In the last century and a half, over 105,000 protected areas (PAs), encompassing about 11 percent of the world’s land, with different levels of “protected” area status, have been established on every continent.1 The establishment and operation of these PAs have resulted in numerous human rights abuses.2 Literatures on the relationships between human rights and conservation are rich with theoretical and empirical examples that typify two main waves of conservation over the last fifty years. In this essay I describe how a third but less well-known wave of conservation practices in East Africa is resulting in the continued disenfranchisement of local peoples who reside around PAs. By relying on a case study from southern Kenya and drawing on theoretical insights from people-environment geography, I demonstrate that this type of conservation practice—one that supposedly distances itself from the coercive and violent histories of previous approaches—has continued to dispossess local peoples in new ways and with (un)intended consequences.
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In our new issue we feature Samantha Balaton-Chrimes’s essay on decolonizing global solidarity. Also in this issue are essays on the Cold War history of human rights, humanitarian governance, human rights and population control, and the visual politics of maternal mortality. We end with review essays on human rights in Colombia and the political ethics of doing good.View entire issue >
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