Webinar #9: Power and Politics in Community Conservation

Webinar #9: Power and Politics in Community Conservation

Issues of power and politics are at the heart of community conservation which in turn influences its ultimate success and failure. Power is central to understanding processes and structures associated with resource and environmental conservation. This may be particularly important in the case of community conservation which is widespread throughout the world. Despite its importance, there remains limited empirical attention to the actual workings of power in environmental settings, and particularly with regards to conditions determining the success and failure of community conservation (i.e. lack of attention to the complex and dynamic economic, social, historical, cultural and political conditions). A limited attention to empirical analysis of power is also apparent in fisheries and coastal management. For example, power is considered an understated and understudied issue in coastal and fisheries management, and there is in reality little discussion on what it means and how it manifests. Drawing from these insights, I will focus on power and politics as they relate to community conservation with specific reference to the strategies and tactics used by various actors either to grab power or ways in which communities in conservation respond to forces causing disempowerment. I plan to provide some initial insights on possible methods and tools used by the community conservation groups to realize their rights, deal with injustices, and gain power to further livelihood and conservation objectives. My reflections in this webinar be largely based on the contents of a paper on which several CCRN members are currently working.