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Accepted Paper:

Neorurals and natural protected areas in post-crisis-neoliberal Europe: new subjects, new values, and new conflicts.  
Jose A. Cortes-Vazquez (University of A Coruña)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at the changes affecting neorural communities living in natural protected areas in the south of Europe, following the impact that the 2008 economic crisis has had on nature conservation policies

Paper long abstract:

The economic and political upheaval created by the 2008 economic crisis has deeply affected conservation policies in natural protected areas (NPAs) in Europe. This is having deep implications for the people living in NPAs. Among them, there is one social group that have received specially little attention, despite the important role that they play in nature conservation: neorural inhabitants. On one hand, utopian and amenity migrations have historically been linked to the designation of NPAs and their urban ideas of a 'natural idyll' have inspired much conservation planning. On the other hand, neorural groups have usually encountered opposition from other local groups with dissimilar interests and lifestyles, which make them an essential component in the study of people-park conflicts.

In this paper I analyse how the economic crisis has affected neorural groups in NPAs in the south of Spain. I look at a two key elements: New forms of neoliberal environmentality, brought about by neoliberal public policies; and new environmental knowledges and values that derive from the commoditisation of protected nature. I analyse both elements vis-à-vis a number of new disputes and alliances that are transforming the social milieu of NPAs. These disputes involve old neorurals (who moved to protected areas in a pre-crisis context in search of a natural idyll), newcomers (neorurals that have just moved to these locations in a post-crisis context in search of a job in the growing green economy), and other local communities (farmers, fishermen, shepherds…)

Panel P066
"Green policies" and people living inside European protected areas
  Session 1