No Roads, Only Directions

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Date
2006
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Abstract
"An old saying about Russia says that it is a country with no roads, only directions. This punch line is uncomfortably apt for the most recent dilemma facing protected areas. Born to save nature as a public good these expressions of humanity's desire have become truly contested terrain in fact as well as in the latest of a set of critiques. This situation, laid out in the thoughtful review by Rangarajan and Shahabuddin (this issue), hinges on the competing moral positions of those defending the nature found in protected areas and those defending the rights of people living in the same areas. The truly tortured nature of the current situation is that there is no obvious, global solution and little positive experience on which to base even local solutions. There is no scarcity of those who would impose their own particular solutions on the willing and the unwilling - that is, to propose a new set of directions into areas that have no roads. The predictable result is to discourage or overwhelm those trying to develop maps and build roads, or, even worse, to build detours around the routes that have yet to be tested."
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protected areas, resource management
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