372 pages, 10 maps, figs, tabs
Reflecting new thinking about conservation in Southeast Asia, Beyond the Sacred Forest is the product of a unique collaboration involving ethnographic research in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Scholars from those countries and the United States rethink the translation of environmental concepts between East and West, particularly ideas of nature and culture; what conservation might mean; and how conservation policy is applied and transformed in the everyday landscapes of Southeast Asia. As this collection of essays demonstrates, the researchers focus more on folk, community, and vernacular conservation discourses than on those of institutions and the state.
Thick with ethnographic detail, their essays provide powerful examples of why social, political, historical, and economic factors are central to the success or failure of conservation initiatives. Natural resource managers and policy makers who accept and work with these factors are likely to enjoy greater and more enduring success than those who simply seek to remove the influence and impact of humans from the landscape. As many of the essays suggest, this requires the ability to manage contradictions, to relinquish orthodox ideas of what conservation looks like, and to practice continuously adaptive management techniques. It requires practitioners who are deeply reflexive and able to focus less on short-term goals and more on long-term engagement with the relationships between people and nature.
Contributors: Upik Djalins; Amity A. Doolittle; Michael R. Dove; Levita Duhaylungsod; Emily E. Harwell; Jeyamalar Kathirithamby-Wells; Lye Tuck-Po; Percy E. Sajise; Endah Sulistyawati; Yunita T. Winarto
Beyond the Sacred Forest is a sophisticated and thoughtful engagement with fundamental conceptual pillars of modern-day conservation politics. Based on sustained and systematic field-based studies enriched by deep theoretical development, this book's ideas will educate students and decision makers alike as they grapple with the meanings of progress, justice, and sustainability as shaped via the complex interplay among nature, power, and culture. Arun Agrawal, author of Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects
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