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Living Between Juniper and PalmNature, Culture, and Power in the Himalayas$
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Ben Campbell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198078524

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198078524.001.0001

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Enquiring Ethnographically into Nature Protection

(p.1) Introduction
Living Between Juniper and Palm

Ben Campbell

Oxford University Press

For most natural scientists the environment is indisputably both an independent reality, and a threatened domain in need of safeguarding by systems of national parks and protected areas. For bureaucrats the environment is a natural capital asset to be managed and protected for the interests of national development. For people like the Tamang-speaking villagers, the local environment is a place in which livelihoods, identities, and relationships of power are actively made between people, other species, and presences not visible to the human eye. Yet, they do not know it as ‘an environment’. More socially inclusive approaches to environmental protection came from community forestry policies and participatory conservation. What difference does it make to look at contexts of environmental protection ethnographically, as compared to the array of concepts and assumptions about the environment, and human agency, interest, and knowledge that protection regimes are based on?

Keywords:   Tamang, ethnography, Himalayas, environment, conservation

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