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July 1996 Issue
The Geographical Review
July 1996, 86(3), pp. 414-436.
Local Struggles Over Rain-Forest Conservation in Alaskaand Amazonia
Edward A. Whitesell
Needed improvements in international conservation strategies are impeded by an uncritical conceptualization of local, in which location is taken to be a reliable indicator of attitudes toward nature and of interests in specific types of resource use. A simplistic localnonlocal dichotomy is at odds with current research on globalization, which emphasizes intensifying connections among people at widely varying spatial and temporal scales. Such a simple dichotomy distorts the social, cultural, and ecological implications of alternative distributions of power over natural-area conservation. Case studies in the rain forests of Alaska and Brazil are combined with current theoretical perspectives on the changing relationships between the global and the local in order to demonstrate the need for conservation through maximum participation of civil society at all spatial scales.
Keywords: Alaska, Amazonia, conservation, globalization, protected areas, spatial determinism.
Dr. Whitesell is an assistant professor of geography at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.
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