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Undermining our Future by destroying the Past: Extractivism, Resource-driven Wars and the Loss of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the lower Cauca region

Steinhorst, Samuel (2019) Undermining our Future by destroying the Past: Extractivism, Resource-driven Wars and the Loss of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the lower Cauca region.

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Abstract:This study investigates a threat to sustainable public administration in the future. It describes a contemporary epistemicide, i.e. the de-legitimation and destruction of ecological and indigenous knowledges, as a material-semiotic process, rather than a clash of cultures where one culture is ‘murdered’. This research asks for the implications of different types of resource extraction and a ‘small war’ for the re-production of traditional ecological knowledge in a non-sovereign territory. Applying the Actor-Network-Theory, the study follows the ordering of human and non-human actors in networks of ecological knowledge re-production, conceptualized as ‘ecological commons’, as well as those in extractive and violent networks. These descriptions reveal deep-rooted controversies over the anthropogenic appropriation of nature and natural processes, which surface in violent confrontations that are detrimental to ecological knowledge re-production. Ecological ways of knowing and sustainable resource use by indigenous and subsistence communities are critical to designing solutions to the ecological crisis which confronts administrations world-wide. The loss of these knowledges and practices may contribute to the future escalation of the ecological crisis through the de-legitimation of non-exploitative indigenous resource uses and the simultaneous proliferation of high-risk large-scale extractive practices in ecologically sensitive areas. The analytical approach is coupled with an ethnographic approach to data gathering in the lower Cauca region, a sub-region of the Antioquia department in Colombia. This region is the scene of an armed conflict that is maintained by and for extractive activities such as hydropower, gold mining, land grabbing and cocaine production. Keywords: Anthropocene; Ecological commons; Indigenous & Subsistence Communities; Extractivism; Resource-driven ‘Small War’; Epistemicide; Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78401
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