Apostolopoulou E, Pantis J D, 2010, "Development plans versus conservation: explanation of emergent conflicts and state political handling" Environment and Planning A 42(4) 982 – 1000
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Development plans versus conservation: explanation of emergent conflicts and state political handling
Evangelia Apostolopoulou, John D Pantis
Received 4 May 2009; in revised form 19 September 2009
Abstract. The growing establishment of protected areas incorporating profitable economic activity and conservation initiatives has been characterized by the exacerbation of existent conflicts and the emergence of new ones around them. Over the last two decades the participation of ‘civil society’ in protected areas governance under the mutual goal of sustainable development has become increasingly key to resolving natural resource conflicts. Schinias Greek Natura site, simultaneously national park and Olympic canoeing centre, provides a case study to investigate the roots and outcomes of natural resource conflicts within the context of the coexistence of development and conservation agendas and collaborative governance. Following a grounded-theory approach and drawing on insights from political ecology and environmental governance literature we have been able to reveal the political, socioeconomic, and conservation conflicts arising during implementation of state development and conservation policies. It appears that governmental political handling exacerbated these conflicts, leading to political manipulation to justify policy failure and promote nature privatization. We conclude that conflict resolution compatible with nature protection and social justice cannot occur in isolation from resolving crucial socioeconomic problems, strengthening transparency, and an accurate scientific analysis of the particularities of local communities to guide the formation and implementation of state policies.
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