Research Seminar | Conservation Conflicts: Perspectives & Implications

June 25th, 2018 | 3 – 5pm | Lumen 1

Steve Redpath | An ecologist in conflict | Abstract: My work has focused on conflicts that emerge over the management and conservation of species around the world. I will give a couple of examples and explore how these conflicts are described. I will consider stakeholder and researcher goals and roles and explore some of the challenges to managing such conflicts.

Jelle Behagel | Forest fantasies: anxiety, repression, and sublimation | Abstract: The relationship between humans and nature is highly fantasmatic: is it a fundamental scheme by which we both make sense of the world and establish an affective relationship with it. In other words, the fantasies we have about nature allow us to interact with it, to be in nature, to take from it, and to make it into something else. Moreover, the fantasmatic quality of nature makes that its loss can make us anxious, and its presence can calm us down. I will use the example of global reforestation schemes to illustrate that forest fantasies are not just in our minds, but also in our politics. Accordingly, I argue that the different forest fantasies that people have are at the centre of numerous conservation conflicts. Following (Anna) Freud, these conflicts can be repressed, sublimated, and many things in-between.

Lisa Trogisch | Geographies of fear: the geopolitics of green violence and emotionality around the transboundary Virunga conservation area | Abstract: Recent dynamics of militarization and securitisation around the transboundary Virunga Conservation Area (VCA) between Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo, last habitat of endangered mountain gorillas, exemplify how the role of rangers exceeds the protection of flora and fauna to a ‘responsibility to protect’ tourists and national borders. I propose that ranger’s responsibilities in the VCA are instilled by geopolitical security narratives creating ‘geographies of fear’ – an emotional landscape of ‘dangerous’ and no-go-areas. How do rangers perceive and perform these geopolitical landscapes in their day-to-day conservation tasks?

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