Current GR Issue
Recent GR Issues
to the GR
July 1998 Issue
Instructions for Authors
Contact the GR Editor
About the Geographical Review
Search the GR Index
FOCUS on Geography
Atlases, and Books
The Geographical Review
July 1998, Vol. 88 (3), pp. 388-412
NGO LANDSCAPES: CONSERVATION IN THE MAYA BIOSPHERE RESERVE,
Political dimensions of conservation abound. The biosphere-reserve model, however,
depoliticizes the landscape by neglecting politics as a shaper of ecologies. To
illustrate this process of depoliticization, I examine discourses about environmental
degradation, power structures engaged in implementing conservation measures, and
emerging landscapes in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Conservationist discourses hold
migrant farmers responsible for deforestation and land degradation in the Petén,
to the neglect of wider socioeconomic conditions that perpetuate poverty in Guatemala.
Sociospatial consequences include misdirected projects and landscapes that reflect the
goals of nongovernmental organizations, not local people's needs and aspirations.
Keywords: biosphere reserves, conservation, Guatemala, NGO landscapes
DR. SUNDBERG received her doctorate in geography from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712-1098.