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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   2010| July-September  | Volume 8 | Issue 3  
    Online since December 13, 2010

 
 
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ARTICLES
Neoliberal environmentality: Towards a poststructuralist political ecology of the conservation debate
Robert Fletcher
July-September 2010, 8(3):171-181
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.73806  
This article proposes a Foucaultian poststructuralist framework for understanding different positions within the contemporary debate concerning appropriate biodiversity conservation policy as embodying distinctive 'environmentalities'. In a recently-released work, Michel Foucault describes a neoliberal form of his familiar concept 'governmentality' quite different from conventional understandings of this oft-cited analytic. Following this, I suggest that neoliberalisation within natural resource policy can be understood as the expression of a 'neoliberal environmentality' similarly distinct from recent discussions employing the environmentality concept. In addition, I follow Foucault in describing several other discrete environmentalities embodied in competing approaches to conservation policy. Finally, I ask whether political ecologists' critiques of mainstream conservation might be viewed as the expression of yet another environmentality foregrounding concerns for social equity and environmental justice and call for more conceptualisation of what this might look like.
  59 23,407 5,943
Sitting on the fence? policies and practices in managing human-wildlife conflict in Limpopo province, South Africa
Brandon P Anthony, Peter Scott, Alexios Antypas
July-September 2010, 8(3):225-240
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.73812  
Human-wildlife conflicts are the product of socio-economic and political landscapes and are contentious because the resources concerned have economic value and species are often high profile and legally protected. Within a governance framework, we detail institutional roles and the effectiveness of policies and practices of controlling damage-causing animals (DCAs) at Kruger National Park (KNP) and Limpopo Province along KNP's western border. Most DCAs originate from the park, significantly affecting its long-term legitimacy among local communities. Between 2002 and 2004, over 12% of households within 15 km of the park experienced DCA damage, with incidents significantly correlated with being located closer to KNP and having higher numbers of mammalian livestock. These incidents are affecting opinions concerning KNP, as those who experienced damage were less likely to believe that the park would ever help their household economically. According to 482 DCA incident records from 1998 to 2004, the most problematic species are buffalo, lion, elephant, hippo and crocodile. Limpopo Province utilised professional hunters in DCA control, however, widespread abuses including the direct luring of lion led to a national moratorium on specific hunting practices. DCA procedures are highly flawed due to ambiguity concerning species and movement of DCAs, poor reporting, inadequate response times, overlapping responsibilities, and corruption. These are exacerbated by weak and, in some cases, competing institutions. Further, the controversial issue of undelivered compensation is determining negative attitudes by communities towards institutions who have historically promised it. Drawing on good governance principles, we offer recommendations on alleviating DCA conflicts in such contexts.
  9 13,826 1,765
National parks and environmental justice: Comparing access rights and ideological legacies in three countries
Annika Dahlberg, Rick Rohde, Klas Sandell
July-September 2010, 8(3):209-224
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.73810  
National parks are often places where people have previously lived and worked-they have been formed by a combination of natural and human processes that embody an identifiable history of cultural and political values. Conservation of protected areas is primarily about how we perceive such landscapes, how we place differential values on different landscape components, and who gets to decide on these values. Thus, conservation has been and still is very much about issues of power and environmental justice. This paper analyses the social, political and environmental histories of three national park regimes (South Africa, Sweden and Scotland) through the lens of public access rights. We examine the evolving status of access rights-in a broad sense that includes access to land, resources and institutions of governance-as a critical indicator of the extent to which conservation policies and legislation realise the aims of environmental justice in practice. Our case studies illustrate how access rights are contingent on the historical settings and ideological contexts in which the institutions controlling national park management have evolved. Dominant cultural, political and scientific ideologies have given rise to historical precedents and institutional structures that affect the promotion of environmental justice in and around national parks today. In countries where national parks were initially created to preserve perceived 'wilderness', with decisions taken by powerful elites and central authorities, this historical legacy has prevented profound change in line with new policy directives. The comparative analysis of national park regimes, where historical trajectories both converge and diverge, was useful in improving our understanding of contemporary issues involving conservation, people and politics.
  6 10,500 1,550
Dharmic projects, imperial reservoirs, and new temples of India: An historical perspective on dams in India
Kathleen D Morrison
July-September 2010, 8(3):182-195
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.73807  
As international attention continues to focus on large dam projects across Asia, it is worth noting that conflicts over the politics of and environmental changes caused by dams in India are not new. Population dislocation, siltation, disease, floods caused by catastrophic dam failure, raised water tables, high costs and low returns-all of these concerns, and others, can be discussed in the context of reservoir projects ten, one hundred, or even one thousand years old. In this paper, I identify some of the major issues in the political ecology of contemporary dam projects and show how these same issues have played out in southern India over the last thousand years, suggesting that historical attention to the cultural and political context of reservoir construction might help us to understand some aspects of contemporary conflicts.
  3 9,067 845
Rearranging social space: Boundary-making and boundary-work in a joint forest management project, Andhra Pradesh, India
Moeko Saito-Jensen, Casper Bruun Jensen
July-September 2010, 8(3):196-208
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.73809  
Since the 1990s, there has been an increasing trend in developing countries to shift from state driven approaches to Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). In order to ensure sustainability of resources, the need for creating and maintaining clear resource use boundaries has been emphasised, both theoretically and in practice. However, there has been less attention to the varied social consequences for involved villages (whose inhabitants can access resources within the new boundaries) and for excluded villages (whose inhabitants are prevented from accessing resources due to these boundaries). Drawing on a case study of three villages affected by the Joint Forest Management project in Andhra Pradesh, India, this article shows how resource use boundaries interact with social categories such as caste, gender and livelihood occupation in ways that facilitate asymmetric distribution of costs and benefits among local people. The article calls for more consultative processes in constituting new resources use boundaries and for flexible interventions to reconcile conflicts arising from boundary-making.
  2 3,981 534
Deforestation drivers in Southwest Amazonia: Comparing smallholder farmers in Iñapari, Peru, and Assis Brasil, Brazil
Angelica M Almeyda Zambrano, Eben N Broadbent, Marianne Schmink, Stephen G Perz, Gregory P Asner
July-September 2010, 8(3):157-170
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.73805  
Broad interpretation of land use and forest cover studies has been limited by the biophysical and socio-economic uniqueness of the landscapes in which they are carried out and by the multiple temporal and spatial scales of the underlying processes. We coupled a land cover change approach with a political ecology framework to interpret trends in multi-temporal remote sensing of forest cover change and socio-economic surveys with smallholders in the towns of Iñapari, Peru and Assis Brasil, Brazil in southwest Amazonia. These adjacent towns have similar biogeophysical conditions, but have undergone differing development approaches, and are both presently undergoing infrastructure development for the new Interoceanic highway. Results show that forest cover patterns observed in these two towns cannot be accounted for using single land use drivers. Rather, deforestation patterns result from interactions of national and regional policies affecting financial credit and road infrastructure, along with local processes of market integration and household resources. Based on our results we develop recommendations to minimise deforestation in the study area. Our findings are relevant for the sustainability of land use in the Amazon, in particular for regions undergoing large-scale infrastructure development projects.
  2 7,028 1,048
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