History, Culture, and Conservation - IUCN

History, Culture, and Conservation - IUCN

History, Culture, and Conservation - IUCN

312 Pages ·2004·7.52 MB ·English

History, Culture, and Conservation - IUCN

Table oof ccontents


Letter from the Chair.................................................................................... M. Taghi Farvar.................... 3


Taking history and culture seriously............................................................... The editors.......................... 4


SSeeccttiioonn II:: CCoonnsseerrvvaattiioonn aass ccuullttuurraall aanndd ppoolliittiiccaall pprraaccttiiccee


Conservation as cultural and political practice................................................ Ken MacDonald.................... 6


Protection de la nature et identités culturelles en France................................ Christian Barthod................. 18


The tiger, the pangolin, and the myths of Panthera tigris amoyensis– past, Chris


present, and future...................................................................................... Coggins............................... 26


Kirsten Anderrson &


The historical origins of modern forestry policy in Bolivia................................ Diego Pacheco..................... 40


Colonialism, hunting and the invention of “poaching” in the 19th and 20th


Centuries..................................................................................................... Bill Adams........................... 50


Conservation of dryland biodiversity by mobile indigenous people—  Chachu Ganya, Guyo Haro &


the case of the Gabbra of Northern Kenya..................................................... Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend..... 61


Continuidad y discontinuidad culturales en el manejo ambiental de tres  Juan Mayr &


diferentes ecosistemas en Colombia.............................................................. Guillermo Rodríguez............. 72


History, culture and participatory marine conservation in a Brazilian fishing


community................................................................................................... Patricia Pinto da Silva........... 86


The Bawarias of India: from hunters to “green gards”?.................................. Bahar Dutt......................... 98


La Somma: forest management, new “ruralness” and agro-tourism in the


uplands of Umbria (Central Italy).................................................................. Patrizio Warren.................... 106


Ideas, history and continuity in the practice of power— the case of wildlife


management in Zambia................................................................................ Ilyssa Manspeizer................ 116


The cultural politics of conservation encounters in the Maya biosphere


reserve, Guatemala...................................................................................... Juanita Sundberg................. 125


Tensions and paradoxes in the management of transboundary protected


areas.......................................................................................................... William Wolmer.................... 137


SSeeccttiioonn IIII:: AA ““ccuullttuurraall aapppprrooaacchh”” ttoo ccoonnsseerrvvaattiioonn??


Why history and culture matter—a case study from the Virgin Islands  Crystal Fortwangler & Marc


National Park............................................................................................... Stern................................... 148


La propriété collective et la mobilité pastorale en tant qu’alliées de la conser- Adama Ly &


vation—expériences et politiques innovatrices au Ferlo (Sénégal).................... Maryam Niamir Fuller........... 162


History, Culture, and Conservation: in search of more informed guesses about


whether “community-based conservation” has a chance to work..................... Jim Igoe.............................. 174


Development Dilemmas and Administrative Ambiguities: Terracing and Land


Use Planning Committees in North Pare, Tanzania.......................................... Michael Sheridan................. 186 The Shompen of Great Nicobar Island (India)— between “development” and dis- Suresh Babu &


appearance...................................................................................................... Denys P. Leighton.. 198


A layered homeland: history, culture and visions of development......................... Susan Delisle......... 212


Social science researchas a tool for conservation—the case of Kayan Mentarang Cristina


National Park (Indonesia).................................................................................. Eghenter............... 224


Can traditions of tolerance help minimise conflict? An exploration of cultural fac-


tors supporting human-wildlife coexistence......................................................... Francine Madden... 234


Claudine


Les contrats sociaux traditionnels (dina) et le transfert de gestion des ressources Ramiarison &


naturelles renouvelable (GELOSE)—une alliance clé pour la conservation et le Tiana Eva


développement durable à Madagascar................................................................ Razafindrakoto...... 242


Lala Jean


Culte des ancêtres joroet sauvegarde des espèces menacées d’extinction à Rakotoniaina &


Madagascar...................................................................................................... Johanna Durbin..... 248


SSeeccttiioonn IIIIII:: UUnnddeerrssttaannddiinngg aanndd mmeeaassuurriinngg bbiiooccuullttuurraall ddiivveerrssiittyy


Cultures and conservation: bridging the gap....................................................... Luisa Maffi............ 256


John R. Stepp, S.


Cervone, H.


Castaneda, A.


Lasseter, G. Stocks


Development of a GIS for Global Biocultural Diversity.......................................... & Y. Gichon........... 267


David Harmon &


The IBCD: a measure of the world's bio-cultural diversity.................................... Jonathan Loh........ 271


Biodiversity conservation, communication and language- is English a solution, a


problem or both?.............................................................................................. Lars Softestad...... 281


SSeeccttiioonn IIVV:: NNeeww rreessoouurrcceess ffrroomm CCEEEESSPP mmeemmbbeerrss


Grazia Borrini-


Feyerabend and


Short review of “Contested Nature”.................................................................... Ellen L. Brown....... 284


Jacques


Revue de « Conservation de la Nature et Développement»................................. Grinevald.............. 286


“Short review of “The Mountains of the Mediterranean World”............................. David Pitt.............. 289


Short review of “Against Extinction”................................................................... Dan Brockington.... 291


Short review of “Anthropology and History in Franche-Comté”............................. David Pitt.............. 293


Short review of “Handbook of Mangroves in the Philippines”................................ Lawrence Liao....... 294


Numerous announcements of new books, articles and newsletters....................... various authors...... 296 LLEETTTTEERR FFRROOMM TTHHEE CCHHAAIIRR OOFF CCEEEESSPP


M TTaghi FFarvar


Dear CEESP members and partners,


Let me point your attention to the contacts


Once again, after Policy Matters No. 10 on


details of the CEESP members and partners


Sustainable Livelihoods and Co-manage-


who generously shared their thoughts with


ment of Natural Resources(2002) and no.


all of us by compiling and offering the


12 on Community Empowerment for


papers collected here. I hope there will be


Conservation (2003), we are going to print


exchanges among many of them and you,


with a special issue of our Journal edited by


the readers, and fruitful collaboration in the


the CMWG Chair and colleagues. The sub-


field. Indeed, if history and culture vis-à-vis


ject of this issue— History, culture and con-


conservation are not new subjects, much is


servation—is a formidable one, and I must


still to be learned to unfold all their poten-


commend all the members and partners


tial and many pathways for action are point-


who have produced the engrossing papers


ed at here.


collected here.


This issue is being prepared for the 3d


I am proud to see that our Journal contin-


World Conservation Congress in Bangkok


ues to be a forum where we explore and


(Thailand) November 2004. We hope it will


debate relatively innovative subjects within


contribute to highlighting there the benefits


IUCN. Indeed, it is part of the philosophy


of an approach to conservation that is histo-


and mandate of our Commission to stimu-


ry and culture conscious. And we hope that,


late the attention of the Union on important


in the months to follow, such an approach


subjects that, for one reason or another,


will also be promoted and sustained mean-


may not be enjoying a spotlight at a partic-


ingfully in the field. I am proud to say that


ular moment in time. This does not mean,


CEESP is committed to the theme of


however, that they are not of momentous


“Culture and Conservation” as a part of its


consequences for conservation… as you can


new mandate. Warm wishes to all the read-


easily find out by going through this vol-


ers!


ume.


3


Policy Matters13, November 2004 EDITORIAL


Taking hhistory aand cculture sseriously


CC


international meetings and in professional debates and


onservation constituencies increasingly need to literature: “…the protection of parks requiresa top


down approach.”1 “Let us not ‘politicise’ conservation!”,


confront the history of “nature” and a variety of local


2 “We need impartial research and detached scepti-


cultural practices and rights. In the so-called global


cism, not advocacy!”.3


North, historically marginalised groups won at least


some of their struggles and can today speak their con-


Why so much resistance to embedding conservation in


cerns loud and clear. The same cannot be said for the


history, culture and social concerns? Why so little


so-called global South. The shouts of traditional pas-


attention to people? Why so little research and action


toralists in Burkina Faso confronted with a protected


about the fundamental links between nature and liveli-


area that curtails their historical grazing rights… do not


hoods, systems of knowledge and values, languages,


yet ring quite as loud as the shouts of a group of


and habits? Part of the explanation has to do with the


Colorado ranchers denied access to public land. For


plurality, ebullience and ‘messiness’ of people’s ways,


how long, however?


and with the fact that cultural diversity is, by its own


nature, difficult to control. The politics of knowledge


In this issue of Policy Matters we collected papers that


has created neat compartments, consolidated though


deal with the interplay among history, culture and con-


time by the power of money. The dominant develop-


servation. We have several examples from the South


ment discourse has separated biodiversity from people


and a few—quite revealing ones—from the North. In


and cultural diversity in universities, research institu-


both cases, it is striking to read about the powerful


tions, literature and the popular media, and made the


ties between biodiversity and people, and we can


separation appear “natural” and respectable to most of


appreciate the intelligence and craftiness that support


us. From that, it follows that physical barriers, com-


those ties. Also striking, however, is how widespread


mercialisation and disneyfication of nature are also


insensitivity to social concerns in conservation still is,


natural and acceptable. “Culture” is appreciated as a


and insensitivity to cultural concerns in particular.


side dish of the “big five”4 (…at the end of the jeep


There are some distinctions to be made between the


wildlife tour you can stop and get a picture of the


South and the North. As discussed in Section IV


jumping Maasai…).


(Understanding and measuring bio-cultural diversity),


the areas in the South with the largest concentration


But there is more. The social sciences, which could


of biodiversity are also endowed with a rich cultural


attempt to cast a critical look upon processes of


diversity. We’d miss a major element, however, if we


destruction in the name of conservation, are controver-


did not take note that they are also the areas


sial in different ways with respect to the physical and


endowed with a colonial past, where people have been


biological sciences. They are easily misunderstood and


historically disenfranchised and marginalised. This


labelled as troublesome and ineffectual. In addition,


oppression has shaped, modified and often impover-


too large a number of social scientists employed in


ished what we call their “cultures” today. After all, cul-


conservation initiatives have demonstrated myopic


ture is a product of history. And, for that matter, con-


vision and accepted to play marginal and ineffectual


temporary history is busy at work in front of our eyes,


roles. For decades they have confined themselves to


affecting the North and the South alike with its enor-


administering questionnaires to “extract” information


mous power of flattening and homogenizing differ-


from people or been content with tinkering at the


ences…


fringes of large projects, taking on “environmental


education” roles. Few have had the resolve to say that


In some circles it has almost become passé to point


the emperor has no clothes, that conservation projects


out that conservation agencies ignore history and cul-


can hurt, that they can trample upon rights, generate


ture at their peril. Ignoring local practices, institutions


poverty, shatter cultural identities.5 Few have made it


and knowledge systems seems only too clearly a way


clear that conservation initiatives that do not place


to waste precious resources and generate local opposi-


people, history and culture at their coreare doomed to


tion. For many it is obvious that conventional, bureau-


resort to violence or fail.6


cratic, institution-driven conservation practices serve


neither the interest of biodiversity nor those of com-


Not many may have said it, but this is what is happen-


munities. Yet, it is exactly those types of practices that


ing. For those who perceive biodiversity as onewith


continue to be promoted in the field. And the philoso-


cultural diversity and livelihoods it is painful to see how


phy behind this continues to be forcefully expressed at


4


Policy Matters13, November 2004 that unity is still being trampled upon in many places.


So, what to do? Give up? Resign ourselves? Accept the


“inevitable”? The papers collected in this issue give us


a glimpse of alternatives to all that. In section I


(Conservation as cultural and political practice),


MacDonald begins by illustrating how conservation is


built thought interactions among disparate cultural


groups endowed with unequal powers. As conservation


organisations are bodies with the explicit or implicit


aim of determining cultural change, the question aris-


es: do these bodies really understand “culture”? And


who is watching over their cultural engineering? The


papers by Barthod, Coggins, Andersson and Adams


offer some vistas of conservation as a historical phe-


nomenon and of how misunderstanding change results


in conflict and conservation failures. And finding out


the reasons why some of our forefathers engaged in


conservation may embarrass more than a few of


today’s environmentalists. We then hear about the Pride of one own’s way. An essential ingredient in bio-


long-term processes by which people adapted to envi- cultural conservation. (Courtesy Grazia Borrini-


ronmental conditions and developed their cultural iden- Feyerabend—portrait of a girl from Mondoro, Mali)


tity… and how quickly these elaborate interplays are


As the international policy arena changes to incorpo-


destabilised or destroyed today (Ganya et al., Mayr


rate concepts of cultural rights, as some formerly mar-


and Rodriguez, Pinto da Silva). But “culture” is


ginalised groups claim increasing power and as others


resilient! Dutt and Warren show us how groups and


feel even more marginalised, the credibility of the con-


individuals can re-invent themselves and discover new


servation movement depends on its ability to deal with


pathways to conservation and livelihoods. And


the relation between history, culture and conservation


Manspeizer, Sundberg and Wolmer powerfully argue


in all its complexity and beyond the clichés. It is our


that politics is at the heart of it all. Conservation is a


hope that this issue of Policy Matterscontributes to


practice of power—a fact that they explore in various


this goal.


nuanced ways.


Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Ken MacDonald and Luisa


In section II (A cultural approach to conservation?) we


Maffi


offer some specific cases and explore more explicitly


the questions that arise when conservation attempts to


The Editors can be reached at gbf@cenesta.org;


adopt a “cultural approach”. What should we look for?


kmacd@utsc.utoronto.ca and


What should we try to understand? What should we


maffi@terralingua.org. They would like to express their sin-


do? What have we learned? Different answers are pro-


cere thanks to Olivier Hamerlynck, Jean Larivière and


posed by papers that deal with the USA, Senegal, Gonzalo Oviedo for their most kind help in reading and com-


Tanzania, India, Canada, Indonesia and Madagascar. menting some of the papers in this special issue. Many


Different perspectives give us accounts focusing on thanks also to Jeyran Farvar (jeyran@cenesta.org) who kind-


indigenous rights, the project-based application of ly took care of art work and layout.


social research, the prevention of human-wildlife con-


flicts or the re-invention of traditional norms into Notes


today’s societies. In all cases, we are made amply 1 J. Terborgh, Requiem for Nature, 1999 (emphasis added).


aware of the senselessness of pursuing conservation 2 Richard Leakey, World Parks Congress, September 2003.


without a sufficient understanding of history and cul- 3 Steven E. Sanderson, President of Wildlife Conservation Society,


summarised from an e-mail discussion, 2004..


ture… As stressed by Maffi and other authors in


4 Safari operators sell tourist trips to visit the “big five” (elephant,


Section IV, we are dealing with complex and inter- rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo).


linked bio-cultural phenomena, and the time is ripe to 5 Among them we salute F. Berkes, S. Brechin, M. Cernea, T.


understand them better and to apply that understand- Farvar, M. Gadgil, D. Harmon, J. McNeely, D. Pitt, D. Posey, S.


Stevens and P.C. West.


ing in the practice of conservation.


6 Among such few are M. Pimbert and K. Ghimire.


5


Policy Matters13, November 2004 History, cculture aand cconservation


CCoonnsseerrvvaattiioonn aass CCuullttuurraall aanndd PPoolliittiiccaall PPrraaccttiiccee


Kenneth IIain MMacDonald


TT


funding and consequent neglect of Grand


hirty-three years ago the Evangelical Canyon National Park, this ‘non-natural’


issue marks the greatest public attention


Sisters of Mary, a Catholic order in Pheonix,


that this World Heritage Site has received in


Arizona, donated three plaques to the Grand


years. It reveals the ways in which ‘nature’


Canyon National Park. These plaques quoted


is a contested cultural product—an outcome


Biblical psalms extolling the glory of God


of people’s beliefs and values. But it also


and his creations including, presumably, the


exposes the ways in which ‘real nature’—


Grand Canyon. For three decades, they


the biophysical relations that underlie the


hung outside the gift shop and on a lookout


superimposed meaning of nature—are sub-


tower overlooking the south rim of the


ject to cultural struggles. For years, congres-


canyon. In 2003, however, a park visitor


sional appropriations for national parks—the


approached the American Civil Liberties


money that guides conservation manage-


Union, which subsequently queried the Park


ment and research – have varied with the


Service about the constitutional appropriate-


need of particular representatives to appeal


ness of the plaques and they were taken


to constituencies whose beliefs about nature


down. A protest emerged from the Christian


collide. Conservation, as ideology, practice,


right, including so-called ‘creation scientists’,


and outcome, is deeply embedded in these


and the plaques were re-hung. The Park


cultural struggles. It cannot escape the insti-


Service is currently awaiting a decision from


tutional realities which gave it birth. This is


true not just in the United States, but in any


society, within any cultural group. What peo-


ple take to be ‘nature’ or ‘natural’, the ele-


ments of nature that people deem worthy of


protection, and the forms that protection


take are all dynamic outcomes of experience


andcultural political struggles, wherever


they occur.1


In this paper, I examine what we might call


the ‘culture wars’ surrounding conservation.


In doing so I have a number of objectives:


to consider the utility of the culture con-


(cid:81)


cept in rethinking what we mean by con-


servation and how it is practiced;


Figure 1. Tourists in Grand Canyon National


to provide a brief survey of the use of


Park. Cultural interpretation affects conservation (cid:81)


culture in literature related to conserva-


policy and practice (Courtesy Kenneth Iain


tion; and


MacDonald).


to illustrate a rationale for adopting a


the Department of Justice before taking any (cid:81)


more focused and nuanced treatment of


further action.


culture in conservation research and,


accordingly, practice.


While this debate may seem trivial and local,


it is anything but. Despite decades of under-


6


Policy Matters13, November 2004 Conservation aas ccultural aand ppolitical ppractice


The Culture/Nature Wars  Why culture?


Last year’s meeting of the World Parks Despite different perspectives on the consti-


Congress revealed continuing schisms in the tution of ‘nature’ there is a growing focus


conservation ‘community’ between those among conservation practitioners on the


who seek to address the need to consider ‘culture’ in the formulation


social and cultural issues of conservation policy and programming.


What ppeople ttake tto


raised by historical conser- This derives from (at least) three perspec-


be ‘‘nature’ oor ‘‘natu-


vation practice, and those tives. First, culture is being forced onto the


ral’, tthe eelements oof


who feel that this compro- conservation agenda by groups who are


nature tthat ppeople


mises the focus on ‘con- finally attaining the power and voice to


deem wworthy oof ppro-


servation science’ that express their discontent with historical prac-


tection, aand tthe should underlie all conser- tices that have engendered feelings of


forms tthat pprotection vation practice, and exclusion, dispossession and alienation. The


take aare aall ddynamic detracts from the primary focus on culture also derives from an expec-


‘protectionist’ mission of tation that it can reveal the multiple under-


outcomes oof eexperi-


conservation. This divide is standings of and interest in nature and, per-


ence aand ccultural


likely too neat, but it does haps more importantly. move beyond the


political sstruggles,


reflect positions that stem stereotypes that conjure up images of Third


wherever tthey ooccur.


from different philosophi- World populations whose only interest in


cal perspectives on the nature is to provide for subsistence and


constitution of nature: one grounded in real- development.3 In addition, attention to the


ism that derives from knowledge produced cultures of conservation can contribute to


through rationalist science and interprets understanding the place of ‘nature’ in social


nature as an objective reality. The other is and cultural histories and in contemporary


grounded in constructionism and, while not politics, helping us to understand the


denying the objective reality of biophysical sources of conflict and contestation that sur-


interactions that produce, in part, what most rounds so much conservation practice. It is


of us call nature, asserts that human com- also important to recognise that attention to


munities assign meaning to those biophysi- cultures of conservation requires an opening


cal interactions, through cultural processes.2 up of the concept of culture


Nature in this view is as much a cultural to transformative dialogue, Rarely, ddo pproject


product as an objective reality and must be opposition and collaboration.


proposals oor ccon-


understood as such if conservation practice This requires not only talking


servation pplan-


is to be effective without exercising oppres- about the cultural assump-


ning eengage iin


sive domination. Not surprisingly, these two tions and practices involved


cultural aanalyses


perspectives contribute to different political in conservation but about


of cconservation


ends and different mechanisms for getting the cultural claims surround-


there. But what is important to the study of ing conservation practice practice, oor eeven


conservation is that analysts begin to These require a treatment of bother tto ddefine oor


explore and explain the cultural processes culture as dynamic and describe tthe cconsti-


that produce and regulate environmental strategic, rather than as


tution oof cculture.


knowledge and consequent conservation something absolute and stat-


practice in a plurality of social, political and ic as it is so often represented in the litera-


economic contexts, including social forma- ture of conservation practice.4


tions that typically escape analysis such as


government departments and conservation Rarely, however do project proposals or con-


NGOs.  servation planning documents engage in


sophisticated cultural analyses of conserva-


tion practice, or even bother to define or


7


Policy Matters13, November 2004 History, cculture aand cconservation


describe the constitution of culture. Failing the area of conservation.


to address this complexity leaves ‘culture’ as


a catch-all term, subject to easy dismissal Conservation as a cultural product


by those who would make the distinction


Culture rests on certain abilities—particularly


between culture and science, or culture and


people’s capacity to think symbolically, and


nature—distinctions all too readily made in


to use language and material products and


the world of modernist conservation, as if


practices to organise their lives and their


science and nature are the stuff of objective


environments. This understanding of ‘cul-


reality unaffected by the shared systems of


ture’ has important ramifications for under-


knowledge, communication and practice


standing the politics of conservation for it


(i.e., culture) from which they have


means that what counts as ‘nature’ and ‘the


emerged.5


natural’—the popular objects of conserva-


tion—are culturally defined and not static.


This brief critique of the deployment of cul-


Rather they are dynamic,


ture in conservation is not meant to suggest We ccannot bbe ddis-


and appropriate attitudes


that cultural concerns are unimportant in the and behaviour toward tracted bby tthe ccozy


design and implementation of conservation them are the site of con- invocation oof cconsen-


practice or that they are too diffuse to iden-


stant struggle both within sus ppresent iin mmuch


tify and analyse. On the contrary, my point


and between cultural applied cconservation


is that considerations of culture need to be


groups. We cannot be


writing. TThere aare


much more specific in their definitions and


distracted by the cozy


fractures aand oopposi-


analyses in order to demonstrate the direct


invocation of consensus


relevance of culture to achieving (or failing tions.


present in much applied


to achieve) the ends of conservation. In


conservation writing.


many ways culture has become a term not


There are fractures and oppositions. Social


unlike development or sustainability. Used to


and cultural contradictions exist within the


avoid the need to attend to the specifics of


whole just as they exist within the individ-


context, it relays a vagueness that can lead


ual. In some places this is increasingly true


to operational paralysis. It also indicates a


as the global spread of particular ideologies


failure on the part of modernist conservation


of environment present opportunities for


to treat ‘culture’ seriously. This failure has a


material gain, while challenging existing cul-


number of dimensions and sources. One is


tural knowledge systems.7


certainly the dominance of a rationalist sci-


entific perspective within conservation


Such an understanding of culture leads to a


organisations that is dismissive of the impor-


consideration not simply of the ways in


tance of culture in understanding human-


which conservation is practiced by distinct


environment interactions. This is compound-


cultural groups, but to an understanding of


ed by the failure of the conservation estab-


conservation as a cultural product; as deriv-


lishment to reflect on their own institutional


ing from a system of beliefs and values sym-


cultures and histories, to critically evaluate


bolically expressed within particular knowl-


their modes of knowledge production, and


edge systems that relate to particular pat-


to take ownership of the oppressive acts


terns of behaviour and practice, all of which


committed in the name of conservation.6


are contested. When we understand conser-


One outcome of this has been the simplistic


vation from this perspective, we can begin


treatment of culture by those doing applied


to acknowledge it as a cultural phenomenon


conservation research. And this has been


not simply in the so-called Third World but


added to by the failure of academics who


also in places – like Europe and North


adhere to a complex and nuanced under-


America - where, based on self-representa-


standing of culture to engage with work in


tions, ‘subjective culture’ would seem to


8


Policy Matters13, November 2004


Table oof ccontents


Letter from the Chair.................................................................................... M. Taghi Farvar.................... 3


Taking history and culture seriously............................................................... The editors.......................... 4


SSeeccttiioonn II:: CCoonnsseerrvvaattiioonn aass ccuullttuurraall aanndd ppoolliittiiccaall pprraaccttiiccee


Conservation as cultural and political practice................................................ Ken MacDonald.................... 6


Protection de la nature et identités culturelles en France................................ Christian Barthod................. 18


The tiger, the pangolin, and the myths of Panthera tigris amoyensis– past, Chris


present, and future...................................................................................... Coggins............................... 26


Kirsten Anderrson &


The historical origins of modern forestry policy in Bolivia................................ Diego Pacheco..................... 40


Colonialism, hunting and the invention of “poaching” in the 19th and 20th


Centuries..................................................................................................... Bill Adams........................... 50


Conservation of dryland biodiversity by mobile indigenous people—  Chachu Ganya, Guyo Haro &


the case of the Gabbra of Northern Kenya..................................................... Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend..... 61


Continuidad y discontinuidad culturales en el manejo ambiental de tres  Juan Mayr &


diferentes ecosistemas en Colombia.............................................................. Guillermo Rodríguez............. 72


History, culture and participatory marine conservation in a Brazilian fishing


community................................................................................................... Patricia Pinto da Silva........... 86


The Bawarias of India: from hunters to “green gards”?.................................. Bahar Dutt......................... 98


La Somma: forest management, new “ruralness” and agro-tourism in the


uplands of Umbria (Central Italy).................................................................. Patrizio Warren.................... 106


Ideas, history and continuity in the practice of power— the case of wildlife


management in Zambia................................................................................ Ilyssa Manspeizer................ 116


The cultural politics of conservation encounters in the Maya biosphere


reserve, Guatemala...................................................................................... Juanita Sundberg................. 125


Tensions and paradoxes in the management of transboundary protected


areas.......................................................................................................... William Wolmer.................... 137


SSeeccttiioonn IIII:: AA ““ccuullttuurraall aapppprrooaacchh”” ttoo ccoonnsseerrvvaattiioonn??


Why history and culture matter—a case study from the Virgin Islands  Crystal Fortwangler & Marc


National Park............................................................................................... Stern................................... 148


La propriété collective et la mobilité pastorale en tant qu’alliées de la conser- Adama Ly &


vation—expériences et politiques innovatrices au Ferlo (Sénégal).................... Maryam Niamir Fuller........... 162


History, Culture, and Conservation: in search of more informed guesses about


whether “community-based conservation” has a chance to work..................... Jim Igoe.............................. 174


Development Dilemmas and Administrative Ambiguities: Terracing and Land


Use Planning Committees in North Pare, Tanzania.......................................... Michael Sheridan................. 186 The Shompen of Great Nicobar Island (India)— between “development” and dis- Suresh Babu &


appearance...................................................................................................... Denys P. Leighton.. 198


A layered homeland: history, culture and visions of development......................... Susan Delisle......... 212


Social science researchas a tool for conservation—the case of Kayan Mentarang Cristina


National Park (Indonesia).................................................................................. Eghenter............... 224


Can traditions of tolerance help minimise conflict? An exploration of cultural fac-


tors supporting human-wildlife coexistence......................................................... Francine Madden... 234


Claudine


Les contrats sociaux traditionnels (dina) et le transfert de gestion des ressources Ramiarison &


naturelles renouvelable (GELOSE)—une alliance clé pour la conservation et le Tiana Eva


développement durable à Madagascar................................................................ Razafindrakoto...... 242


Lala Jean


Culte des ancêtres joroet sauvegarde des espèces menacées d’extinction à Rakotoniaina &


Madagascar...................................................................................................... Johanna Durbin..... 248


SSeeccttiioonn IIIIII:: UUnnddeerrssttaannddiinngg aanndd mmeeaassuurriinngg bbiiooccuullttuurraall ddiivveerrssiittyy


Cultures and conservation: bridging the gap....................................................... Luisa Maffi............ 256


John R. Stepp, S.


Cervone, H.


Castaneda, A.


Lasseter, G. Stocks


Development of a GIS for Global Biocultural Diversity.......................................... & Y. Gichon........... 267


David Harmon &


The IBCD: a measure of the world's bio-cultural diversity.................................... Jonathan Loh........ 271


Biodiversity conservation, communication and language- is English a solution, a


problem or both?.............................................................................................. Lars Softestad...... 281


SSeeccttiioonn IIVV:: NNeeww rreessoouurrcceess ffrroomm CCEEEESSPP mmeemmbbeerrss


Grazia Borrini-


Feyerabend and


Short review of “Contested Nature”.................................................................... Ellen L. Brown....... 284


Jacques


Revue de « Conservation de la Nature et Développement»................................. Grinevald.............. 286


“Short review of “The Mountains of the Mediterranean World”............................. David Pitt.............. 289


Short review of “Against Extinction”................................................................... Dan Brockington.... 291


Short review of “Anthropology and History in Franche-Comté”............................. David Pitt.............. 293


Short review of “Handbook of Mangroves in the Philippines”................................ Lawrence Liao....... 294


Numerous announcements of new books, articles and newsletters....................... various authors...... 296 LLEETTTTEERR FFRROOMM TTHHEE CCHHAAIIRR OOFF CCEEEESSPP


M TTaghi FFarvar


Dear CEESP members and partners,


Let me point your attention to the contacts


Once again, after Policy Matters No. 10 on


details of the CEESP members and partners


Sustainable Livelihoods and Co-manage-


who generously shared their thoughts with


ment of Natural Resources(2002) and no.


all of us by compiling and offering the


12 on Community Empowerment for


papers collected here. I hope there will be


Conservation (2003), we are going to print


exchanges among many of them and you,


with a special issue of our Journal edited by


the readers, and fruitful collaboration in the


the CMWG Chair and colleagues. The sub-


field. Indeed, if history and culture vis-à-vis


ject of this issue— History, culture and con-


conservation are not new subjects, much is


servation—is a formidable one, and I must


still to be learned to unfold all their poten-


commend all the members and partners


tial and many pathways for action are point-


who have produced the engrossing papers


ed at here.


collected here.


This issue is being prepared for the 3d


I am proud to see that our Journal contin-


World Conservation Congress in Bangkok


ues to be a forum where we explore and


(Thailand) November 2004. We hope it will


debate relatively innovative subjects within


contribute to highlighting there the benefits


IUCN. Indeed, it is part of the philosophy


of an approach to conservation that is histo-


and mandate of our Commission to stimu-


ry and culture conscious. And we hope that,


late the attention of the Union on important


in the months to follow, such an approach


subjects that, for one reason or another,


will also be promoted and sustained mean-


may not be enjoying a spotlight at a partic-


ingfully in the field. I am proud to say that


ular moment in time. This does not mean,


CEESP is committed to the theme of


however, that they are not of momentous


“Culture and Conservation” as a part of its


consequences for conservation… as you can


new mandate. Warm wishes to all the read-


easily find out by going through this vol-


ers!


ume.


3


Policy Matters13, November 2004 EDITORIAL


Taking hhistory aand cculture sseriously


CC


international meetings and in professional debates and


onservation constituencies increasingly need to literature: “…the protection of parks requiresa top


down approach.”1 “Let us not ‘politicise’ conservation!”,


confront the history of “nature” and a variety of local


2 “We need impartial research and detached scepti-


cultural practices and rights. In the so-called global


cism, not advocacy!”.3


North, historically marginalised groups won at least


some of their struggles and can today speak their con-


Why so much resistance to embedding conservation in


cerns loud and clear. The same cannot be said for the


history, culture and social concerns? Why so little


so-called global South. The shouts of traditional pas-


attention to people? Why so little research and action


toralists in Burkina Faso confronted with a protected


about the fundamental links between nature and liveli-


area that curtails their historical grazing rights… do not


hoods, systems of knowledge and values, languages,


yet ring quite as loud as the shouts of a group of


and habits? Part of the explanation has to do with the


Colorado ranchers denied access to public land. For


plurality, ebullience and ‘messiness’ of people’s ways,


how long, however?


and with the fact that cultural diversity is, by its own


nature, difficult to control. The politics of knowledge


In this issue of Policy Matters we collected papers that


has created neat compartments, consolidated though


deal with the interplay among history, culture and con-


time by the power of money. The dominant develop-


servation. We have several examples from the South


ment discourse has separated biodiversity from people


and a few—quite revealing ones—from the North. In


and cultural diversity in universities, research institu-


both cases, it is striking to read about the powerful


tions, literature and the popular media, and made the


ties between biodiversity and people, and we can


separation appear “natural” and respectable to most of


appreciate the intelligence and craftiness that support


us. From that, it follows that physical barriers, com-


those ties. Also striking, however, is how widespread


mercialisation and disneyfication of nature are also


insensitivity to social concerns in conservation still is,


natural and acceptable. “Culture” is appreciated as a


and insensitivity to cultural concerns in particular.


side dish of the “big five”4 (…at the end of the jeep


There are some distinctions to be made between the


wildlife tour you can stop and get a picture of the


South and the North. As discussed in Section IV


jumping Maasai…).


(Understanding and measuring bio-cultural diversity),


the areas in the South with the largest concentration


But there is more. The social sciences, which could


of biodiversity are also endowed with a rich cultural


attempt to cast a critical look upon processes of


diversity. We’d miss a major element, however, if we


destruction in the name of conservation, are controver-


did not take note that they are also the areas


sial in different ways with respect to the physical and


endowed with a colonial past, where people have been


biological sciences. They are easily misunderstood and


historically disenfranchised and marginalised. This


labelled as troublesome and ineffectual. In addition,


oppression has shaped, modified and often impover-


too large a number of social scientists employed in


ished what we call their “cultures” today. After all, cul-


conservation initiatives have demonstrated myopic


ture is a product of history. And, for that matter, con-


vision and accepted to play marginal and ineffectual


temporary history is busy at work in front of our eyes,


roles. For decades they have confined themselves to


affecting the North and the South alike with its enor-


administering questionnaires to “extract” information


mous power of flattening and homogenizing differ-


from people or been content with tinkering at the


ences…


fringes of large projects, taking on “environmental


education” roles. Few have had the resolve to say that


In some circles it has almost become passé to point


the emperor has no clothes, that conservation projects


out that conservation agencies ignore history and cul-


can hurt, that they can trample upon rights, generate


ture at their peril. Ignoring local practices, institutions


poverty, shatter cultural identities.5 Few have made it


and knowledge systems seems only too clearly a way


clear that conservation initiatives that do not place


to waste precious resources and generate local opposi-


people, history and culture at their coreare doomed to


tion. For many it is obvious that conventional, bureau-


resort to violence or fail.6


cratic, institution-driven conservation practices serve


neither the interest of biodiversity nor those of com-


Not many may have said it, but this is what is happen-


munities. Yet, it is exactly those types of practices that


ing. For those who perceive biodiversity as onewith


continue to be promoted in the field. And the philoso-


cultural diversity and livelihoods it is painful to see how


phy behind this continues to be forcefully expressed at


4


Policy Matters13, November 2004 that unity is still being trampled upon in many places.


So, what to do? Give up? Resign ourselves? Accept the


“inevitable”? The papers collected in this issue give us


a glimpse of alternatives to all that. In section I


(Conservation as cultural and political practice),


MacDonald begins by illustrating how conservation is


built thought interactions among disparate cultural


groups endowed with unequal powers. As conservation


organisations are bodies with the explicit or implicit


aim of determining cultural change, the question aris-


es: do these bodies really understand “culture”? And


who is watching over their cultural engineering? The


papers by Barthod, Coggins, Andersson and Adams


offer some vistas of conservation as a historical phe-


nomenon and of how misunderstanding change results


in conflict and conservation failures. And finding out


the reasons why some of our forefathers engaged in


conservation may embarrass more than a few of


today’s environmentalists. We then hear about the Pride of one own’s way. An essential ingredient in bio-


long-term processes by which people adapted to envi- cultural conservation. (Courtesy Grazia Borrini-


ronmental conditions and developed their cultural iden- Feyerabend—portrait of a girl from Mondoro, Mali)


tity… and how quickly these elaborate interplays are


As the international policy arena changes to incorpo-


destabilised or destroyed today (Ganya et al., Mayr


rate concepts of cultural rights, as some formerly mar-


and Rodriguez, Pinto da Silva). But “culture” is


ginalised groups claim increasing power and as others


resilient! Dutt and Warren show us how groups and


feel even more marginalised, the credibility of the con-


individuals can re-invent themselves and discover new


servation movement depends on its ability to deal with


pathways to conservation and livelihoods. And


the relation between history, culture and conservation


Manspeizer, Sundberg and Wolmer powerfully argue


in all its complexity and beyond the clichés. It is our


that politics is at the heart of it all. Conservation is a


hope that this issue of Policy Matterscontributes to


practice of power—a fact that they explore in various


this goal.


nuanced ways.


Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Ken MacDonald and Luisa


In section II (A cultural approach to conservation?) we


Maffi


offer some specific cases and explore more explicitly


the questions that arise when conservation attempts to


The Editors can be reached at gbf@cenesta.org;


adopt a “cultural approach”. What should we look for?


kmacd@utsc.utoronto.ca and


What should we try to understand? What should we


maffi@terralingua.org. They would like to express their sin-


do? What have we learned? Different answers are pro-


cere thanks to Olivier Hamerlynck, Jean Larivière and


posed by papers that deal with the USA, Senegal, Gonzalo Oviedo for their most kind help in reading and com-


Tanzania, India, Canada, Indonesia and Madagascar. menting some of the papers in this special issue. Many


Different perspectives give us accounts focusing on thanks also to Jeyran Farvar (jeyran@cenesta.org) who kind-


indigenous rights, the project-based application of ly took care of art work and layout.


social research, the prevention of human-wildlife con-


flicts or the re-invention of traditional norms into Notes


today’s societies. In all cases, we are made amply 1 J. Terborgh, Requiem for Nature, 1999 (emphasis added).


aware of the senselessness of pursuing conservation 2 Richard Leakey, World Parks Congress, September 2003.


without a sufficient understanding of history and cul- 3 Steven E. Sanderson, President of Wildlife Conservation Society,


summarised from an e-mail discussion, 2004..


ture… As stressed by Maffi and other authors in


4 Safari operators sell tourist trips to visit the “big five” (elephant,


Section IV, we are dealing with complex and inter- rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo).


linked bio-cultural phenomena, and the time is ripe to 5 Among them we salute F. Berkes, S. Brechin, M. Cernea, T.


understand them better and to apply that understand- Farvar, M. Gadgil, D. Harmon, J. McNeely, D. Pitt, D. Posey, S.


Stevens and P.C. West.


ing in the practice of conservation.


6 Among such few are M. Pimbert and K. Ghimire.


5


Policy Matters13, November 2004 History, cculture aand cconservation


CCoonnsseerrvvaattiioonn aass CCuullttuurraall aanndd PPoolliittiiccaall PPrraaccttiiccee


Kenneth IIain MMacDonald


TT


funding and consequent neglect of Grand


hirty-three years ago the Evangelical Canyon National Park, this ‘non-natural’


issue marks the greatest public attention


Sisters of Mary, a Catholic order in Pheonix,


that this World Heritage Site has received in


Arizona, donated three plaques to the Grand


years. It reveals the ways in which ‘nature’


Canyon National Park. These plaques quoted


is a contested cultural product—an outcome


Biblical psalms extolling the glory of God


of people’s beliefs and values. But it also


and his creations including, presumably, the


exposes the ways in which ‘real nature’—


Grand Canyon. For three decades, they


the biophysical relations that underlie the


hung outside the gift shop and on a lookout


superimposed meaning of nature—are sub-


tower overlooking the south rim of the


ject to cultural struggles. For years, congres-


canyon. In 2003, however, a park visitor


sional appropriations for national parks—the


approached the American Civil Liberties


money that guides conservation manage-


Union, which subsequently queried the Park


ment and research – have varied with the


Service about the constitutional appropriate-


need of particular representatives to appeal


ness of the plaques and they were taken


to constituencies whose beliefs about nature


down. A protest emerged from the Christian


collide. Conservation, as ideology, practice,


right, including so-called ‘creation scientists’,


and outcome, is deeply embedded in these


and the plaques were re-hung. The Park


cultural struggles. It cannot escape the insti-


Service is currently awaiting a decision from


tutional realities which gave it birth. This is


true not just in the United States, but in any


society, within any cultural group. What peo-


ple take to be ‘nature’ or ‘natural’, the ele-


ments of nature that people deem worthy of


protection, and the forms that protection


take are all dynamic outcomes of experience


andcultural political struggles, wherever


they occur.1


In this paper, I examine what we might call


the ‘culture wars’ surrounding conservation.


In doing so I have a number of objectives:


to consider the utility of the culture con-


(cid:81)


cept in rethinking what we mean by con-


servation and how it is practiced;


Figure 1. Tourists in Grand Canyon National


to provide a brief survey of the use of


Park. Cultural interpretation affects conservation (cid:81)


culture in literature related to conserva-


policy and practice (Courtesy Kenneth Iain


tion; and


MacDonald).


to illustrate a rationale for adopting a


the Department of Justice before taking any (cid:81)


more focused and nuanced treatment of


further action.


culture in conservation research and,


accordingly, practice.


While this debate may seem trivial and local,


it is anything but. Despite decades of under-


6


Policy Matters13, November 2004 Conservation aas ccultural aand ppolitical ppractice


The Culture/Nature Wars  Why culture?


Last year’s meeting of the World Parks Despite different perspectives on the consti-


Congress revealed continuing schisms in the tution of ‘nature’ there is a growing focus


conservation ‘community’ between those among conservation practitioners on the


who seek to address the need to consider ‘culture’ in the formulation


social and cultural issues of conservation policy and programming.


What ppeople ttake tto


raised by historical conser- This derives from (at least) three perspec-


be ‘‘nature’ oor ‘‘natu-


vation practice, and those tives. First, culture is being forced onto the


ral’, tthe eelements oof


who feel that this compro- conservation agenda by groups who are


nature tthat ppeople


mises the focus on ‘con- finally attaining the power and voice to


deem wworthy oof ppro-


servation science’ that express their discontent with historical prac-


tection, aand tthe should underlie all conser- tices that have engendered feelings of


forms tthat pprotection vation practice, and exclusion, dispossession and alienation. The


take aare aall ddynamic detracts from the primary focus on culture also derives from an expec-


‘protectionist’ mission of tation that it can reveal the multiple under-


outcomes oof eexperi-


conservation. This divide is standings of and interest in nature and, per-


ence aand ccultural


likely too neat, but it does haps more importantly. move beyond the


political sstruggles,


reflect positions that stem stereotypes that conjure up images of Third


wherever tthey ooccur.


from different philosophi- World populations whose only interest in


cal perspectives on the nature is to provide for subsistence and


constitution of nature: one grounded in real- development.3 In addition, attention to the


ism that derives from knowledge produced cultures of conservation can contribute to


through rationalist science and interprets understanding the place of ‘nature’ in social


nature as an objective reality. The other is and cultural histories and in contemporary


grounded in constructionism and, while not politics, helping us to understand the


denying the objective reality of biophysical sources of conflict and contestation that sur-


interactions that produce, in part, what most rounds so much conservation practice. It is


of us call nature, asserts that human com- also important to recognise that attention to


munities assign meaning to those biophysi- cultures of conservation requires an opening


cal interactions, through cultural processes.2 up of the concept of culture


Nature in this view is as much a cultural to transformative dialogue, Rarely, ddo pproject


product as an objective reality and must be opposition and collaboration.


proposals oor ccon-


understood as such if conservation practice This requires not only talking


servation pplan-


is to be effective without exercising oppres- about the cultural assump-


ning eengage iin


sive domination. Not surprisingly, these two tions and practices involved


cultural aanalyses


perspectives contribute to different political in conservation but about


of cconservation


ends and different mechanisms for getting the cultural claims surround-


there. But what is important to the study of ing conservation practice practice, oor eeven


conservation is that analysts begin to These require a treatment of bother tto ddefine oor


explore and explain the cultural processes culture as dynamic and describe tthe cconsti-


that produce and regulate environmental strategic, rather than as


tution oof cculture.


knowledge and consequent conservation something absolute and stat-


practice in a plurality of social, political and ic as it is so often represented in the litera-


economic contexts, including social forma- ture of conservation practice.4


tions that typically escape analysis such as


government departments and conservation Rarely, however do project proposals or con-


NGOs.  servation planning documents engage in


sophisticated cultural analyses of conserva-


tion practice, or even bother to define or


7


Policy Matters13, November 2004 History, cculture aand cconservation


describe the constitution of culture. Failing the area of conservation.


to address this complexity leaves ‘culture’ as


a catch-all term, subject to easy dismissal Conservation as a cultural product


by those who would make the distinction


Culture rests on certain abilities—particularly


between culture and science, or culture and


people’s capacity to think symbolically, and


nature—distinctions all too readily made in


to use language and material products and


the world of modernist conservation, as if


practices to organise their lives and their


science and nature are the stuff of objective


environments. This understanding of ‘cul-


reality unaffected by the shared systems of


ture’ has important ramifications for under-


knowledge, communication and practice


standing the politics of conservation for it


(i.e., culture) from which they have


means that what counts as ‘nature’ and ‘the


emerged.5


natural’—the popular objects of conserva-


tion—are culturally defined and not static.


This brief critique of the deployment of cul-


Rather they are dynamic,


ture in conservation is not meant to suggest We ccannot bbe ddis-


and appropriate attitudes


that cultural concerns are unimportant in the and behaviour toward tracted bby tthe ccozy


design and implementation of conservation them are the site of con- invocation oof cconsen-


practice or that they are too diffuse to iden-


stant struggle both within sus ppresent iin mmuch


tify and analyse. On the contrary, my point


and between cultural applied cconservation


is that considerations of culture need to be


groups. We cannot be


writing. TThere aare


much more specific in their definitions and


distracted by the cozy


fractures aand oopposi-


analyses in order to demonstrate the direct


invocation of consensus


relevance of culture to achieving (or failing tions.


present in much applied


to achieve) the ends of conservation. In


conservation writing.


many ways culture has become a term not


There are fractures and oppositions. Social


unlike development or sustainability. Used to


and cultural contradictions exist within the


avoid the need to attend to the specifics of


whole just as they exist within the individ-


context, it relays a vagueness that can lead


ual. In some places this is increasingly true


to operational paralysis. It also indicates a


as the global spread of particular ideologies


failure on the part of modernist conservation


of environment present opportunities for


to treat ‘culture’ seriously. This failure has a


material gain, while challenging existing cul-


number of dimensions and sources. One is


tural knowledge systems.7


certainly the dominance of a rationalist sci-


entific perspective within conservation


Such an understanding of culture leads to a


organisations that is dismissive of the impor-


consideration not simply of the ways in


tance of culture in understanding human-


which conservation is practiced by distinct


environment interactions. This is compound-


cultural groups, but to an understanding of


ed by the failure of the conservation estab-


conservation as a cultural product; as deriv-


lishment to reflect on their own institutional


ing from a system of beliefs and values sym-


cultures and histories, to critically evaluate


bolically expressed within particular knowl-


their modes of knowledge production, and


edge systems that relate to particular pat-


to take ownership of the oppressive acts


terns of behaviour and practice, all of which


committed in the name of conservation.6


are contested. When we understand conser-


One outcome of this has been the simplistic


vation from this perspective, we can begin


treatment of culture by those doing applied


to acknowledge it as a cultural phenomenon


conservation research. And this has been


not simply in the so-called Third World but


added to by the failure of academics who


also in places – like Europe and North


adhere to a complex and nuanced under-


America - where, based on self-representa-


standing of culture to engage with work in


tions, ‘subjective culture’ would seem to


8


Policy Matters13, November 2004


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