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Contested heritages : disputes on people, forests, and a world heritage site in globalizing Thailand
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Kurzfassung in Englisch
In December 1991 the Wildlife Sanctuaries Thung Yai Naresuan and Huai Kha Khaeng in Thailand were declared a heritage to mankind by UNESCO due to their outstanding universal value regarding global biodiversity. For conservationists this was a great success in their long lasting efforts to protect the forest area against detrimental effects of national modernization. People of the Karen ethnic minority group who live there since about 200 years were also among the threats mentioned in the nomination submitted to UNESCO. Stereotyped as 'hill tribes' they are marginalized in Thai society and preferentially are to be resettled. As the legal grounds for their eviction are shaky, the state authorities try to convince the Karen to resettle 'voluntarily', using strategies of exclusion and ethnicism together with restrictions and terror.
The paper sketches the emergence of Thung Yai as a protected area and its promotion to a global heritage in the context of international conservationism and national controversies about nature conservation and modernization. Since the beginning 1990s these conflicts about forests increasingly focus on the territorial, social, and political exclusion of so-called 'hill tribe' ethnic minority groups. The Royal Forest Department and the Military, thereby, try to secure and regain positions and power challenged in the course of the democratization process and the controversies about people and forests in Thailand.
On a more abstract level the paper points to the problem of applying generalizing frames of thought and perception to define highly specific local situations which necessarily distorts perceptions of these situations. This problem of scales and difference of context requires the empowerment of 'local communities' to improve their chances for self-determination as well as to strengthen their representation in institutions that decide about their living places.
||Thailand , Forstpolitik , Weltnaturerbe , Karen , Globalisierung
|Freie Schlagwörter (deutsch):
||Modernisierung , Ethnizismus , Lokaler Widerstand
|Freie Schlagwörter (englisch):
||Karen , World heritage site , globalization , forestry politics , environmentalism
||Working Group Socio-Economics of Forest Use in The Tropics and Subtropics
||Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Veterinärmedizin
||SEFUT Working Paper