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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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SPECIAL ISSUE: EXPLORING CONVIVIAL CONSERVATION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-91

Conviviality in Disrupted Socionatural Landscapes: Ecological Peacebuilding around Akagera National Park


Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Kent State University School of Peace and Conflict Studies, Ohio, USA; Research conducted at: University of Rwanda Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management, Huye, Rwanda

Correspondence Address:
Elaine (Lan Yin) Hsiao
Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Kent State University School of Peace and Conflict Studies, Ohio; Research conducted at: University of Rwanda Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management, Huye, Rwanda

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_24_21

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Convivial conservation presents itself as a vision of radical cohabitation across the Whole Earth, requiring people at the fringes of protected areas or people everywhere to manage day-to-day coexistence and conflicts with non-human species. This article assesses human-wildlife conflict interventions—an electric fence, compensation for wildlife damages, and traditional ecological knowledge—in a disrupted socionatural landscape, Akagera National Park in Rwanda, from the perspective of a framework of ecological peace. Ecological peace is defined through Galtung's (1969) theory of negative peace (freedom from direct violence) and positive peace (freedom from physical, cultural, and structural violence) as applied to relations between human and non-human species. While barriers and compensation schemes may make sense from the perspective of the conservation community's interests in reducing the negative impacts of wildlife on people, or vice versa, and especially towards improving people's perceptions of wildlife and environmental conservation, these human-wildlife conflict interventions may offer only negative ecological peace. Convivial conservation requires human-wildlife conflict interventions to go beyond negative and liberal peace approaches towards positive ecological peace to transform human and non-human relations for radical cohabitation across the Whole Earth.


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