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Accepted Paper:

The Great Bear Rainforest - Protected Areas, Ecosystem-based management and TEK in a contested landscape  
Saskia Brill (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt Munich)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to analyze the dynamic, long-lasting, and still ongoing negotiations around the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest between First Nations, industry, environmental groups, and the state.

Paper long abstract:

Conservation has been the one dominating political theme on Canada's Pacific central and north coast for decades. What began with protests from Indigenous groups against the industrial use of natural resources from their traditional territories in the 1970s, culminated in the "War in the Woods" in the 1990s between the forestry industry, environmental organizations, First Nations, and a settler-colonial government.

From these confrontations evolved a unique path towards a new land-use regime that aims for healthy ecosystems just as much as for sustainable socio-economic betterment for the indigenous communities living in them. After more than 20 years of heated debates in hundreds of meetings, international media campaigns, dozens of pieces of legislation, and a lot of listening and learning from Indigenous knowledge keepers, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement was signed in 2016. The Act puts large parts of forest under protection and asks for Ecosystem-based Management in the remaining areas. But conflicts are not over since. Depleting fish stocks, oil and gas infrastructures, as well as climate change, keep the current arrangement under pressure.

This paper aims to analyze the dynamic, long-lasting, and still ongoing negotiations around the contested landscape, now called the Great Bear Rainforest. By looking at its drivers, means and outcomes, I want to highlight especially the shifted relations of power between the state, the holders of Title and Rights as well as the stakeholders of the land and how this affects reconciliation negotiations today.

Panel P050b
Transformations in the anthropology of conservation II
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -