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Wild Profusion: Biodiversity Conservation in an Indonesian Archipelago

By: Celia Lowe

196 pages, 10 halftones. 2 tables

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Dec 2006 | #160402 | ISBN: 0691124620
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NHBS Price: £19.95 $24/€22 approx
Hardback | Dec 2006 | #160403 | ISBN: 0691124612
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About this book

&i;Wild Profusion&o; tells the fascinating story of biodiversity conservation in Indonesia in the decade culminating in the great fires of 1997-98 - a time when the country's environment became a point of concern for social and environmental activists, scientists, and the many fishermen and farmers nationwide who suffered from degraded environments and faced accusations that they were destroying nature. Celia Lowe argues that biodiversity, in 1990s Indonesia, implied a particular convergence of nature, nation, science, and identity that made Indonesians' mapping of the concept distinct within transnational practices of nature conservation at the time.

Lowe recounts the efforts of Indonesian biologists to document the species of the Togean Islands, to "develop" Togean people, and to turn this archipelago off the coast of Sulawesi into a national park. Indonesian scientists aspired to a conservation biology that was both internationally recognizable and politically effective in the Indonesian context. Simultaneously, Lowe describes the experiences of Togean Sama people who had their own understandings of nature and nation. To place Sama and scientist into the same conceptual frame, Lowe studies Sama ideas in the context of transnational thought rather than local knowledge.

In tracking the practice of conservation biology in a postcolonial setting, Wild Profusion explores what in nature can count as important and for whom.


Preface vii Acknowledgments xiii List of Abbreviations xvii INTRODUCTION: Between the Human and the Wild Profusion 1 PART ONE: Diversity as Milieu 27 CHAPTER ONE: Making the Monkey 33 CHAPTER TWO: The Social Turn 53 PART TWO: Togean Cosmopolitics 75 CHAPTER THREE: Extraterrestrial Others 81 CHAPTER FOUR: On the (Bio)logics of Species and Bodies 106 PART THREE: Integrating Conservation and Development 129 CHAPTER FIVE: Fishing with Cyanide 135 CHAPTER SIX: The Sleep of Reason 154 Appendix: Scientific, Military, and Commercial Explorations in the Togean Islands and Vicinity: 1680-1999 167 Notes 171 References 181 Index 193

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Celia Lowe is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington.

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