Competing conservation approaches at Amboseli

When Elephants Stand for Competing Philosophies of Nature: Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Thompson, C. (2002). When elephants stand for competing philosophies of nature: Amboseli National Parc, Kenya. J. Law et A. Mol (Eds.), Complexities: Social studies of Knowledge Practice. London: Duke University Press, 166-190.

This 2002 chapter by Charis Thompson is worth a read. Using a workshop on elephants at Amboseli National park as a case study, Thompson looks at how different actors (biologists, ele observers, Maasai, etc)  hold different “philosophies of nature”, concepts of the park, and ecological theories regarding elephants, and that these positions are in competition. Thompsons traces “the rival positions and the allegiances among different positions that emerged” and demarcates “the strategies that decided which groups triumphed at the meeting.”(Thompson, 2002, p. 167).

The social and political insights made by Thompson should be interesting for those engaging in conservation work, as scientists or at the policy level.

You can find the chapter here