Through a focus on environmental practice, management, and innovation, this panel examines the tensions, contradictions, and anomalies that exist in relation to strategic engagement within, across, and against the State.
Focused on projects of environmental practice, management, and innovation, this panel examines the tensions, contradictions, and anomalies that exist in relation to strategic engagement within, across, and against the State. It seeks to unpack the leviathan of neoliberal statecraft by focusing on environmental strategies and projects around key themes of community, conservation, governance, and institutionalisation. Through this lens, the panel will explore contradictions of private and public in order to question how environmental management may counter neoliberal discourses, mimic statecraft, and/or compound and confound institutional layers and stratification. By focusing on issues of community cohesion, ecological sustainability, and financial viability, this panel questions who the state is and purports to be, and the extent to which the state impacts upon engagement with the biophysical environment.
We invite papers from a range of environmental perspectives, geographic regions, and urban and rural orientations, including but not limited to those examining:
• Indigenous land and sea management
• The intra-group negotiation of environmental strategies
• Strategies of conservation vs preservation
• Responses to legislative and bureaucratic regimes
• The role of development discourses in environmental projects
• Mining and extractive practices
• The impact of self-regulation
• Urban agriculture
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Green and clean politics in the 'smart' kampungs of Surabaya
This paper examines how environmental projects are managed by Javanese kampung leaders and residents and how these programs support Surabaya's image as a leading 'smart city'.
In the urban context of Indonesia, the kampung is a 'village in the city'. While in the past, these settlements were associated with poverty and backwardness, the kampung of the 21st century has become a place of refuge from bustling city life, a safe haven and a place of nostalgia for an ever busier middle class. Kampung residents have become 'smart' citizens and cooperation partners in government and development programs.
In Surabaya in East Java, environment and sustainability are key issues in city planning and development strategies. While big infrastructure projects are usually implemented outside the kampung areas, the city government has targeted kampungs for localized and small-scale projects that deal with pollution, water resilience and waste management. Although government organisations and NGOs are usually the initiators of such programs, inter-kampung networking and competition have a strong influence on their progress and directions take. Moreover, the success or failure of such projects largely depends on individual kampung leaders, their status and networks within and beyond the community and their relations with local bureaucracies.
In this paper, I will explore the political and social dynamics within kampungs and in relation to the state and its institutions. I will also discuss how these developments are embedded in Surabaya's ambitious status and vision as a leading 'smart city' in Indonesia
The role of the environment in the sustainable livelihoods of FELDA villages in peri-urban and regional Malaysia
This research project focuses on the environmental impact on the livelihoods of FELDA villagers in contemporary peri-urban and regional Malaysia. In doing so, it critically analyses FELDA's response, as a state-run organization, towards addressing the environmental concerns of the community.
This paper examines rural Malaysian communities' understanding of natural assets, via the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF). Drawing on data collected during a 2017 anthropology field school, we focus on villages that were established by the Malaysian Federal Land Development Authority's (FELDA) Settlers Scheme as a strategy to combat rural Malay poverty. The paper documents FELDA villagers' management of environmental issues. Water pollution, waste management, and air pollution were perceived by as the most important environmental concerns, yet their individual and collective capacity to respond to these was constrained, at least in part, by FELDA's top-down management approach. This has impacts on the sustainability of FELDA villagers' farming practices and impacts their ability to overcome external shocks, such as in the case of flooding or landslides. Through observation of the environmental impact on the livelihoods of FELDA villagers, we critically analyse FELDA's role as an organization of the state and its capacity and strategies to overcome existing vulnerabilities to make the livelihoods of FELDA villagers more resilient and sustainable.
Agroforestry or green labor as state profit making
Green labor may be an special tool for States to attain environmental goals committed in the global arena. In Mexico, agroforestry and soil restoration could be seen as a state performance to achieve sustainability while warranting international "aid funds" flux for greening agendas.
Environmental policy making has been a real conundrum for developing nations. Beyond the creation of enclosures as territorial tools to achieve environmental protection, there has been many mechanisms to involve people in self regulation in natural resources exploitation. One of these tools is green labor for agroforestry. even tough this might be not a new path to achieve environmental goals, the way it is institutionalized nowadays render populations into environmental policies as a way to get access to money of account. Agroforestry programs are becoming interesting to people due to the possibilities these brings to deal with increasing poverty and declining agricultural production. Yet the finantialization of these programs seems to have more significant results in money making within State burocracy, than alleviating poverty and scarcity among rural populations as a long term project. Conditioned Cash Transfers within agroforestry implies a calculation for populations who are losing their own labor force beyond urban areas.
Through a significant case in the Mexican Caribbean region I argue how State is used as a source of a conditioned "help". This paternalistic character of the sate has been reproduced for decades, however the convenient character of the environmental job for rural populations contrast with the convenient source of cheap labor that these populations represents for the state that speculates with territory of enclosures for exchange for big monies.
Saving the environment for salvation: Buddhist environmental activism in Myanmar
This paper argues that Buddhist religious understandings of the world are used as a medium to express environmental concerns against legislative and bureaucratic regimes in Myanmar. It explores how recent protests in Myanmar's Mon State uses Buddhist ideas to critique the state.
In light of Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi's focus on economic growth, there has been large investment in coal and hydro power plants to meet the country's energy needs. Since the quasi-military government handed over power, coal and hydro power plant projects have stalled throughout the country due to wide scale protests. These projects have come under widespread criticism from Burmese communities where Buddhism is an integral component of society for many in shaping understandings of the environment.
This paper will look at the environmental resistance of these protests in response to legislative and bureaucratic regimes in Myanmar. There is evidence that Buddhist doctrines and understandings of the world are used by communities as modes to contest the construction of power plants and the environmental consequences that it holds. By placing conceptions of morality and creating immoral actions of development by bureaucratic regimes, these protests gain effective traction as well as significant critiques of the decision-making processes of bureaucratic and legislative regimes.
This paper argues that the moral code of Buddhism is used as a form of leverage in driving environmental action against bureaucratic and legislative regimes in Myanmar. The important moral conception of 'Sasana decline', the decline of Buddhist tradition can be seen as manifestations of damage to the environment (Harris, 1997). This paper uses the case study of recent protests in Mon State against the construction of a coal fired plant to explore how these moral concerns are formulated by the community protesting against its construction.
"The government will be watching our country": the moral economy of exchange in an Indigenous Protected Area
Based on ongoing inter-disciplinary research in northwest Australia this paper examines the moral economy of Indigenous participation in Protected Area management.
Indigenous Protected Areas comprise over 40% of the national conservation estate and are premised on diverse objectives such as economic development, sustainable harvesting, enhancing Indigenous governance, in addition to preserving biodiversity. Based on ongoing inter-disciplinary research in northwest Australia, local Indigenous efforts to meet these diverse (some might say contradictory) objectives are examined in light of the current policy paradigm of "Closing the Gap". Of particular interest here, are local manifestations of broader tensions, contradictions as well as confluences generated in the moral economy of customary institutions through which Aboriginal people manage their country and the bureaucratic institutional requirements of Indigenous Protected Area management.
Kaitiakitanga ki te Toheroa (Guardianship of Toheroa)
This paper describes ongoing tension between Māori and the State in relation to the understanding of traditional resource management, kaitiakitanga, specifically in regards to the management of the taonga (treasured) species, toheroa (paphies ventricosa).
Prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori collectively owned and controlled the natural resources of New Zealand. The misunderstandings between the two versions of the treaty have given rise to considerable tension between the Crown and Māori in relation to the management of natural resources, fisheries and land. The traditional resource management tool of kaitiakitanga is a cultural institution founded on the principles and processes of kaupapa (principles) and tikanga (custom) and is an indigenous management model that pre-dates European incursion into the country. Since the colonial era, it has been adopted into the Resource Management Act (1991) to mean stewardship/guardianship over a resource and Māori are required to fulfil certain requirements, set by the state, in order to practice their kaitiakitanga rights. I will discuss the tension between Māori and the State in relation to the understanding of traditional resource management, namely kaitiakitanga (including rahui (ban) and translocation), specifically in regards to the management of the taonga (treasured) species, toheroa.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.