Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143854
Title: IMPACTS OF ECOTOURISM ON RURAL COMMUNITIES: A CASE STUDY OF KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Authors: ISABELL CHEW YAN
Keywords: neoliberal conservation, ecotourism, neoliberalisation, environmental governmentality, political ecology
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: ISABELL CHEW YAN (2017). IMPACTS OF ECOTOURISM ON RURAL COMMUNITIES: A CASE STUDY OF KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Often titled the quintessence of all neoliberal conservation strategies, ecotourism is expected to reconcile environmental protection and poverty reduction. However, the neoliberalisation of conservation is often more complicated than the ideal path imagined by practitioners. Instead of being completely laissez-fare in the real world, ecotourism has continuously been shaped and governed by strict government policies and plans, which are heavily influenced by global imaginations of nature. Growing scholarships have therefore been critically examining the actual impacts of ecotourism and criticising the real success of neoliberal conservation. However, not many have taken an approach in examining and criticising ecotourism as an ‘art of the government’ (Foucault, 2008). Using Fletcher’s (2010) poststructuralist political ecology framework, my paper approaches the question on how ecotourism has been materialised through various environmental governmentalities. Using Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda as a case study, this research examines the different ‘art of government’ behind ecotourism and identifies the stakeholders, agendas and power relationships. Specifically, I argue that ecotourism, and neoliberal conservation in general, is in fact not much different from its predecessor – fortress conservation. Additionally, my paper also examines how the materialisations of ecotourism, coupled with pre-existing socio-economic and political factors, have impacted local communities surrounding Kidepo. My research demonstrates how ecotourism has in fact widened and created new spaces of inequalities and vulnerabilities, thereby exacerbating current state of poverty. These detrimental results that largely contradict the often-assumed win-win situation reveal the tensions between different stakeholders and environmentalities, thereby calling for more research on the long-term feasibility of ecotourism strategies.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143854
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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