Sense of Place and Indigenous People's Conservation A brief ...

Sense of Place and Indigenous Peoples Conservation A brief Political Ecology of the Seed and Place. From Modernization to Globalization from above and from below. Towards the strengthening & re-indigenization of local epistemologies, ontologies, and cosmovisions Tirso Gonzales. UC-Berkeley 04/30/04 1 2 Abstract

For the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of the Americas (North, Meso, and South), the constant and mostly violent process of erasure of their communal places is associated, from its inception to date, with colonization. In particular, with coloniality of power, and its latest stage, globalization. Colonization has denied the existence of the other. This premise paved the way to the appropriation of indigenous lands and territories in the Americas. IPs sense of place has left their profound historical imprint in the existing Archeological Monuments spread all over the Americas. And it is in IPs places where we currently witness an enriching and intimate interface b/w cultural and biological diversity. To highlight and evoke the connection of Sense of Place and IPs Conservation I use the term Cultures of the Seed as a conceptual, methodological and heuristic tool (1) to see within specific historical settings, the underlying structures, meanings and implications for both western and indigenous approaches to conservation of plant genetic resources, and (2) to highlight the fact that genetic resources are neither a simple commodity (something we can buy at a store) nor something that evolves in a cultural and biological vacuum.

the symbiotic and intimate rooting and nurturing relationship of body-mind-spirit with place and the living beings within. 3 Sense of Place and Indigenous Peoples Conservation The indigenous movement of Latin America claims that the western development model has been (and still is) predator of the worlds human and cultural resources. (IADB, Deruyttere 2003) Ecology, economic production, and reproduction all interact in any given society. The global ecological crisis is a result of contradictions between systems of economic production and ecology and between reproduction and production. First, Second, and Third World political economies interact in ways that exacerbate many of the problems inherent in individual countries.

The political economy of the First World is legitimated by a mechanistic world view that has been dominant since the seventeenth century and an egocentric ethic that assumes that what is best for the individual is best for society as a whole`(Merchant 1992 38-39) For the past three hundred years, western mechanistic science and capitalism have viewed the earth as dead and inert, manipulable from outside, and exploitable for profits. The death of nature legitimized its domination. Colonial extractions of resources combined with industrial pollution and depletion have today pushed the whole earth to the brink of ecological destruction. (Merchant 1992 41-42) 4 In Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, a Quechua Indian told me that everything one does in life involves looking forward while going backward simultaneously. This I didnt understand. I said, What do you mean, going backward? And he said,Well, its very simple. For us, for the Quechua, the past is in front of us. Its in front of us because we know the past and we can look at it. And

the future is behind because we dont know what it brings so we move into the future, but we move backwards. The expression is awpaman puni. This idea of moving into the future while looking clearly into the past is something that is lacking in all these considerations about development and alternatives to development, and about what is going to happen and from where we can create an alternative to development. This lack of historical depth is what is going to prevent us from thinking of real alternatives to development. (David Tuchsneider 1992:63-64) 5 Who wins and who loses with annexation/modernization? 6 Who wins and who loses with annexation/modernization? 7

Becoming native to this place US Population Today Total: >286,000,000 Native American: 4,119,301 (1.5%) The dominance of Conventional Agriculture in the US Today, less than 20,000 Indian families in the U.S continue farming, and probably only a small percentage of these grow the heirloom crops of their forefathers (Nabham 1985:15) 8 Sense of Place and Indigenous Peoples Conservation Introduction 1. Putting Place, Indigenous Peoples and Conservation in Context 2. Basic Assumptions

3. Key Concepts 4. The Cultures of the Seed -The Culture of the Native Seed and conservation from below -The Culture of the Hybrid Seed and conservation from above Conclusion Key concepts: Modernization, Coloniality of Power, Locality, Cultures of the Seed, Globalization, Place, Conservation 9 The Approach: The Political Ecology of IPs places Social and environmental/ ecological issues do not happen in a vacuum. Market and non-market forces (socio-economic structures, political structures, ideological/symbolic and cultural structures) historically shape and have an impact upon IPs and their places. The application of political ecology to the study IPs places, lands, cultures and biological diversity in contemporary Latin America can contribute to unveil the

imprints of colonialitys violence (1500-2004). Colonialitys brutal contemporary profile is characterized by the erosion, degradation, exploitation, abuse, and disposession of IPs integrity and their environments. 10 1.Putting Place, IPs & Conservation. 4 Main Positions/Perspectives: 1.Globalocentric: Resource Management (In- Stable Dominant Transnational Network International Institutions, NGOs, Botanical Gardens, Agribusiness, Pharmaceutical Corp., scientific experts 2.Sovereignty: TW governments challenge Conservation Conservationfrom

fromAbove Above Movement of resources, knowledge, technology, objects, materials situ, Ex-situ & National biodiv. Planning) + IPRs (appropriate mechanism for the compensation & economic use of biodiv.) + Promotes bioprospecting Biodiv. can be thought of as fostering a transnational network that encompasses diverse sites in terms of actors, practices, cultures, and stakes.

Each actors identity affects, & is affected by the network dominant globalocentric perspective, without questioning it in a fundamental way, seek to renegotiate the terms of biodiv. treaties & strategies 3.Progressive NGOs & Soc. Movs.: See globalocentric perspective as a form of bioimperialism, & instead promote biodemocracy. Reinterpret threats to Biodiv (Roots of Biodiv. Crisis: habitat destruction by megadevelopment projects, monocultures of the mind, monocrop agriculture promoted by capital & reductionist science, & the consumption habits of the North) 4.Social Movs.: Biodiv. Is part of political

Problem Biodiversity strategy for the defense of territory, culture,& identity. It has many points in common with #3. However, their view, in particular Indigenous Peoples view is distinct conceptually & politically. The Ethnic Question Genetic Erosion Conservation from Below 11 Contextualizing IPs Place IPs places and their five elements of life (water, air, land, fire and genetic resources), continue being under siege. The Eurocentric monoethnic

colonial regime, and later the mestizo state, and the recent globalizing forces (political, economic, science based-technologies) have historically excluded if not annihilated IPs. Current and past Latin American democracies have revealed their structural limitations to include IPs in their own cultural and political terms. In words of Quijano, An effective solution to the indigenous problem implies and cannot avoid subverting and disintegrating the pattern of power as a whole. And, given the relation of the social and political forces in the period, the real and definitive solution to the problem was not consequently viable, not even partially. For that reason, with the indigenous problem was constituted as the specific historical knot, not disentangled to date, which hampers the historical movement of Latin America: the dis-encounter between nation, identity and democracy. (Quijano 2004:8-9) 12 Globalization and Place

In discourses of globalization, globalization the global is often equated with space, capital, history and agency, and the local with place, labor, and tradition (Escobar 2001) Place has dropped out of sight in the globalization craze of recent years, and this erasure of place has profound consequences for our understanding of culture, knowledge, nature, and economy (Escobar 2001) It is perhaps time to reverse some asymmetry by focusing anewon the continued vitality of place and place-making for culture, nature, and economy. Not only are scholars confronted with social movements that commonly maintain a strong reference to place and territory, but are faced with the growing realization that any alternative course of action must take into account place-based models of nature, nature culture, and politics. politics The reassertion of place thus appears as an important arena for rethinking and

reworking Eurocentric forms of analysis. (Escobar 2001:141) 13 The inextricable link: IPs, Land, Place, and Population in South America Indigenous Population & Ethnolinguistic Groups in South America in Different Periods Key Question Period Indigenous Pop. Ethnolinguistic Groups In 1492

24,300,000(1) 1,200 Demographic collapse: ~ 2 million Peru In 1940 In 1988 In 1996 9,228,735(2) 10,129,300(3) 10,028,980(4) What are the implications of the demographic collapse in regards to IPs places, lands, agri-cultures,individual & collective memory, cultures, local/regional

historys and stories, languages, sense of place, innovations, local epistemologies/ontologies/ & cosmovisions and spiritual life? In other words What are the implications of the demographic collapse for IPs cultural and biological diversity? ~600 422 422 (1) Denevan 1992:370. (2)Steward 1949:665. (3) Lizarralde 1993:10. (4) Based on Lizarralde 1993 & Ricardo 1996. Source: Adapted from Lizarralde 2001:269

14 2.Basic assumptions Place and IPs conservation, like cultural and biological diversity, are intimately related Long lasting conservation involves both IPscultures and the resolution of the Ethnic Question Local and IPs communities practice conservation from below (CFB). This unique type of conservation is embedded within the Culture of the Native Seed (CNS) Corporations, States, major international & national agricultural research related institutions

practice conservation from above (CFA). This type of reductionist dominant science-based conservation is embedded within the Culture of the Hybrid Seed (CHS) CFA and CFB are two major and fundamentally different strategies that serve two fundamentally different goals. Underlying the clash and dis-encounter between CFA and CFB there are two fundamentally different ways of knowing (epistemologies), being (ontologies) and being related to the world (worldviews/cosmovisions) Modernization (Colonial and Post-colonial) has been, and still is, a major violent, dislocating, displacing, erosive force for local and IPs lives, cultures, native languages, communities, lands, territories, resources (genetic, natural, intellectual)

15 2.Basic assumptions The above recognition should highlight the non-ending clash between the Euroamerican centered dominant societies and local and IPs subaltern, dominated societies. Place, Land, Biodiversity, Territory, Environment, Nature and related concepts have specific meanings according to such worldviews The eurocentric colonizers episteme, ontology, and worldview is produced and reproduced by a variety of networks within the First, Second, Third, and Fourth World

No single discipline in Social/Biological Sciences is able to give an account of IPs (local, regional) present and past agri-cultural histories 16 3.Key Concepts Coloniality of Power. What is termed globalization is the culmination of a process that began with the constitution of America and colonial/modern Eurocentered capitalism as a new global power. One of the fundamental axes of this model of power is the social classification of the worlds population around the idea of race, a mental construction that expresses the basic experience of colonial domination and pervades the more important dimensions of global power, including its specific rationality: Eurocentrism. The racial axis has a colonial origin and character, but it has proven to be more durable and stable than the colonialism in whose matrix it was established. Therefore, the model of power that is globally hegemonic today presupposes an element of coloniality. (Quijano 2000:533)

Ethnic Question. It comprises the struggles of the IPs all over the world for selfdetermination and for autonomy, control over their lands, territories and resources-natural and intellectual. (Stavenhagen 1990) Transmodernity. Refers to the self-affirmation and critical reactivation of epistemologies that have been occluded by Western modernity. Transmodern dialogues is meant here as the activity of trying to think beyond the horizon of modernity/coloniality. It refers to the epistemic task of decolonization, which is central for any reflection on liberation. (Dussel 2004) 17 3.Indigenous Peoples, Place, Placelessness Indigenous Peoples The IPs of L.A. today are the descendants of those who inhabited the Latin American continent before the European colonizer arrived in the lands of the New World.

Wider and comprehensive similar definitions: ILO Convention 169, the American Declaration on the Rights of IPs project, the United Nations Universal Declaration on the Rights of IPs project Place The fact remains that place continues to be important in the lives of many people, perhaps most, if we understand by place the experience of a particular location with some measure of groundedness (however, unstable), sense of boundaries (however, permeable), and connection to everyday life, even if its identity is constructed, traversed by power, and never fixed. (Escobar 2001:140) Placelessness the parallel phenomenon of placelessnessthat is, the casual eradication of distinctive places and the making of standardised landscapes that results from an insensitivity to the significance of place (Relph 1975) 18 3.1 IPs, Place, Placelessness: Globalization=Hybridization

Total World Pop. 6.1 billion Total IPs Pop. b/w 300-700 million Total # of Cultures in the World: b/w 5000-7000 (From a linguistic point of view) Total # of IPs Cultures: b/w 4000-5000 (b/w 80 & 90% of the worlds cultural diversity) 19 3.1 IPs, Place, Placelessness: Globalization in LA? IPs are all over L.A. Total population: 40 million (according to conservative estimates) The majority of them live in the country side Economically they are the poorest among the poor

Socially, Politically, Ethnically, Culturally excluded/marginalized There is not a fraction of the planet that has not been inhabited, modified or manipulated throughout history. Though they may seem pristine, much of the last regions with wilderness in remote or isolated places, are inhabited by human groups or have been for milenia. IPs live and have real or implicit rights over those territories which, in many cases, host outstandingly high levels of biodiversity. More than 400 ethnic groups, each one with its own distinct language, social organization, and cosmovision as well as diverse forms of economic organization and ways of production adapted to the ecosystems in which they inhabit.

IPs cultural diversity is highly correlated with biodiversity/agro-biodiversity and gene-rich areas IPs live in 80% of protected areas, PAs, in Latin America. In Central America the number increases to 85% In Latin America most of the IPs are also peasants. The L.A. nations considered as megadiverse countries are: Brasil, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela South America is the richest continent in terms of biodiversity 20 Near 60% of the recommended areas for protection are inhabited in Central and Southern Mexico by IPs 21

22 23 24 4. The Cultures of the Native and Hybrid Seed CNS / CHS I explore the cultures of the seed as a framework to understand that the seed does not have the same meaning, or play the same role, in Western contemporary dominant agriculture as in IPs agri-cultures.

The CNS is embedded within IPs agricultures The CHS is embedded within western conventional agriculture 25 4. Conservation from Above (CHS) Andean Conservation from Below (Planetary Erasure of place) CGIAR FAO Ford F., Rockefeller F. IARCs

ISNAR (Sense of place & authentic place-making) World Bank IPGRI Private Schools, LGCs NARs Schools of Agriculture Local/IPs agri-cultures 26

4.2 Two Contemporary Templates of Conservation Colonizers Model (From Above) 1. Western epistemology, ontology, cosmovision 2. Grounded in the Judeo-Christian & Cartesian cosmovision 3. Man dissociates from nature (Subject-Object) 4. Anthropocentric vision of the world: Man is the center of the world 5. Mechanistic worldview 6. Life moves around mens material needs 7. Egocentric ethic: what is best for the individual is best for society as a whole 8. Based on western mechanistic science and capitalism. Lab based 9. Earth is dead and inert, manipulable from outside, and exploitable for profits 10.Innovation protected by Individual Property Rights

11.Linear vision of history (Past-Present-Future) 12.Specialized/fragmented 13.Homogenizing/standardizing Subaltern Place-based Model (From Below) (Andean IPs) 1. IPs epistemologies, ontologies, cosmovisions 2. Grounded in indigenous, pre-colonial cosmovision 3. Human beings are part of life as a whole (We all are but one) 4. Human beings are parte of a community of equivalents 5. - 9.- Multiple interaction among the community of human beings, the community of nature, and the community the deities/gods. Their relation is among equivalents. All beings are incomplete therefore the possibility of complementing each other and sharing. Where knowledge is hold temporarily, and it circulates through the

community of human beings. In this view everything is alive 10.Innovation takes place within the interaction of the 3 major communities. Emerges within a tradition 11.Circular vision of history 12.Holistic 13.Place-Diversity oriented 27 Contemporary Conservation Strategies International and National Conservation from Above: Ex situ has been and is being done/supported by a network of well funded and technologically endowed international and national agricultural research related institutions (IARCs, ISNAR, CGIAR, FAO)

In situ is a complementary strategy (e.g. farmer curator system, protected areas) aiming to tackle the failure of ex situ strategies to capture evolutionary processes Problem: Both are too narrow, abstract or naive when related to IPs Mainly serve the needs of mainstream conservation, corporations--agribusiness, pharmaceutical industry. 28 4. The dominance of the CHS and CFA: Agricultural Research Budget 29 4. Conservation from above 30 4. Conservation from above: The Ethnic Question

untouched 31 4. Conservation from above: The dominance of the Green Revolution I & II. Deepening the industrialization of agric. 32 4. Conservation: In situ and Ex situ The term conservation, like Western science, is not a universal one. Thus there is not just one view and strategy of conservation. Western science. Conservation Biology has a rigorous and circumscribed definition, which contrasts in various critical respects with that of IPs. IPs are assessing/deconstructing the Western scientific concept of conservation. After which in participatory fashion they have substantiated such concept based on their own cultural view.

The terms In situ and Ex situ conservation are part of specific recent contemporary policies and disciplines (agro-ecology, conservation biology, botany). Those western disciplines and their respective theories share and are grounded in similar theories of the self (ontology) theories of knowledge (epistemology), and theories of the universe (worldview) In situ and Ex situ conservation are contemporary strategies which the Western dominant institutions propose to counteract genetic erosion 33 4. Contemporary Conservation Strategies Conservation from Below Dealing with agro-biodiversity and IPs requires an integral view. This view implies the consideration of the indigenous cultural and environmental/ ecological context in which agrobiodiversity is produced, reproduced and enriched. Real, coherent and long lasting conservation from below implies an integral approach to IPs development: indigenous development, development with identity or autonomous indigenous development.

34 Globalization GMO Map 35 4. Colonization from above/ Digesting Colonization from below: Challenges in the 21st century Past (20th Century-1940) Encomienda Colonial Hacienda Republican Hacienda

Agrarian Reforms 1940- Present


TOURISM MILITARIZATION POLLUTION ENERGY 36 Conclusion 37 Conclusions Sense of place and IPs conservation continue being threatened. In addition to the well known threats of modernization (Development, extractive activities) today IPs face the threat of globalization (economic and technological) In the context of a transition to post-fossil fuel societies, should the current Globalocentric planetary structure of Conservation and AREE remain?. That is, should the CHS remain in place with some minor changes in its mandates. In other words

Would it be possible a change in dominant paradigms (of Agricultural Research, Conservation) without shifting from the hegemonic reductionist scientific paradigm? What could be the sociopolitical conditions for a shift in paradigm from the CHS to a more pluralistic, holistic, interethnic, sustainable paradigm? What needs to be done for a fundamental transmodernizing/ intercultural epistemic dialogue? Is it enough changes at the structural institutional level? What about the personal body-mind-spirit level? Can local/IPs conservation survive within the current state of affairs (International, Regional, National) The process of hybridization (urban and rural, food systems) has reached global proportions. Today in Latin America we are witnessing pockets of what might be called the Cultures of the Native Seed, cultural affirmation, and cultural resistance. The way I see it implies a process of decolonization that involves, land, territory, 38 39

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