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Doing 'Conservation': Effects of Different Interpretations at an Ecuadorian Volunteer Tourism Project

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Grimm, Kerry E.
Journal: Conservation & Society
Volume: 11
Page(s): 264-276
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9177
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
New Commons
Region: South America
Subject(s): conservation
Abstract: "As more people volunteer in the name of 'conservation,' a careful analysis of 'conservation' and the actors' underlying ideologies becomes pressing. Volunteers work on the seemingly similar goal of 'conservation,' but differences in interpretations can have on-the-ground impacts. In this paper, I use interviews and participant interactions to: (1) analyse how volunteers, reserve managers, and volunteer coordinators at an Ecuadorian reserve articulated 'conservation' in their discourse; and (2) examine how different conservation ideologies affected interactions among actors and with the environment. Using political ecology and a modified version of ideological and cluster criticism to analyse discourse, I found actors interpreted 'conservation' differently. I identified three ideologies presented by volunteers: Type I (preservation-oriented), Type-II (mixed), and Type-III (sustainable use-oriented); managers and coordinators held similar views as each other. Different 'conservation' ideologies among actors affected the project (e.g., acceptability of sustainable logging), interactions, perceptions of locals, and general attitudes towards conservation work."

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