Frenemies : marine turtle conservation and economic development in the Rushikulya Coast, Eastern India

Ramesh, Madhuri (2021) Frenemies : marine turtle conservation and economic development in the Rushikulya Coast, Eastern India. Journal of South Asian Development. ISSN 0973-1733

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Abstract

The discourse on biodiversity conservation often presents this domain as an antithesis to economic development. However, in practice, the relation between conservation and development is far more complex because conservationists possess limited powers and must give serious consideration to the economic aspirations of others in any given region, such as local communities and industries. Moreover, conservationists are themselves a heterogeneous group with diverse ways of working. Therefore, although the relation between conservation and development is often described in binary terms such as conflict—co-operation, this does not adequately capture the nuances and dilemmas of actual conservation practice. In this article, I present an ethnographic study of marine turtle conservation in Rushikulya (eastern India), to argue that the relation between the two domains is essentially ambivalent and uncertain and hence, best understood as one of being ‘frenemies’ i.e. friendly enemies, rather than as allies or antagonists. From fieldwork conducted over three years (2012–2015), I describe how actors in both domains opportunistically borrow tools and concepts from each other, which blurs the boundaries between them and results in both connections and contestations. To conclude, I suggest we need more ethnographic studies to understand the realities of practice and provoke reflection on current approaches to both conservation and development

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biodiversity conservation, Conservation practice, Coastal development, Political ecology, India
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Life sciences; biology > Ecology
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Development
Depositing User: Mr. Sachin Tirlapur
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2021 21:52
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2021 21:54
Related URLs:
URI: http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/id/eprint/2538
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0973174121993947

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