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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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SPECIAL SECTION: GREEN WARS
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 114-124

Deploying Difference: Security Threat Narratives and State Displacement from Protected Areas


1 Department of Geography, York University, Toronto, Canada
2 Department of Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Correspondence Address:
Elizabeth Lunstrum
Department of Geography, York University, Toronto
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_16_119

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State actors are increasingly treating protected areas as sites of security threats and policing resident communities as though they are the cause of this insecurity. This is translating into community eviction from protected areas that is authorised by security concerns and logics and hence not merely conservation concerns. We ground this claim by drawing upon empirical work from two borderland conservation areas: Mozambique's Limpopo National Park (LNP) and Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR). In both cases, we show how these security-provoked evictions are authorised by the mobilisation of interlocking axes of difference that articulate notions of territorial trespass with that of a racialised enemy. Rather than a new problem or phenomena, we show how these axes are rooted in prior histories of state actors rendering racialised subjects dangerous, Cold War histories in both cases and a longer colonial history with the LNP. We also show how standing behind these evictions is the nation-state and its practices of protected area territorialisation. From here, we illustrate how the rationale behind displacement from protected areas matters, as evictions become more difficult to contest once they are authorised by security considerations. The cases, however, differ in one key respect. While displacement from the LNP is an instance of conservation-induced displacement (CID), although one re-worked by security considerations, eviction from the MBR is motivated more centrally by security concerns yet takes advantage of protected area legislation. The study hence offers insight into a growing literature on conservation-security encounters and into different articulations of conservation, security, and displacement.


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