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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 : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-112

'Rooting,' For Change: The Role of Culture Beyond Resilience and Adaptation

Thompson Writing Center, Duke University, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence Address:
Paolo Bocci
Thompson Writing Center, Duke University, North Carolina
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_7_21

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Confronted with concerns about rising biodiversity loss and pollution, conservation on the Galápagos has recently moved away from the goal of preserving pristine ecosystems to managing a complex socio-ecological system (SES). While acknowledging the positive aspects of this model, this article shows that the conceptualisation of “the human factor” in resilient SESs often limits local participation to compliance to existing plans of conservation. In so doing, I argue that participation under resilience ignores the potential that a more nuanced understanding of humans' relation to non-human nature poses for rethinking conservation as a whole. Drawing on ethnographic research, I discuss how local farmers affirm arraigo (a culture of belonging), in contrast to the imaginary of inhospitable islands that can only be visited—either for tourism or scientific research. By showing farmers' active role in the highlands, this article expands on the potential for 'convivial conservation' to reframe the traditional (and limiting) framework for local participation in conservation. This role offers important lessons about transitioning conservation away from a northern, protectionist agenda towards one that is driven by social justice and local agenda.

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