Article: article from journal or magazin.
State power and protected areas: Dynamics and contradictions of forest conservation in Madhya Pradesh, India
The traditionally coercive and state-controlled governance of protected areas for nature conservation in developing countries has in many cases undergone change in the context of widespread decentralization and liberalization. This article examines an emerging "mixed" (coercive, community- and market-oriented) conservation approach in managed-resource protected areas and its effects on state power through a case study on forest protection in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The findings suggest that imperfect decentralization and partial liberalization resulted in changed forms, rather than uniform loss, of state power. A forest co-management program paradoxically strengthened local capacity and influence of the Forest Department, which generally maintained its territorial and knowledge-based control over forests and timber management. Furthermore, deregulation and reregulation enabled the state to withdraw from uneconomic activities but also implied reduced place-based control of non-timber forest products. Generally, the new policies and programs contributed to the separation of livelihoods and forests in Madhya Pradesh. The article concludes that regulatory, community- and market-based initiatives would need to be better coordinated to lead to more effective nature conservation and positive livelihood outcomes.
Nature conservation, Decentralization, Liberalization, Territoriality, Political ecology, India
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