Reply To: National Parks, civilisation and globalisation

Author Replies # Posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:57

Reply to Nik Petek’s reflection

Since we were in the same discussion group I will try not to repeat myself too much, but I think it’s inevitable. Now that you mentioned that our group did not touch upon the problem of globalisation explicitly, I do find it curious, but I guess the question is implicit in the question of standardisation. You also mentioned that you wonder what effect do these almost semi-formal conferences have when it comes to national park management. It was something I was wondering too; if we lack an institution or at least a binding legal text, how do these ideas get transferred? What (who) decides that some ideas get implemented, whereas others do not? I guess it boils down to who wields the power and knowledge, so I think we can claim that it is the western scientific paradigm that constructs the ideological framework. Which brings us to the other issue; the issue of definition of what a national park is. I think that there is too much focus on the purpose and I believe this emphasis on purpose has its roots in what Carruthers calls the commercialization of nature; as if nature is just another tool we use in order to achieve an end, possibly an economic gain. And as you mentioned, defining something according to its purpose, completely misses the point. You know the old phenomenological question; how do you define a hammer? Is it just a tool (can we cay its purpose defines its essence)? I think not and I think we can say the same about the definition of a national park; I wouldn’t like it either if Triglav national park was renamed into Triglav tourist park, precisely because we are emotionally invested in this, which again proves that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to exclusively pragmatic explanations. Also, the remark about the connection between a consolidation of a nation and the creation of a national park, prompted a silly thought in my head, like something from an absurd Monty Python sketch: if we renamed it into a tourist park, I imagine all Slovenians walking around in flip-flops and cameras around our necks all the time 😀