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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| October-December  | Volume 8 | Issue 4  
    Online since March 19, 2011

 
 
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INTRODUCTION
Collaborative Event Ethnography: Conservation and development trade-offs at the fourth world conservation congress
J Peter Brosius, Lisa M Campbell
October-December 2010, 8(4):245-255
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78141  
  7,026 1,185 19
ARTICLES
The politics of indigeneity: Indigenous strategies for inclusion in climate change negotiations
Amity A Doolittle
October-December 2010, 8(4):286-291
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78142  
Indigenous environmental activists have clearly articulated their views on global climate change policy. The content of these views was explored during the 10-day 2008 World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Barcelona. Data were primarily collected through interviews and participant observation. In addition, policy statements and declarations made by indigenous environmental activists from 2000 to 2009 were analysed to place the perspectives of indigenous leaders and environmental activists in the context of their decade-long struggle to gain negotiating power at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This study examines the rhetorical strategies indigenous leaders from around the world use to gain political recognition and legitimacy in climate change negotiations. Two core principles, relating to a particular representation of indigenous environmental knowledge are identified as fundamental rhetorical tools. These are a belief that the earth is a living being with rights and the conviction that it is the responsibility of indigenous peoples to protect the earth from over-exploitation. However, reference to indigenous environmental knowledge is not the only rhetorical mechanism used by indigenous leaders in the climate debates. When faced with specific United Nations policies to combat climate change that could have a profound impact on their land rights, some indigenous leaders adopt a more confrontational response. Fearing that new polices would reinforce historical trends of marginalisation, indigenous leaders seeking recognition in climate change debates speak less about their ecological knowledge and responsibility to the earth and more about their shared histories of political and economic marginalisation and land dispossession, experienced first through colonialism and more recently through globalisation.
  5,814 1,092 12
Business, Biodiversity and New 'Fields' of conservation: The world conservation congress and the renegotiation of organisational order
Kenneth Iain MacDonald
October-December 2010, 8(4):256-275
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78144  
Biodiversity conservation, in practice, is defined through the institutionalised association of individuals, organisations, institutions, bodies of knowledge, and interests. Events like the World Conservation Congress (WCC) constitute political sites where much of that institutionalisation is rendered legible and where struggles over the organisational order of conservation are acted out. Over the past decade one source of struggle has been the role of private sector actors and markets. This paper treats the WCC as a site where tension over market-based mechanisms of conservation becomes visible and where it becomes possible to watch durable institutional arrangements form and enter standard operational practice of organisations like IUCN. This paper builds upon recent work on the performative aspects of governance and analyses the WCC as an integral mechanism in achieving a renegotiated 'order' of conservation with 'private sector engagement' as a core operational practice. It describes how this performative work is predicated, in part, on the act of meeting; and the ways meetings serve both as sites for the formation of associations and as vehicles that privilege certain positions in renegotiating an organisational order under which the interests of capital accumulation receive an unparalleled degree of access and consideration in conservation planning and practice.
  5,797 1,012 12
Climate change impacts, conservation and protected values: Understanding promotion, ambivalence and resistance to policy change at the world conservation congress
Shannon Hagerman, Terre Satterfield, Hadi Dowlatabadi
October-December 2010, 8(4):298-311
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78146  
The impacts of climate change imply substantive changes to current conservation policy frameworks. Debating and formulating the details of these changes was central to the agenda of the Fourth World Conservation Congress (WCC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In this paper, we document the promotion of, and resistance to, various proposals related to revising conservation policy given climate impacts as they unfolded at this key policy-setting event. Our analysis finds that, during one-on-one interviews, many experts acknowledged the need for new policy means (including increased interventions) and revised policy objectives given anticipations of habitat and species loss. However, this same pattern and the implied willingness to consider more controversial strategies were less evident at public speaking events at the WCC. Rather, active avoidance of contentious topics was observed in public settings. This resulted in the reinforcement (not revision) of conventional policy means and objectives at this meeting. We suggest that this observation can at least partly be explained by the fact that the difficult trade-offs (species for species or land base for land base) implied by nascent proposals severely violate prevailing value-based conservation commitments and so understandable resistance to change is observed.
  5,042 621 4
Heart of borneo as a 'Jalan Tikus': Exploring the links Between indigenous rights, extractive and exploitative industries, and conservation at the World Conservation Congress 2008
Sarah L Hitchner
October-December 2010, 8(4):320-330
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78148  
At the Fourth World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October 2008, a number of motions were passed that emphasised human and indigenous rights and the role of the private sector, particularly extractive and exploitative industries, in conservation. These issues are highly relevant to the ongoing World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-led Heart of Borneo (HoB) conservation initiative, which is situated in an area with overlapping political jurisdictions and an array of possible futures, which could include new or expanded protected areas, community-managed conservation programmes, or oil palm plantations potentially covering millions of hectares. The HoB initiative is ambiguous in the sense that its borders are not fixed, its land and resource management strategies are not clearly defined, its projects are not predetermined, and its policies regarding who benefits from it are not obvious. HoB is also ambitious, and its actors must negotiate a number of different types of scales: geographic, political, economic, institutional, and ecological. These factors offer both opportunities and weaknesses both for conservation and for local and indigenous communities living within the HoB area. Using HoB as an example, I show how small NGOs, national branches of multinational NGOs like WWF, and local and indigenous communities must walk a 'jalan tikus' to accomplish conservation and indigenous rights goals. I also offer suggestions on how the motions passed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) membership can be incorporated into HoB planning on the ground.
  4,685 645 -
Sea change: Exploring the international effort to promote marine protected areas
Noella J Gray
October-December 2010, 8(4):331-338
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78149  
Citing multiple threats to marine biodiversity and resources, the international marine conservation community is promoting greater adoption of marine protected areas (MPAs). Like terrestrial protected areas, MPAs are characterised by debates over the appropriate role for scientific input and citizen participation and how to balance concerns for both social equity and ecological effectiveness. This paper explores how such debates are influencing the framing of MPAs as a global policy tool, based on an 'event ethnography' conducted at the 2008 World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. International non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dominated the discussions and agenda setting, although multiple concerns for MPAs were incorporated into the discussions. The framing of MPAs highlighted a global scale and vision, reflected by and reinforcing the dominant role of the big NGOs. However, it did not go unchallenged, nor is it prescriptive.
  4,259 761 14
Setting the stage for new global knowledge: Science, Economics, and Indigenous knowledge in 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity' at the Fourth World Conservation Congress
Chad Monfreda
October-December 2010, 8(4):276-285
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78145  
Global environmental knowledge underwrites the authority of international institutions charged with managing climate change, biodiversity loss and other looming environmental problems. While numerous studies show how global knowledge gains authority at a macro-scale, few examine the everyday practices that establish authority in concrete settings. Investigating such day-to-day practices is important because concrete institutional settings may offer opportunities for resisting, affirming, or transforming global environmental knowledge and the policies it supports. As part of an 'event ethnography' conducted at the International Union for Conservation of Nature's World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Barcelona in 2008, this paper looks in detail at one important site in a high-level international study on 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity' (TEEB). The WCC was a site where the TEEB organisers convened three fields of knowledge-economics, ecological and biodiversity sciences, and indigenous knowledge-in an attempt to secure authority for the economic valuation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Through three vignettes, this paper investigates the differential engagement of the three knowledge communities; how these engagements reveal the processes by which global knowledge is constructed; and the political ramifications of those constructions.
  3,780 652 5
Sorting out roles and defining divides: Social sciences at the World Conservation Congress
Meredith Welch-Devine, Lisa M Campbell
October-December 2010, 8(4):339-348
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78150  
Many conservation practitioners and scholars have called for increasing involvement of the social sciences in conservation and better integration among the various disciplines engaged in conservation practice. This research uses the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Fourth World Conservation Congress (WCC) as a site of ethnographic inquiry to explore in-depth how conservation researchers and practitioners view the social sciences in conservation. This paper situates those views in the context of the WCC itself and treats such themes as the appropriate role for the social sciences in conservation, conflicts between social and natural scientists, and sorting out differences between academic social scientists and those working within conservation organisations. It ends with a reflection on what changes new approaches to conservation might bring to the relationship between natural and social sciences in conservation.
  3,636 683 2
Setting the stage for biofuels:Policy texts, community of practice, and institutional ambiguity at the Fourth World Conservation Congress
Edward M Maclin, Juan Luis Dammert Bello
October-December 2010, 8(4):312-319
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78147  
This paper explores the discussion on biofuels within the fourth World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Barcelona. The focus on energy and biofuels at the WCC was a change from previous Congresses, highlighting a new negotiation of conservation and development trade-offs within the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Resolutions and IUCN programmes from the 2000 WCC onwards built on one another to reframe energy policy in terms of sustainable use, clean energy technologies, and energy access. With this structure in place, an informal group of key actors at the 2008 WCC were able to dominate the biofuels discourse to advance international sustainability standards for biofuels production. Procedural ambiguities in the resolution contact group made this community of practice, largely formed around the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels, especially important. The negotiation of biofuels policies, and energy policy in general, serves as an example of a large-scale trade-off that will directly affect local conservation practice.
  3,666 458 3
NTFP and REDD at the Fourth World Conservation Congress: What is In and What is Not
Pablo Peña
October-December 2010, 8(4):292-297
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78143  
While the Fourth World Conservation Congress (WCC) was effective in bringing together different participants to discuss climate change, the discussion of potential mitigation mechanisms was dominated by the Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) initiative, to the exclusion of other possibilities, including Non-timber Forest Products (NTFP)-there was a notable lack of venues for discussing the relevance of NTFP projects for biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and poverty alleviation. This paper contrasts the treatment of NTFP and REDD at the WCC and discusses how the exclusion of NTFP from these discussions will probably affect its inclusion in the conservation agenda and the future design and funding of conservation projects. The paper also shares some ideas on unexplored complementarities between NTFP and REDD for climate change mitigation, showing that an opportunity was lost at the Fourth WCC for promoting NTFP as an additional market-based approach to conservation.
  1,710 401 -
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