Séminaire de Recherche

Le local dans la valorisation et mise en scène des patrimoine

Les organisateurs du séminaire vous invitent à participer à la prochaine séance prévue

Mardi 16 avril 2013 au MNHN – 14H30 à 17H00

« Grand Amphithéâtre d’Entomologie»
45 rue Buffon – Paris 5ème – Métro Austerlitz

Intervention  – Mélis ECE  

« Eviction for Conservation : Appropriation of Nature and Postcolonial State Formation at the Margins, the Case of the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal  »

Abstract :

Recent research on emerging global phenomenon of “green grabbing” stresses that nature is increasingly becoming a source of profit (commodification of nature) and a source of inequality (processes of accumulation by dispossession) One of the questions central to our current understanding of green grabbing is whether or not and, to what extend green grabbing constitutes a new form of appropriation of nature and land.  On the one hand, we observe the rise of new “hybrid” players who, seemingly detached from any local context, act under the commercial logic of neoliberalism. They are locked in political struggle over redefining cultural and economic valuing of nature and, rules of authority over access, use and management of resources. On the other hand, looked more closely, we can identify the dynamics of long duree processes of capitalist transformation of agrarian relations, colonial strategies of governance and forms resource alienation, carried out by old actors wearing new hats. This presentation argues that, in order to understand the current forms of neoliberal resource appropriation and how green grabbing becomes solidified on the ground, we need to understand historical and local contexts where these seemingly dislocated discourses and practices are being inserted and transformed.

In order to contextualize and nuance our understanding of land and green grabbing in the present, I propose to look more closely to one specific form of resource appropriation and dispossession: eviction from national parks. Although evictions from national parks occurred all around the world, Senegal constitutes an interesting case, as evictions occurred in the aftermath of independence movements, when development became the raison d’etre and source of legitimacy of the postcolonial state. Focusing on this important transition period between 1960 and 1974, I trace the transformations of conservation institutions in Senegal and how postcolonial state appropriation of land and natural resources for environmental ends was justified by development as “public” purpose.

This analysis would also show that eviction was not an exceptional and punctual “event” and an unfortunate result of past coercive conservation policies imposed from outside.  Based on field and archival research, it will show that the making of “national park territories” took more than ten years of sustained pressure and effort to extend the conservation regime outside of the national park. Evictions were the most visible result of a long-term process, involving not only legal and administrative changes but also political strategies aiming at weakening local elites and powerful chiefs, who were seen as obstacles to administrative reforms and state appropriations in the name of conservation. The mass displacement of thousands of people from the national park laid the grounds for individualized decentralized evictions of already evicted people, when the neoliberal decentralization policies would be implemented.

* Melis Ece, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society (LYY), University of Eastern Finland

Les organisateurs du séminaire  : Marie-Christine Cormier-Salem (géographe, IRD), Yves Girault (muséologue, MNHN),  Dominique Guillaud (géographe/géographie culturelle, IRD), Bernard Roussel (ethnobotaniste, MNHN) de

l’UMR 208 « Patrimoines Locaux » et Dominique Juhé-Beaulaton (historienne, CNRS) de l’UMR 7206 « Eco-Anthropologie »

Retrouver toutes les informations et le programme du séminaire sur le site www.paloc.ird.fr / page manifestations scientifique

Renseignement – Contact : Ludivine Goisbault –  paloc@mnhn.fr –  Tél : 01.40.79.36.70
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle – UMR 208 «  Patrimoines Locaux » – MNHN/IRD –  Département Hommes, Natures, Sociétés –  57 rue Cuvier  – CP 26 – 75231 Paris cedex  05

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