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Discourse on Knowledge, Dialogue and Diversity: Peasant Worldviews and the Science of Nature Conservation

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

This article suggests that people endowed with an ecosystem operate within their own tradition of knowledge and can offer a useful critique of the increasingly globalised schemes of nature conservation such as parks, sanctuaries and biodiversity preserves. I compare and contrast two competing proposals for nature conservation. While one is the conservation strategy based upon in-farm nurturing of the biodiversity that adheres to the cultural diversity of people residing in an ecosystem, the other is a strategy that excludes the ecosystem people in order to conserve nature. But the contest between the two is not about whether nature should be kept pristine or be made available for human use; it is about the scale of use and the mode of use. It is about who should use, how much, and for what purpose. The debate is also about what kinds of technologies are going to be used in preserving as well as harvesting, using as well as enhancing nature. Ultimately, it is about the very nature of the relationship between human collectivity and non-human collectivity.

Affiliations: 1: Syracuse University Syracuse, New York


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