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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 : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-36

The Making of a Conservation Landscape: Towards a Practice of Interdependence

Department of Environmental Studies and Science, Pace University, New York, NY, USA; Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancashire, UK

Correspondence Address:
Anne H Toomey
Department of Environmental Studies and Science, Pace University, New York, NY; Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancashire

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_18_115

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The role of indigenous peoples in the conservation of biological diversity and the role of biological diversity in the lives of indigenous peoples have attracted increasing amounts of attention in the conservation literatures. This interest has led to increasing calls to develop a better understanding of both the complexity and the potential of relations between indigenous groups and Western conservation ideas and organisations. This paper presents a case of landscape making in the Madidi region of Bolivia to take a close look at collaborations and conflicts between various groups—indigenous communities, conservation organisations, and protected area officials. I will demonstrate that these groups have emerged out of a process of creating a shared landscape and that they are interdependent—both deeply entwined and radically distinct. Building on recent scholarship, I highlight the importance of interdependence as an active process of becoming, in which the spaces of contact and friction become so complex that the existence of one group is contingent on active engagement with the other. I argue that the concept of interdependence provides a fresh look at histories of encounters and relations in the making of a conservation landscape—uncovering spaces of hope that offer something different for the people involved—and thus can prompt new ways of imagining and practicing conservation in the future.

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