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The Impacts of Conservation Practices on Indigenous Populations

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Conservation is a complicated entity consisting of a multitude of professional fields including social issues, cultural issues, and physical science. This thesis evaluates the positive and negative aspects of two broad types of conservation: top down fortress conservation and bottom

Conservation is a complicated entity consisting of a multitude of professional fields including social issues, cultural issues, and physical science. This thesis evaluates the positive and negative aspects of two broad types of conservation: top down fortress conservation and bottom up community-based conservation. Fortress conservation has many negative aspects, such as displacing human communities and preventing utilization of resources. However, it also has positive aspects, such as preventing the destruction of delicate ecosystems and slowing down extinctions. Community-based conservation is more inclusive and focuses on including the indigenous populations located within the proposed conservation site in the decision-making process. Its negatives include having an anthropocentric goal instead of valuing nature's intrinsic values. Understanding the differences inherent in these two methods is necessary in order to implement a conservation network with the highest chance for success.

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2014-05

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EmPOWERed: A Study of Solar Energy in Mayan Belize

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The Solar Mamas Program, created by the Indian-based non-profit Barefoot College, brings illiterate and semi-literate older women from rural communities around the world to India for a six-month training on solar engineering and entrepreneurship. The Barefoot enterprise is unique in

The Solar Mamas Program, created by the Indian-based non-profit Barefoot College, brings illiterate and semi-literate older women from rural communities around the world to India for a six-month training on solar engineering and entrepreneurship. The Barefoot enterprise is unique in that it contrasts the typical flow of humanitarian aid and implements a South-South development dynamic. Belize is one country that Barefoot selects potential Solar Mamas from with help from its ground partner, Plenty Belize. This ethnographic study aims to identify and assess the direct and indirect impacts the solar project has created in traditional Mayan life in the Toledo District. Interviews were conducted in Santa Elena and Jalacte, which are two villages with and without solar electrification, respectively. The study observed positive impacts on various aspects of health, education, and economics, as well as gender relations. Although relatively successful in its mission, constructive feedback was provided to all actors in the solar project with the aim of enhancing the Solar Mamas’ experience and effectiveness as a “new class of leaders” in their communities, as well as to ensure the continued success that solar electrification has had in the Mayan communities.

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2019-05