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What Makes a Panther a Panther?

Genetics, Human Perceptions, and the Complexity of Species Categorization

Catherine Macdonald and Julia Wester

Abstract

Species categorizations can involve both scientific input and conservation questions about what should be preserved and how. We present a case study exploring the social construction of species categories using a real-life example of a cougar subspecies (Puma concolor stanleyana) purposefully introduced into Florida to prevent the functional extinction of a related subspecies of panther (P. c. coryi). Participants in an online sample (n = 500) were asked to make categorization decisions and then reflect on those decisions in an open format. Analysis of coded responses suggest people may experience “species” as both a social and biological construct, and that the question of what species people think an animal belongs to cannot be answered in isolation from questions about how that animal fits into larger social and biological systems.

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Angélica Rodríguez Rodríguez and Carlos Enrique Guzmán Mendoza

Full article is in Spanish.

English abstract: This article analyses how, during the period from 2013 to 2017, popular consultation was used by nine Colombian municipalities to slow mining and hydrocarbon exploitation due to their harmful socio-environmental impact. In order to do so, we review the concept of sustainable development in relation with the legal mechanisms employed to its promotion and defense. We present the developments of the extractive sector in Colombia and discuss the nine popular consultations promoted by the municipal authorities. We conclude that despite the suitability of popular consultation, it has proved to be ineffective to stop the extractive projects that generate harmful effects on the communities where they are developed.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo analiza cómo, durante el periodo 2013–2017, la consulta popular fue utilizada por nueve municipios colombianos para frenar la explotación minera y de hidrocarburos dado su dañino impacto socioambiental. Para ello, revisamos el concepto de desarrollo sostenible en relación con los mecanismos legales empleados para su promoción y defensa. Presentamos los desarrollos del sector extractivo en Colombia y discutimos las nueve consultas populares adelantadas por los entes municipales. Concluimos que, a pesar de su idoneidad, la consulta popular ha resultado poco efectiva para detener los proyectos extractivos que generan efectos nocivos sobre las comunidades donde se desarrollan.

French abstract: Cet article analyse comment, au cours de la période 2013-2017, une consultation populaire a été menée dans neuf municipalités colombiennes sur l’exploitation minière et des hydrocarbures, en lien avec leur impact socio-environnemental. Pour ce faire, nous procédons d’abord à une révision du concept de développement durable par rapport aux mécanismes juridiques utilisés pour sa promotion et sa défense. Nous présentons ensuite les développements du secteur extractif en Colombie et analysons les neuf consultations menées par les autorités municipales. Finalement, nous concluons que, malgré son utilité, la consultation populaire s’est révélée inefficace pour mettre un terme aux projets d’extraction là où ils ont eu des effets néfastes sur les communautés.

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Distributing Responsibilities in an Agricultural Ecosystem

Insights from the Lake Naivasha Water Basin in Kenya

Gaële Rouillé-Kielo

This article explores the responses to acknowledged anthropogenic transformations of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, whose ecosystem is considered to have been disturbed by the intensification of agricultural uses of natural resources (notably land and water) over the last half century. It examines the ways in which a “payments for environmental services” (PES) project has been implemented, reflecting the rationale of ecological modernization. This article aims to challenge the environmental narrative that supports the project by revealing its oversimplifications. Empirical data demonstrates how the environmental issues addressed by the project are embedded in historically inherited land trajectories. This in turn forces us to reflect on the necessary question of responsibility, an issue at the heart of the debate since the emergence of the Anthropocene concept.

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Extraterritorial migration control in Malaysia

Militarized, externalized, and regionalized

Choo Chin Low

English abstract: This article examines how migration control in Malaysia has been transformed in response to non-traditional security threats. Since the 2010s, the state has expanded the territorial reach of its immigration enforcement through trilateral border patrol initiatives and multilateral defense establishments. Malaysia’s extraterritorial policy is mostly implemented through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) frameworks. Common geopolitical security concerns, particularly the transnational crime and terrorism confronted by Malaysia and its bordering countries, have led to extraterritorial control measures to secure its external borders. Key elements include the growing involvement of the army, the institutionalization of border externalization, and the strengthening of the ASEAN’s regional immigration cooperation. By analyzing the ASEAN’s intergovernmental collaboration, this article demonstrates that Malaysia’s extraterritorial migration practices are militarized, externalized, and regionalized.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo examina la transformación del control migratorio en Malasia en respuesta a las amenazas de seguridad no tradicionales. Desde 2010, el estado aumentó el alcance territorial de su control migratorio a través de patrullas fronterizas trilaterales y establecimiento de defensa multilateral. La política extraterritorial de Malasia tiene como marco principal la Asociación de Naciones del Sureste Asiático (ASEAN en inglés). Las preocupaciones de seguridad geopolítica comunes, particularmente los delitos y el terrorismo transnacional, provocaron medidas de control extraterritorial para asegurar sus fronteras externas. Los elementos clave son la creciente implicación del ejército, la institucionalización de la externalización de fronteras y el fortalecimiento de la cooperación regional en inmigración de ASEAN. Este artículo demuestra que las prácticas migratorias extraterritoriales de Malasia están militarizadas, externalizadas y regionalizadas.

French abstract: L’article analyse les changements apportés aux services de con trôle de la migration en Malaisie. Depuis 2010, l’État a étendu son champ d’action et mis en place des initiatives de patrouilles frontalières trilatérales, de défense multilatérale et une police extraterritoriale déployée sous l’impulsion de l’Association des nations de l’Asie du Sud-Est (ANASE). Les problèmes de sécurité géopolitique, comme la criminalité transnationale et le terrorisme qui sévissent en Malaisie et dans les pays voisins, ont donné lieu à des mesures extraterritoriales pour sécuriser les frontières extérieures. Parmi elles, figurent l’implication de l’armée, l’externalisation institutionnalisée du contrôle aux frontières et le renforcement de la coopération de l’ANASE en matière d’immigration. Par l’analyse de cette coopération intergouvernementale, cet article démontre que la politique migratoire malaisienne est régie par la militarisation, l’externalisation et la régionalisation.

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Fragile Transfers

Index Insurance and the Global Circuits of Climate Risks in Senegal

Sara Angeli Aguiton

In recent years, Senegal’s developed a program of index insurance to cover farmers from economic losses due to drought. I investigate this emerging market in light of Jane Guyer’s question: “What is a ‘risk’ as a transacted ‘thing’?” To grasp the social practices required to make “rainfall deficit” a transferable risk, I explore the climate and market infrastructure that brings it into existence and follows actors who function as brokers allowing the risk to circulate from Senegalese fields to the global reinsurance industry. I show that the strategies set up to convince farmers to integrate a green and rational capitalist management of climate risks are very fragile, and the index insurance program only endures because it is embedded in the broader political economy of rural development based on debt and international aid.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Two important themes highlighted by Regions & Cohesion have been migration and governance. The first of these themes remains timely in 2019. Human flows are a constant in the globalized world. According to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, “everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.” Moreover, “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” However, migration policies today seem to follow a diff erent path from the human rights perspective. The political discourse of leaders of various developed states mostly advocate nationalist claims against free immigration based on economic, cultural, or security logics that favor protectionism.

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Hesitant Recognition

Toward a Crop Ontology among Sugar Beet Farmers in Western Poland

Dong Ju Kim

In response to climate change, sustainability has become the keyword for exploring alternative ways of cultivation in different parts of the world. However, local farmers still understand these sustainable alternatives in terms of soil nutrients and their absorption by crops. I examine how sugar beet farmers in western Poland read the condition of crops and field conditions, and accordingly try to cope with agricultural droughts in spring and early summer. While they maintain a practical position that is extremely inductivist, they simultaneously allow for symbolic, indexical meanings. These meanings of farming practices are multilayered and evoke relationships, local histories, and traditions. The farmers accept the reality of climate change only hesitantly, and their aspiration of gaining recognition in Europe has only started to penetrate the multilayered indexical meanings of farming practices.

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Introduction

Agri-cultures in the Anthropocene

Martin Skrydstrup and Hyun-Gwi Park

Today when we think about climate change and Greenland, we do not think about agriculture, but of the melting ice. Perhaps the most evocative articulation of this connection was made in December 2015, when Paris was hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21. At this event, artist Olafur Elisasson and geologist Minik Rosing exhibited their art installation Ice Watch at the Place du Pantheon: a circle of icebergs with a circumference of twenty meters, which resembled a watch ticking and/or a compass providing orientation for the world’s leaders in the palm of Paris. The ice had been transported by tugboat from the harbor of Nuuk—Greenland’s capital—to France. The captain of the tugboat was Kuupik Kleist, former prime minister of Greenland, who was quoted saying: “Ninety per cent of our country is covered by ice. It is a great part of our national identity. We follow the international discussion, of course, but to every Greenlander, just by looking out the window at home, it is obvious that something dramatic is happening” (Zarin 2015).

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Hyun-Gwi Park

This article presents an ethnographic study of watermelon cultivators in the Russian Far East and how they approach and respond to climatic risk. For watermelon cultivators, the spatial boundaries of climatic risk are perceived as the baseline condition for the watermelon market, in which cultivators compete with each other by dealing with uncertainties caused by weather changes. While the market is linked to the spatial boundaries of climatic risk, this connection is only meaningful when there are weather changes that differently affect individuals within the boundary; weather changes that affect individual performance in the competitive watermelon market is perceived according to a recursive and cyclic timescale, rather than a linear one as discussed by most theories of the Anthropocene.

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People, Clouds, and Roots

Between the Unseen, the Seen, and the Unforeseen

Yunita T. Winarto, Sue Walker, and Rhino Ariefiansyah

Various studies reveal the paradox of farmers’ local knowledge. Farmers are equipped with traditional cosmology and detailed empirical knowledge of their agricultural habitats. However, these same knowledge frameworks seem to contribute to entrapping farmers in a mind-set that prevents them from understanding the diverse unintended consequences of changes in their environment. To avoid this, we utilize the learning arena of science field shops (SFSs) to help farmers better understand the relationships at work from the “clouds to the roots and in between”, and to address ongoing changes and vulnerabilities in the environment. This article seeks to explain the changes that occurred to farmers following the learning they acquired from SFSs and its impact on their anticipation and decision making.