Home       About us   Issues     Search     Submission Subscribe   Contact    Login 
Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
Users Online: 493 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 311-324

Cultural perspectives of land and livelihoods: A case study of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in far-Western Nepal


School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan and Anthropology Department, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Lai Ming Lam
School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan and Anthropology Department, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.92146

Rights and Permissions

Recent debates on human displacement caused by conservation have increasingly questioned: firstly, its justification in the name of biodiversity conservation; and secondly, the effectiveness of compensation in preventing impoverishment. Land compensation is widely practiced and it is a crucial part of contemporary people-centred conservation resettlement strategies. In this article, using the case of the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Nepal, I argue that policy-makers' belief that the social impacts of dislocation can be properly mitigated by economic-focused resettlement programmes alone is a myth. They have ignored the close relationships between place, social networks and livelihoods. A study of a displaced indigenous community known as Rana Tharus in far-western Nepal shows that a strong sense of nostalgia and homesickness is evident in this community. Displaced Ranas continue to idealise their old abode as 'paradise on Earth' while experiencing their new home as only promoting poverty, helplessness and danger. Their anger is due to the fact that they no longer have the mutual help or support from their neighbours as they once did in their old abode. From the Ranas' point of view, the old land had both high economic and social value. The study demonstrates that the act of displacement is a violent disruption of a community's daily social contacts. The destruction of the Ranas' social networks has not only led to their dispossession and threatened their livelihoods, but has also made them vulnerable, because these traditional social webs provided important alternative livelihoods in a rural economy. As a consequence, it has further reinforced their sense of nostalgia. The cultural and social meanings of land must be obtained prior to implementing any resettlement policies. The study indicates that if displacement is truly unavoidable for conserving biodiversity, more comprehensive rehabilitation resettlement policies than those that currently exist are needed.


[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*
Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)
 

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed4226    
    Printed215    
    Emailed1    
    PDF Downloaded704    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal