests.
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While borders traverse both land and sea, current research has mostly concentrated on issues concerning terrestrial borders. Simultaneously, a new body of scholarship has shown how the seemingly boundless oceans are in actuality subject to a variety of bordering forces. As such, we review current research on maritime borders in geography and other related disciplines in three categories: oceanic resource extraction and environmental conservation, volume geography and wet ontology, and concepts of ocean frontiers and voluminous states. Conclusively, we propose land-ocean inter-bordering, multiple materialities, and mobile state power as three future issues to respond to the rapid-changing maritime borders.
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It is time to acknowledge and overcome conservation's deep-seated systemic racism, which has historically marginalized Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities and continues to do so. We describe how the mutually reinforcing ‘twin spheres’ of conservation science and conservation practice perpetuate this systemic racism. We trace how institutional structures in conservation science (e.g. degree programmes, support and advancement opportunities, course syllabuses) can systematically produce conservation graduates with partial and problematic conceptions of conservation's history and contemporary purposes. Many of these graduates go on to work in conservation practice, reproducing conservation's colonial history by contributing to programmes based on outmoded conservation models that disproportionately harm rural BIPOC communities and further restrict access and inclusion for BIPOC conservationists. We provide practical, actionable proposals for breaking vicious cycles of racism in the system of conservation we have with virtuous cycles of inclusion, equality, equity and participation in the system of conservation we want.
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Our special issue provides a first-of-its kind attempt to examine environmental injustices in the occupied West Bank through interdisciplinary perspectives, pointing to the broader settler colonial and neoliberal contexts within which they occur and to their more-than-human implications. Specifically, we seek to understand what environmental justice—a movement originating from, and rooted in, the United States—means in the context of Palestine/Israel. Moving beyond the settler-native dialectic, we draw attention to the more-than-human flows that occur in the region—which include water, air, waste, cement, trees, donkeys, watermelons, and insects—to consider the dynamic, and often gradational, meanings of frontier, enclosure, and Indigeneity in the West Bank, challenging the all-too-binary assumptions at the core of settler colonialism. Against the backdrop of the settler colonial project of territorial dispossession and elimination, we illuminate the infrastructural connections and disruptions among lives and matter in the West Bank, interpreting these through the lens of environmental justice. We finally ask what forms of ecological decolonization might emerge from this landscape of accumulating waste, concrete, and ruin. Such alternative visions that move beyond the single axis of settler-native enable the emergence of more nuanced, and even hopeful, ecological imaginaries that focus on sumud, dignity, and recognition.
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Past debates surrounding wilderness have not led to constructive dialogue but instead have created a rift between dueling sides. Far from academic, this debate has important ethical, policy, and practical implications. We outline out the major fault lines of the debate between wilderness realists and constructivists and also identify common ground between them. From this starting point, we offer three potential bridges between them and conclude by proposing a preliminary vision of a 21st Century wilderness ethic focused on social-ecological connection, re-commoning, and social justice. Returning to the ‘great wilderness debate’ can lead to a synthesis of the realist and constructivist positions and a renewed wilderness ethic in an era of neoliberalism, hyper-nationalism, and intensified environmental crises.
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The Wicked Problem of Forest Policy - edited by William Nikolakis July 2020
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This article reassesses agrarian questions by using the ongoing explosion in urban and urbanization theories to explain Jakarta’s urban poor (the Kaum Miskin Kota) as an extended agrarian question. It shows how the two capitalist development trajectories identified by Lenin as the Russian and American paths, or the transformation of feudal large-scale and small landholders into capitalists, respectively, do not apply in Indonesia. In the latter, a “concessionary capitalism” of large-scale land claims and allocations by the state is observed. This specific process produces specific agrarian questions of soil/land and labor through which the urban poor germinated. It closes with a political project, that is, to open more alliance-building possibilities between urban and rural social movements.
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This paper argues that in Patagonia-Aysén (southern Chile) nature discourses and neoliberalism have a close association. The current discourse of “green” development is presented as a capitalist practice, a renewed form of colonization that creates a narrative around the need to protect this pristine environment because it is a “Reserve of Life.” To explore these complex processes further, the paper presents fieldwork undertaken from 2017 to 2019 in the municipalities of Tortel and O’Higgins. Through extensive fieldwork that encompassed interviews and analysis of the Land Registry (Conservadores de Bienes Raíces, or CBR) of the region, we investigated the evolution of private property rights in both municipalities over a period of 29 years (1989–2017) in order to illustrate the changes in land ownership that had occurred. The paper puts forward the concept of eco-extractivism, in order to identify green-grabbing processes undertaken by extractivist investors in Patagonia-Aysén.
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Wildlife trafficking threatens the existence of many plant and animal species and accelerates the destruction of wildlife, forests, and other natural resources. It contributes to environmental degradation, destroys unique natural habitats, and deprives many countries and their populations of scarce renewable resources. The more endangered a species becomes, the greater is the commercial value that is put on the remaining specimen, thereby increasing the incentive for further illegal activities. Preventing and supressing the illegal trade in wildlife, animal parts, and plants is presently not a priority in many countries. Despite the actual and potential scale and consequences, wildlife trafficking often remains overlooked and poorly understood. Wildlife and biodiversity related policies, laws, and their enforcement have, for the most part, not kept up with the changing levels and patterns of wildlife trafficking. Poorly developed legal frameworks, weak law enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial practices have resulted in valuable wildlife and plant resources becoming threatened. The high demand for wildlife, animal parts, plants, and plant material around the world has resulted in criminal activities on a large scale. Considerably cheaper than legally sourced material, the illegal trade in fauna and flora offers opportunities to reap significant profits. Gaps in domestic and international control regimes, difficulties in identifying illegal commodities and secondary products, along with intricate trafficking routes make it difficult to effectively curtail the trade. Although several international and non-governmental organisations have launched initiatives aimed at bringing international attention to the problem of wildlife trafficking, political commitment and operational capacity to tackle this phenomenon are not commensurate to the scale of the problem. There is, to date, no universal framework to prevent and suppress this crime type and there is a lack of critical and credible expertise and scholarship on this phenomenon. As part of their joint teaching programme on transnational organised crime, the University of Queensland, the University of Vienna, and the University of Zurich examined the topic of wildlife trafficking in a year-long research course in 2018–2019. Students from the three universities researched selected topics and presented their findings in academic papers, some of which have been compiled in this volume. The chapters included in this v edited book address causes, characteristics, and actors of wildlife trafficking, analyse detection methods, and explore different international and national legal frameworks.
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In many African states, park rangers perform a variety of roles as armed state actors. Facing the overlapping challenges of wildlife management and regime security, many have become increasingly militarized, with significant degree of variation. Using case studies from Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan, this article provides an expanded conceptualization of militarization that configures two characteristics of Africa’s park rangers: 1) their integration into or insulation from the state security apparatus, and 2) their coercive roles of either law enforcement or combat. The article builds an argument that takes into account colonial institutions and civil-military relations.
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Nancy Peluso and Peter Vandergeest first used the term “political forest” to denaturalise forests, refiguring them as political‐ecological entities. Across three moments of colonialism, post‐colonial independence, and counter‐insurgency struggles, they analyse how states in Southeast Asia (re)made forests as a means of territorialising power. More recently, they identify a fourth, contemporary moment characterised by the entry of diverse non‐state actors into the making of forests, and a shift in the rationalities and technologies of forest management. We label this fourth moment “green neoliberalism” to identify an era of global environmental governance characterised by market‐based solutions to socio‐ecological problems, biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration priorities, and new moral and scientific claims to forests spanning a variety of sites and scales. The papers in this symposium transport the analytic of the political forest to Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Indonesia, Madagascar, Singapore, and Thailand to examine how green neoliberalism’s discourses and practices have created new sites and expressions of territorialisation, governance, knowledge production, and subject formation. In doing so, they illuminate the multiplicity of actors (re)making political forests at a moment when forests’ virtues as carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots draw massive flows of capital and justify remaking socio‐ecological relations across the globe.
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This article, through the use of political ecology perspectives on coercive conservation, aims to explain how in two separate Colombian Natural Parks and buffer zones, environmental policies designed to (re)take control of the frontier, have produced a similar territorial differentiation in the contention of illicit activities. Los Farallones in the Colombian Pacific and La Macarena/Puerto Rico in the Ariari region have experienced different stages of the armed conflict and are at the center of this analysis. I argue that in the contexts of both conflict escalation (1998–2007) and conflict de-escalation (2008–2016), the State in its attempt to control the frontier has not only had military intervention in areas of conservation but has also reinforced environmental programs that attack illegal mining and coca, producing both a territorially differentiated containment of illicit activities and an uneven progression of the illicit frontier.
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The concept of territorial peace is at the core of the peace agreement signed by the Colombian government and FARC guerrilla movement in 2016. Recognising the uneven distribution and experiences of violence across Colombia, territorial peace seeks to achieve peace and reconciliation through more inclusive citizenship and new forms of territorial development, including bottom up aspirations. Figuring prominently in official policies, the concept of territorial peace is being put to the test of implementation across regions and economic sectors. Building on studies of ‘extractive territories’ emphasising the emergence of territorial subjects and governable spaces of mineral extraction, we examine the case of gold mining, which saw a massive boom and numerous conflicts taking place around the time of peace negotiations and post-agreement transition. Whereas territorial peace called for a bottom-up and participatory approach resting on local communities and artisanal mining livelihoods, we find that the state turned to a top-down governance strategy mobilising alienating forms of formalisation, criminalisation and industrialisation. By exacerbating community marginalisation, social tensions, human rights abuses, and inequalities, we suggest that this strategy not only undermined some of the principles of a territorial peace, but risked perpetuating poverty, environmental degradation and various forms of violence.
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Our primary aim is to understand the extent and manner to which globalization is implicated in both global environmental destruction and global environmental protection. We conclude that the contemporary form of globalization represents a further extension and intensification of a much longer process of modernization that we identify as the primary culprit of environmental destruction. This contemporary form of globalization is more environmentally destructive than any previous phase of globalization and, like a snake swallowing its own tail, is ultimately self-destructive.
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This paper examines how social scientists worked with foresters in Java to evolve new management systems responsive to both national objectives and the needs of the rural poor. It explores the historical relations of the forestry agency and the people to state forests. The authors describe the process used and problems encountered in assisting the agency shift from a paramilitary, technical orientation to a community organizing approach. Their experience indicates the important role social scientists can play in facilitating cooperation between natural resource bureaucracies and rural communities. -from Authors
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Ideally, social forestry programmes and philosophies are intended to involve local people in the management and distribution of forest resources. In practice, the structures of social forestry programmes are influenced by political, economic and cultural factors at national and local levels. When social forestry programmes entail the reallocation of access to forest resources on state lands, power relations are particularly influential. As the case of the Java Social Forestry Program illustrates, powerful social forces that have shaped historically the national forest management agency and the social structures of forest-based villages have distorted social forestry ideals. When their traditional management tools are unable to curb deforestation and the social processes causing deforestation, forestry agencies may be persuaded to implement social forestry policies. Changes in forestry programmes and the orientation of social forestry are inevitably subject to local negotiation and renegotiation. The outcomes of negotiation, however, are dependent on the structures of power relations both before and after implementation of new policies.
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The purpose of this paper is to carry out an ‘emic’ analysis not of the subjects of rural development but of its agents, the development planners, to illustrate how development plans fail, why they fail, and how this might be corrected. I take as a case study a single river basin in the Indonesian province of South Kalimantan. I begin with a brief description of the research site and of the hydroelectric project that has dominated development planning in the area for fifteen years. In succeeding sections, I analyze the impact of this project on the two major agroecosystems in the study area: forest-based swidden agriculture, and grassland-based permanent field farming. In each case I describe the peasant system, discuss government policy towards it, and then analyze the empirical basis or lack of basis for this policy. In the final section I attempt to explain why government policy has failed to meet so many of its stated objectives, and in particular why this policy has triggered such negative responses from both the physical and social environment.
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Swidden agriculture is today the focus of a great deal of debate in the context of agroforestry development in humid, tropical countries. This paper argues that much of this debate deals not with the empirical facts of swidden agriculture, however, but rather with widely-accepted myths, and that this explains the widespread failures of developmental schemes involving swidden agriculturalists. The paper examines three of these myths in some detail. One myth is that swidden agriculturalists own their land communally (or not at all), work it communally, and consume its yields communally. The truth is that their land (including land under secondary forest fallow) is typically owned by individual households, it is worked by individual household labor forces and/or by reciprocal but not communal work groups, and its yields are owned and consumed privately and individually by each household. A second myth is that swidden cultivation of forested land is destructive and wasteful, and in the worst cases results in barren, useless grassland successions. The truth is that swidden cultivation is a productive use of the forests, indeed more productive than commercial logging in terms of the size of the population supported, and forest-grassland successions are typically a function not of rapaciousness but of increasing population/land pressure and agricultural intensification — the grasses, including Imperata cylindrica, having value both as a fallow period soil-rebuilder and as cattle fodder. A third myth is that swidden agriculturalists have a totally subsistence economy, completely cut off from the rest of the world. The truth is that swidden agriculturalists, in addition to planting their subsistence food crops, typically plant market-oriented cash crops as well, and as a result they are actually more integrated into the world economy than many of the practitioners of more intensive forms of agriculture. In the conclusion to the paper, in a brief attempt to explain the genesis of these several myths, it is noted that they have generally facilitated the extension of external administration and exploitation into the territories of the swidden agriculturalists, and hence can perhaps best be explained as a reflection of the political economy of the greater societies in which they dwell.
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"This paper looks at the ways in which changes in forest policy in China over the last forty years have affected six villages in Songming County, Yunnan Province. It emphasizes the importance of village and household research in understanding how policies are implemented and their effects on patterns of development. Based on data gathered during an exercise in rural household surveys in Yunnan, we suggest that an emphasis on controlling access to the resource may be less effective than providing incentives for communities to manage their resources, and that where incentives do exist, there is real danger that bureaucratic procedures may stifle those incentives, amounting to another set of controls."
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In the Amboseli area of southern Kenya, efforts to resolve conflicts between Maasai pastoralists and wildlife have been made by conservationists and government authorities since the 1950s. In 1977, a new programme was initiated to involve the Maasai in direct benefits from a National Park which was created in their critical grazing lands. This article analyses the problems encountered in Amboseli with a brief summary of their historical background and a more detailed description of the recent developments. The discussion centres on the specific circumstances of Amboseli, but should apply more generally to the problem of reconciling nature conservation with indigenous peoples' land tenure and use. -from Author
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There is a need, to examine the historical context of present wildlife policies, and to consider whether the inherited images of pastoralist society and its attitude towards wildlife are realistic. The Maasai have long been considered an administrative and development problem, and provide an almost paradigmatic case for examining the relationship between pastoralists, wildlife and tourism in the development of pastoral areas in East Africa. Archaeological data is used to shed light on the long-term ecological relationship between people, stock and wildlife. Historical accounts of the colonial era are used as the basis for a detailed study of the evolution of the colonial image of the Maasai, demonstrating the linkages between these views of Maasai society and the wider goals of colonial administration. Finally, the combination of archaeological and historical data provides the basis for assessing the compatibility of wildlife and pastoralism and the impact of official policy on conservation in Maasailand. -from Author
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Primary productivity and herbivory were studied in the Serengeti National Park, Tan- zania, and Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya, during the annual cycle of 1974-1975, and wet-dry season transitions in 1976-1979. Basic state variables measured were aboveground plant biomass inside permanent and temporary fences, and outside fences. Productivity was calculated as the sum of positive plant biomass increments. Control productivity (cPn) was calculated from biomass dy- namics inside permanent fences. Temporary fences were moved in concert with grazing by the region's abundant ungulates to estimate actual aboveground primary productivity (aPn).Primary productivity was highly stochastic with productive periods poorly synchronized even among nearby sites. Short- term productivities could be extremely high, exceeding 30 g.m-2 .dl. Grazing animals adjusted their densities in relation to grassland productivity. The average proportion of annual aPn that was consumed by herbivores was 0.66, with a minimum of 0.15 and a maximum of 0.94. Green forage was available everywhere late In the wet season in May but was available only at high rainfall sites in the northwest late in the dry season in November. By the end of the dry season, the residual plant biomass outside fences averaged only 8% of cPn. Nomadic grazers moved seasonally in response to grassland pro- ductivity. The growing season ranged from 76 d in low rainfall areas to virtually continuous in high rainfall areas. Annual cPn was linearly related to rainfall and averaged 357 g.m-2.yr-1 over the year and 1.89 g.m-2,d-1 during the growing season. Actual aPn was substantially greater than cPn at most sites, averaging 664 g.m-2.yr-1. Growing season aPn averaged 3.78 g.m-2.d-1. Grazing stimulated net primary productivity at most locations, with the maximum stimulation at intermediate grazing in- tensities. Stimulation was dependent upon soil moisture status at the time of grazing. Rain had a diminishing effect on primary productivity as the wet season progressed and plant biomass accu- mulated. Part of the stimulation of grassland productivity by grazing was due to maintenance of the vegetation in an immature, rapidly growing state similar to that at the beginning of the rainy season. Slnce grazers overrode rainfall-determined productivity patterns, aPn was more closely related to grazing intensity than to ranfall. Grazing was heavier on grasslands that were intrinsically more productive. Rate of energy flow per unit of plant biomass was much higher in grazed vegetation. Grazers ate green leaves almost exclusively during the wet season, but species composition of the diets of different grazers differed markedly. Diets of nomadic grazers were very different in the wet and dry seasons. Vegetation dried out rapidly at the onset of the dry season and dry plant tissues made up a substantial proportion of ungulate dry season diets. However, green forage commonly was more abundant in diets than in the vegetation. Grazing increased both forage quality and its rate of pro- duction. Zebras supplemented a high-bulk diet by eating the seeds of awnless grasses. The foraging patterns of different grazers were differentiated by several vegetation properties, including productivity, structure, and species composition, in a manner suggesting resource partitioning. The relationship between the stability of vegetation functional properties and community species diversity was posltive in five of seven tests. Greater species diversity was associated with greater biomass stability through the seasons, greater resistance to grazing by a single species of ungulate in both the wet and dry seasons, and greater resilience after grazing. Species diversity was not associated with greater resistance to grazing by several ungulate species or to plant species extinction. Specific properties of trophic web members were identified that produced greater functional stability in more diverse communities. Fire does not appear to have important effects upon the functional properties of the grasslands except for a weak stimulation of productivity in the wet season immediately following dry season burning. Fire did have an important effect upon structural properties of the vegetation that would tend to regulate ungulate feeding. The ecology of neither the plants nor the animals in the Serengeti ecosystem can be understood in isolation; many traits of both suggest coevolution among trophic web members. The functional dynamics of the trophic web suggest that the acceleration of energy and nutrient flow rates due to intense herbivory has resulted in the development of an entire consumer food web due to additive fluxes rather than mere quasi-parasitic fluxes from plants to animals.
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The aim of this essay is to cast doubt upon this tendency to link environmental degradation and national security. Specifically, I make three claims. First, it is analytically misleading to think of environmental degradation as a national security threat, because the traditional focus of national security-interstate violence-has little in common with either environmental problems or solutions. Second, the effort to harness the emotive power of nationalism to help mobilize environmental awareness and action may prove counterproductive by undermining globalist political sensibility. And third, environmental degradation is not very likely to cause interstate wars.
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Opening Paragraph History is often presented as a unilineal process whereby events follow on from each other in a causal sequence: A gives rise to B which in turn leads to C. While this structural form is extremely compelling as explanation, it has limitations when applied to the colonial encounter. The differences between the beliefs and practices of the people involved in this encounter, and the consequent variety in perceived significances of individual events, make it almost impossible to construct a unified history. The diversity of perceptions in historical events has been recognised and is most clearly seen in those historical accounts of the colonial encounter written from the perspective of the ‘other’ (Sahlins, 1981; 1985). However, these analyses, by focusing on events, still maintain the structural framework of conventional history.
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