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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 100-110

Beyond Contesting Limits: Land, Access, and Resistance at the Virunga National Park


Department of Geography, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Stephan Hochleithner
Department of Geography, University of Zürich, Zürich
Switzerland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.201397

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After almost two decades of violent conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – during which time the Virunga National Park was focused mainly on 'mere survival' – nature conservation practices in the Park began following strategies of re-enclosure in 2003. These practices are being contested by local population groups using a variety of different strategies. While local and trans-local elites employ more overt, explicit forms of (political) contestation, peasants resort to 'weapons of the weak', engaging in more covert, implicit forms of everyday resistance, whereby the customary mode of organising access to land works –among other functions– as a vehicle for resistance. This paper argues that this multi-dimensional resistance ties in with general conflict dynamics in eastern DRC, while at the same time reproducing them within the realm of nature conservation, tightly interwoven with global dynamics.


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