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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 280-322

Changing Protection Policies and Ethnographies of Environmental Engagement

Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, Roscoe Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Ben Campbell
Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, Roscoe Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Attempts to protect nature by control of human intervention in areas demarcated for biodiversity have given rise to difficult questions of practicality and social justice. This introduction to a set of studies by anthro­pologists on the relationship between conservation and local community re­sponses to protection measures, looks at the twin processes of rethinking conservation in socially inclusive ways and theoretical developments in view­ing human relationships with environments that emphasise their interactive qualities. Whereas oppositional contrasts between nature and society charac­terised both conservation and anthropology in most of the twentieth century, more mutualistic frameworks are now emergent. Participatory conservation seeks to give voice to local concerns and indigenous perspectives, while social theory has increasingly recognised the cultural and political baggage that ac­companies attempts to impose natural states on environments characterised by histories of human-environmental engagement. A central focus is given to the dynamics of place in this special issue, so that the impacts of global agen­das for nature protection are viewed from the grounded positions of people's lives and their ways of thinking about and dealing with the changes brought about by conservation measures, which reconfigure relations of community, territory and resources

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