Accepted paper:

The environmental governance in Sri Lanka: a case study of nature conservation projects in Southern communities.


Caroline Rosillon (University of Li├Ęge)

Paper short abstract:

For the purpose of this paper, I will analyze the current stakes of environmental governance in southern rural societies, exemplified by a case study of nature conservation projects in southern Sri Lanka.

Paper long abstract:

This paper addresses the issue of new local governance models emerging from nature conservation projects in rural communities of Southern Sri-Lanka. Through this case study, this paper focuses on local governance as an interactional process through which different stakeholders and institutions negotiate public resource management. Nature conservation projects in Sri Lanka illustrate the stakes of environmental governance, which involves various kinds of actors (local communities, NGOs and civil society, the State, international institutions, etc.). First, I will focus on how those projects are appropriated by various groups of people in line with their interests and strategies. Second, I will question the emergence of new relationships between the State and local populations that those projects bring about. In fact, the increasing number of projects in rural communities may lead to new forms of State intervention, as well as external entities, in people's daily lives, and participate to the appearance of new local figures of power. I will finally stress the interactions between different kinds of environmental ideologies and knowledge and demonstrate how new hybrid models of understanding and managing natural resources emerge locally. This paper uses a Sri Lankan example in order to analyze the current stakes of environmental governance in southern rural societies. My aim is to develop a better understanding of the social and cultural issues of biodiversity protection from an anthropological point of view. The final objective is to improve the relevance of these projects in regards to local populations.

panel PE23
Social anthropology and natural resources