Está listo (Are you ready)? Gender, Race and Land Registration in the Río Plántano Biosphere Reserve


Mollett, Sharlene. 2010. "Está listo (Are you ready)? Gender, Race and Land Registration in the Río Plántano Biosphere Reserve.” Gender, Place and Culture 17 (3): 357-375.

Author: Sharlene Mollett


Geographers and political ecologists are paying increased attention to the ways in which conservation policies disrupt indigenous customary tenure arrangements. However, much less attention is given to the particular ways protected area management shapes natural resource access for indigenous women. With this in mind, this article examines how a recently proposed state land project in Honduras, Catastro y Regularización, requires that Miskito residents individuate collective family lands in the interests of 'sustainable development' and 'biodiversity protection'. In the debates that followed the project's announcement, Miskito women feared that such measures would erase their customary access to family lands. As the state's project seeks to re-order Reserve land, intra-Miskito struggles intensified among villagers. Such struggles are not only gendered but are shaped by longstanding processes of racialization in Honduras and the Mosquitia region. Drawing upon ethnographic research, I argue that Miskito women's subjectivity and rights to customary family holdings are informed by their ability to make 'patriarchal bargains' with Miskito men inside the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve. Such findings suggest that scholars and policy makers continue to reflect on the ways global conservation and sustainable development practices may undermine indigenous customary tenure securities, whether intentionally or not.

Keywords: indigenous peoples, gender, land registration, protected areas, racialization

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Land Tenure, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2010

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