History and Politics of Conservation Policy: A case study of Fire Management in the Niger Park W complex

Date and Time: 
Friday, 6 May, 2011 - 21:10 to 21:30
MUELLER, Jocelyn G. - Tufts University
Hama Y. HASSANE - Institut International d'Ingénierie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement

This paper examines the interaction of local knowledge and global knowledge in the development of conservation policy throughout the last century in Niger, through a case study of fire management in and around Parc W. Within the context of the global discourse and history of fire management policy, we examine the interface between local knowledge and western knowledge on the national and regional levels in Niger and consider the role of local residents, state agents and foreign institutions as knowledge holders, interpreters and users in this interaction. We draw attention to the changing role of the local agent of the state in interpreting the local to global discourse, and identify the implications for the promotion of local knowledge in using external measures to validate and legitimize such state actors. This paper explores how local integration in natural resource management can become a model for how states can open the democratic space for the engagement of rural populations.