Shared environments: animals, humans, trees (and machines) in natural protected areas
Humberto Martins (CRIA-UMinho)
Based on an ongoing research (an interdisciplinary project in which anthropology dialogues with natural sciences and local knowledge[s]) in two natural protected areas in Portugal this communication will approach conflicts which emerge from different perspectives on the meaning and significance of protection, environment, landscape, agriculture, tourism and wildlife. In this spectrum of different (emic, etic, bioptic and abioptic) points of view, humans, animals and trees (as a metaphor for the non-animal elements of these socio-natural ecosystems) live in fragile alliances that are not only dependent of ethic (environmental and/or ecosystemic) values but also are representative of new and highly attractive economic opportunities. Moreover one must also consider different levels of agency. Local communities seem to 'creatively' resist while newcomers (more urban, more wildlife-concerned) arrive in search for relevant alternative ways of life. Equilibrium on what should be natural (and? Therefore? Human) protected areas is unstable and conflicts do not cease.
Engaging resources: anthropological perspectives on the formation and contestation of natural resource environments