Friday, May 15, 2015

International Conservation and the “Naturalization” of Indigenous People

The Journal of the History of Ideas recently published Raf de Bont's “'Primitives' and Protected Areas: International Conservation and the 'Naturalization' of Indigenous People, ca. 1910–1975". The abstract:
This article explores a long-standing discursive tradition within international nature conservation. In this tradition the argument is made that “primitive” people should be allowed to live in the areas the conservationists deem as “pristine” or “natural.” The article explores the (changing) relative importance of this tradition in the conservation discourse as a whole, and analyzes the shifting composition of its argumentative arsenal from the 1910s to the 1970s. Particular attention goes to the uneasy combination of two types of argument: one in which indigenous people are presented as part of nature, another in which their customary rights are stressed.
Tagbanua in Culion, Phillipines (Bulakbol)

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