Conservation as Enclosure: An Ecofeminist Perspective on Sustainable Development and Biopiracy in Costa Rica

Citation:

Isla, Ana. 2005. “Conservation as Enclosure: An Ecofeminist Perspective on Sustainable Development and Biopiracy in Costa Rica.” Capitalism Nature Socialism 16 (3): 49–61.

Author: Ana Isla

Annotation:

Summary:
"This paper argues that the rhetoric of sustainable development reinforces the power and reach of global capitalism. Using the language of conservation, industry, large environmental NGOs, and local government elites are sacrificing the survival of forest peoples to capital accumulation. Enclosures of common lands for the purpose of bioprospecting liquidate the customary claims of forest ownership. As a result, conservation as enclosure suppresses the human rights of local communities and the rights of nature. In this process, campesinos and indigenous people are impoverished as their local environments move from abundance to scarcity in a commodified world, and they themselves become displaced, marginalized, even criminalized, and unwaged in a waged global world. Women lose their autonomy in gender and development programs that claim to promote equality by including them in the international market. They are pushed into capitalized biotech micro-enterprises, become indebted, overextend their work time, and substitute family food production for the cultivation of medicinal plants—all for less than a minimum wage. By these predatory programs, a vulnerable local nature and vulnerable local women are tied into the world economy, not for conservation or emancipation, but to be exploited for capital accumulation" (Isla 2005, 13-4).

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Costa Rica

Year: 2005

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