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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 233-244

From Community Conservation to the Lone (Forest) Ranger: Accumulation by Conservation in a Mexican Forest

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Molly Doane
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.145133

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This paper explores the paradigm shift from 1990s models of community conservation that encoded environmentalist praxis within legal and cadastral frameworks, to recent attempts to encode environmentalist principles and goals within individual practice. Using the case of Chimalapas, Mexico, I look at how community-based conservation was abandoned after being deemed 'too political' to implement, and how new models of conservation not dependent on community consent emerged. Environmental services models of conservation pay individuals for forest ranger services, for reforestation, and for access to waterways and for water use. These models commodify land and labor in new ways, and join carbon markets as an important new avenue for what I call "accumulation by conservation." They also institutionalise conservation practices designed for private property regimes, despite the fact that the world's well-preserved forests are located principally on indigenous, communally-organised territories.

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