Participatory natural resource management in rural China: making and unmaking environmental narratives

Wang, Ju-Han Zoe, Fisher, Robert, and Connell, John (2019) Participatory natural resource management in rural China: making and unmaking environmental narratives. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 60 (2). pp. 205-219.

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Environmental and development discourses in China can be categorised into three narrative motifs framing human–nature relationships: peasant, indigenous, and community. Indigenous and community narratives have been widely adopted by environmental NGOs (eNGOs) in China in promoting community-based natural resource management projects, but there has been very limited critical research on such phenomena. Analysis of socio-economic change in two ethnic minority communities in Yunnan shows that neither narrative theme is fully internalised by the relevant communities. Instead narratives may be strategically modified or even rejected by local communities. This is due to different agendas being held by local communities and eNGOs, and two factors pertinent to rural China: the incompatibility of concepts of ‘community’ in Chinese and international contexts results in confusion, and a lack of recent territorial and cultural claims by rural communities since the collectivist era makes it difficult to construct the identity of a community. It remains challenging for eNGOs in China to advocate either community or indigenous narratives in contexts of rapid socio-economic change.

Item ID: 60386
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-8373
Keywords: China, community, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), indigenous knowledge, narratives
Copyright Information: © 2018 Victoria University of Wellington and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd
Funders: University of Sydney (PRSS)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 22:58
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 80%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4499 Other human society > 449901 Studies of Asian society @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 10%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 90%
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