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The panel offers a critical assessment of the landscape turn in conservation. Drawing on different perspectives, the panel will discuss to what extent the idea of landscape has any political, cultural or spiritual purchase with Indigenous peoples and/local communities.
Recently, geographers and political ecologists have begun to examine the effects of the landscape turn in conservation science and practice (Clay 2016, 2019, McCall 2016, Bluwstein 2018). However, there are few anthropological studies into landscape conservation initiatives in non-western/post-colonial contexts that take the notion of landscape seriously as an object of research. For instance, there is little understanding as to whether, and if, then how, non-western ontologies and epistemologies of living with nature and practicing nature conservation draw on the western concept of landscape or similar locally meaningful but equivalent concepts. And if such concepts exist, how similar and equivalent are they to the western notion of landscape?
To explore these questions, this panel invites abstract submissions and will include discussants. The panel will bring different perspectives (Indigenous, anthropology, cultural geography, conservation/advocacy organisations) to explore to what extent the idea of "landscape" resonates with Indigenous peoples and/or local communities who participate in externally or self-introduced conservation initiatives (terrestrial or marine). To what extent does it have any political, cultural or spiritual purchase in non-western/post-colonial contexts? Discussants will examine how potential alternatives to the idea of landscape convey similar or different meanings, such as the notion of territory. Ultimately, the panel will offer a critical assessment of the promises and perils of the landscape turn in conservation. The goal is to bring attention to this topic through the panel discussion with a possibility to assemble a special issue.