Anthropology | People and Protected Areas
E444 | 27386 | Tucker


The creation of protected areas has become a principal tool for
attempting to conserve endangered natural resources.   Yet biosphere
reserves, national parks and nature reserves often have unanticipated
impacts on indigenous and local populations.  In certain cases,
failure to consider sociocultural implications has led to rapid
environmental degradation rather than conservation.  Environmental
conservation also carries implications for cultural survival.  A
majority of the world’s indigenous and aboriginal populations live in
the world’s least degraded environments, but at times park
establishment has involved the forcible expulsion of native peoples
from their land. As a result, many doubts have been raised over the
effectiveness of protected areas.  This seminar-style course explores
a broad range of questions and debates surrounding protected areas. It
considers major theories and approaches to conservation, from
"fortress conservation" to community-based and participatory
strategies, as well as the potential of ecotourism.  It evaluates
outcomes and unintended consequences of protected areas, with a
special interest in the conundrums posed by growing human demands for
increasingly depleted and threatened natural resources. We will debate
a range of crucial questions, such as (1) Are cultural survival and
environmental conservation competing or complimentary goals?  (2)  Are
protected areas effective? Given the varying goals of different
protected areas, how are we to assess effectiveness? (3)  How can
conflicting demands of multiple stakeholders be met constructively?
(4) Can natural resources be managed sustainably to meet competing
demands for conservation and development? If so, how?  If not, how to
prioritize conservation or immediate human needs?  Theoretical
perspectives will be juxtaposed with actual case studies of parks and
reserves from around the world.

The class will meet once a week, and will be run as a graduate
seminar. Students are expected to be prepared for discussion for each
class. Evaluation: Grades will be based upon participation in
discussions, reading responses, a class presentation and a final
project.  Prerequisites: Undergraduates must have taken a 300-level
course or above in the social sciences.  Graduate students do not need
to fulfill any prerequisites to take this course.