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Sustainability, Nature Conservation and Community Development

Perspectives from the Anthropology of Tourism

Organisers: Sophie Strauss and João Afonso Baptista (SCM)
Venue: Seminar Room, Institute for Social Anthropology, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
Date: July 2 and 3, 2010


In this workshop we explore the role of sustainability, both in its ecological and cultural meaning, in nature conservation and in the so-called “community development”.

We take a particular look at the relationship between state, global and local institutions in the planning of tourism labelled as “eco”, “sustainable” and/or “community-based”. In this vein, we want to debate the effects planning schemes have on the local and global level, on material and economic conditions, and also attitudes, discourses, ideas and representations of sustainability, self and otherness.

Contributors are invited to present case studies on disputes over resources, their representations and negotiations, as well as the related (adaptive and creative) processes that shape the relations of hosts and guests. Is sustainable tourism, for example, a form of community empowerment or nature conservation, a developmental solution or rather the outcome of capitalist or state imperialism system(s)? What are the interests of the state and/or local or international investors in the alleged ethical and responsible tourism development? How do small-scale societies in naturally and culturally attractive areas deal with the ever-growing interest in sustainable tourism development?

While focusing on new perspectives from the anthropology of tourism, contributors are invited from a great variety of disciplines. The workshop is planned for two days. On the first day lectures introduce us to the topic of sustainable development and its implications for cultural and natural heritage, as well as the complexity of practices, motivations and mechanism through which tourism becomes associated with morally responsible action. On the second day, speakers will present their case studies in three different panels.

Friday, July 2nd 2010

15:00 – 15:15
Welcome Address by Prof. Matthias Kaufmann

15:15 – 16:15
Lecture by Prof. Burkhard Schnepel, MLU Halle-Wittenberg:
Tourism and the Ideology of Sustainability

16:15 – 16:30
Coffee break

16:30 – 18:00
Lecture by Dr. Jim Butcher, Canterbury Christ Church University, England: Tradition, Community and Conservation: Ecotourism as a Development Option

Dinner / get together

Saturday, July 3rd 2010

09:00 – 10:20     
Panel I (Chair: Sophie Strauß)

João Baptista, SCM MLU Halle-Wittenberg:
Beyond Community-Based Tourism. Development and the Project of Community in Canhane, Mozambique

Dr. Felix Girke, ZIRS MLU Halle Wittenberg:
Heritage Behavior and validating Consumption: how a Community in Southern Ethiopia deals with (tourist) Film-Makers

10:20 – 10:30
Coffee Break

10:30 – 11:50
Panel II (Chair: João Baptista)

Sophie Strauß, MLU Halle-Wittenberg:
Environmental Discourses in a Conflict over Tourism Projects in Bali, Indonesia

Dr. Carsten Wergin, MLU Halle-Wittenberg:
After the Fish are Gone: Re-Evaluating Biodiversity for Tourism Development, Rodrigue Island, Mauritius

11:50 - 12:50

12:50 – 15:30
Panel III (Chair: Dr. Carsten Wergin)

Dr. Eva Youkhana, Centre for Development Research, Bonn:
Gender and the Development of Handicraft Production in Rural Yucatán, Mexico

Dr. Noel B. Salazar, University of Leuven, Belgium:
On Safari: Imagineering Sustainability in the ‘Garden of Eden’, Tanzania

End of Session



Workshop Report by Sophie Strauss
Workshop%20Report_Sophie%20Strauss%20Juli%202010.pdf (externe Datei)