Commentary: Toxic Bodies, Part II

By Kristina Lyons, University of California, Santa Cruz § The president of the communal action committee whom I call Doña Marta ushered me to a more secluded corner behind the schoolhouse. She spoke in a low tone about the worsening water quality of the river flowing behind us. Over the last four years, downstream communities in […]

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On Contamination: Conservation Science in Devilish Landscapes

By Meredith Root-Bernstein, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique, Grignon, France § When you first see the gold mine in Alhué you are impressed by how massive the cascade of tailings is—by how many endemic trees, shrubs, bird nests, lizards and tarantulas must be crushed underneath it. When I took photos of the hills I always tried […]

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Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: How Local Experts are Already Active in Conservation Efforts and What We Can Do to Recognize Their Work

By Nora Haenn, North Carolina State University, and Birgit Schmook, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur § Around the world, conservation programs appear to be in conflict with local people, but what if this story isn’t quite true? What if local people are contributing to conservation programs but not receiving credit for doing so? Popular depictions […]

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Leslie Sponsel on Spiritual Ecology, Connection, and Environmental Change

ENGAGEMENT editors recently connected with Leslie Sponsel, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Hawai’i, to talk about his recent book, Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution (2012, Praeger), and its broader contributions to environmental movements and policy decisions around the world. This interview is the latest in an ENGAGEMENT series that explores how environmental-anthropological […]

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Making Peace with Nature: The Greening of the Korean Demilitarized Zone

By Eleana Kim, University of Rochester § Through my ongoing research on the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), I am engaging with broader questions about the “nature” of militarized landscapes and the production of their ecological value. In this piece, I examine how South Korean state and NGO projects configure the DMZ as a unique site […]

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Cloaking, Not Bleaching: The Back Story from Inside Bureaucracy

By Janis Bristol Alcorn § “… In other words, the way that bureaucracies work is by bleaching out local context and coming up with big simplifications.”   – Andrew Mathews, as quoted in his January 2013 interview with ENGAGEMENT I would counter by positing that good bureaucracies do not bleach out local context. Instead, they create […]

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