This chapter has examined the nexus of wildlife tourism, fortress conservation and forced displacement. Opening protected areas to domestic visitors and foreign tourists provides legitimacy for demarcating and securitising these areas and removing any former residents that are considered ‘threats’ to an imaginary ‘wilderness’. All four case studies provide evidence that the protection and commodification of nature for tourist consumption can have detrimental impacts on local communities that have co-existed with wildlife long before these protected area enclaves were opened for tourism. While in Tanzania the government has run an openly hostile campaign against Indigenous peoples for many years and evicted hundreds of pastoralist communities from wildlife reserves such as the Serengeti National Park (often backed by international wildlife conservation organisations), the approach taken by the Mozambiquan authorities to resettle communities from the newly established Limpopo National Park was more subtle, dubbed as ‘induced volition’ (Milgroom and Spierenburg, 2008). Similar strategies have been adopted by park authorities in India after the introduction of new legal frameworks related to wildlife protection and resettlement, particularly the promulgation of the Forest Rights Act in 2006. In Colombia’s Tayrona National Park, a triple strategy of privatisation, ecotourism promotion and militarisation of tourist spots and travel routes has been employed by local elites and paramilitary forces to ‘protect pristine nature’ from the destructive action of ‘invaders’ and ‘illegal occupants’ who have been largely deprived of their customary access to the Park’s resources (cf. Ojeda, 2012).
The next chapter explores processes of gradual displacement and gentrification associated with (eco)cultural heritage tourism in the rural and urban contexts of Central America (Guatemala), East Asia (China), Southeast Asia (Cambodia) and South America (Argentina and Peru). These case studies will show the convergence of political agendas surrounding tourism development and historical heritage preservation and how this process undermines local people’s property and housing rights as well as their rights to participate meaningfully in the management of (eco)cultural heritage sites.
140 Wildlife tourism and fortress conservation
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