Reply To: September 8th: History, Conservation and politics, the example of Australia

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History September 8th: History, Conservation and politics, the example of Australia Reply To: September 8th: History, Conservation and politics, the example of Australia

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ellen.lindh@gmail.com # Posted on September 10, 2014 at 14:45

Nik, it must have been exiting for you listening to Libby Robin when her ideas are so applicable on an area you “know” trough your work. It was interesting to read about your view on Baringo, Kenya and the erosion management through the centuries. What you are describing from the early 20th century seems like a common mistake of the modernity (and I won´t go in to the relation between modernity and colonialism): to identify a wrong, apply one grand theory and then prescribe a single cure (solution) for every symptom. It is powerful but usually not working in a much more complex world built on multi causality. A seemingly good aim or intention is sometimes as much a danger as an evident bad one, cause of the lack of attention to defaults in the knowledge about how things “used” to be as well as cause and effects. Doing something “good” like protect “nature” and biodiversity “can’t be bad” and then it is easy to forget to ask your selves critical questions about it. Like Libby Robin talked about, to know “the context of the knowledge”. It seems like the government in Baringo had and have a utopia of the mind, about how the landscape should be and how it was in the past, which is not based on research knowledge. What are the reasons the government and the NGO: S put through today to continue on the same path as before when resent research has shown an alternative picture of the past? I guess allot comes down to power relationships in the end? Why do you think native Kenyan researches in a lower rate publish in those highly regarded journals? Does the research focus differ in any way?

I think eco and organic food producers have hit the market from below from the beginning and thus in a sense is a grass root movement for human and animal health and for the benefit of the environment. I think it has been a struggle for small companies and farmers competing on an unfair market with the greater forces. If it is true what you are describing about the organic food market in Slovenia (which I know nothing about) then it is a pity that people can´t afford the organic food but also that it is a political question with much prohibition in it.
/Ellen Lindblom