GEOG 430
Human Use of the Environment

Week 9 Reading


Required Reading:

West, P., J. Igoe and D. Brockington (2006). "Parks and people: The social impact of protected areas." Annual Review of Anthropology 35: 251-277

In this article examines the roles indigenous people play in managing global biodiversity through supervising their own lands. The article draws on previous literature to determine the spatial extent of indigenous lands and what portion of these lands are in protected areas. The article explains how much of the word’s remaining natural lands are in the domain of indigenous people. The authors argue for a bottom up an approach for safeguarding biodiversity, which would allow indigenous people agency in determining their own land management. The article also cautions against forcing indigenous people into conservation practices that run counter to their cultural heritage.

Garnett, S. T., Burgess, N. D., Fa, J. E., Fernández-Llamazares, Á., Molnár, Z., Robinson, C. J., ... & Collier, N. F. (2018). A spatial overview of the global importance of Indigenous lands for conservation. Nature Sustainability, 1(7), 369.

This article begins by summarizing the status and growth of protected landscapes around the world. The authors then contextualize how national parks govern ecological areas and shape people’s views on nature. The author’s first major critique of parks is the displacement of indigenous people from their lands, citing the creation of Yellowstone as an example. The article explains how the forced relocation of indigenous people can lead to conflict, and their removal might result in changes in the landscape. The authors move on to criticize ecotourism because it can change how indigenous people interacting with their natural surroundings. Ecotourism can also create economic inequality between indigenous people and is a potential source of conflict as poorer communities are financially excluded from the protected areas. The authors argue that conservation can function similarly to colonialism because it can force ingenious people into fixed societal and physical spaces. The authors conclude by encouraging ecologists to take indigenous people into account when developing conservation strategies.