A peculiar idea of “nature” has colonized the Galapagos islands even before the Ecuadorian State and before the islands’ current inhabitants. The idea of protecting the local biodiversity from any kind of alien species (including human beings) has had an enormous impact upon the socio-economic, political and biological regulation of the islands, but has been ineffective in avoiding the collapse of the local ecosystem. We focus, particularly, on the shift from the conservation strategies that have been dominant until the 1990s, toward the more recent concerns for “sustainable human development”, the introduction of an autonomous political status for Galapagos and the failed attempts to obtain a more equitable distribution of the benefits arising from eco-tourism and the conservation industry. In order to understand such an impasse and to see how “conservation” may eventually be “against nature” (Grenier 2007), we compare two alternative conceptual frameworks. On the one hand, according to a political-economy perspective, we may say that the “conservationists’ compromise” between scientific institutions, the State and the eco-tourism industry, is not so easy to challenge, given the power of these particular interests. On the other hand, according to a post-structural reading, we stress the linkages between this power and the peculiar kind of knowledge that dominates the discourse of “nature”, the environment and biodiversity. Such power/knowledge, we argue, creates a post-political condition in which “science” and “experts” substitute traditional political institutions, leading to a paradoxical situation in which the politics of nature is everywhere, while environmental policies are completely ineffective.

“CONSERVATION AGAINST NATURE” AND THE POST-POLITICAL CONDITION IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS / Celata, Filippo; Sanna, VENERE STEFANIA. - ELETTRONICO. - (2010), pp. 1-2. ((Intervento presentato al convegno AAG 2010 Annual Meeting tenutosi a Washington, DC nel 14-18 APRILE 2010.

“CONSERVATION AGAINST NATURE” AND THE POST-POLITICAL CONDITION IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

CELATA, Filippo;SANNA, VENERE STEFANIA
2010

Abstract

A peculiar idea of “nature” has colonized the Galapagos islands even before the Ecuadorian State and before the islands’ current inhabitants. The idea of protecting the local biodiversity from any kind of alien species (including human beings) has had an enormous impact upon the socio-economic, political and biological regulation of the islands, but has been ineffective in avoiding the collapse of the local ecosystem. We focus, particularly, on the shift from the conservation strategies that have been dominant until the 1990s, toward the more recent concerns for “sustainable human development”, the introduction of an autonomous political status for Galapagos and the failed attempts to obtain a more equitable distribution of the benefits arising from eco-tourism and the conservation industry. In order to understand such an impasse and to see how “conservation” may eventually be “against nature” (Grenier 2007), we compare two alternative conceptual frameworks. On the one hand, according to a political-economy perspective, we may say that the “conservationists’ compromise” between scientific institutions, the State and the eco-tourism industry, is not so easy to challenge, given the power of these particular interests. On the other hand, according to a post-structural reading, we stress the linkages between this power and the peculiar kind of knowledge that dominates the discourse of “nature”, the environment and biodiversity. Such power/knowledge, we argue, creates a post-political condition in which “science” and “experts” substitute traditional political institutions, leading to a paradoxical situation in which the politics of nature is everywhere, while environmental policies are completely ineffective.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/504623
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