UCL Anthropology


Human Ecology Research Group (HERG)

HERG 2021-22: Tuesdays 2-4 in 16 Taviton Street, room 433

In-person or online (starred*)

If you would like to participate, and you are not already a member of Virtual HERG Teams, please notify Professor Katherine Homewood so you can be added to the group invitation for the online events.

Summer 2022

10 May - Katy Scholfield (Arcus Foundation, Cambridge, UK)
The role of philanthropy in driving equitable conservation *Online

17 May - Amelia Moore (University of Rhode Island)
Coral Reparations: Moving from restoration to accountability in the global coral conversation *Online

24 May - Melis Ece (School of Global Studies, University of Sussex)
Cultural Heritage as Natural Resource: Assembling and Territorialising Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas in Bandafassi, Senegal  *Hybrid event: In Person & Online

Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) are gaining ground as a strategy to advance human and indigenous rights-based approaches in international conservation and as one of the scenarios for expanding conservation areas to 30% of the planet by 2030.  As a novel form of resource assemblage, ICCAs bring together community-based nature conservation, cultural heritage and human rights frameworks, where global notions of indigeneity are re-articulated to constitute and combine nature and culture as “resources”.  Promoted as a way to strengthen Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ rights and control over landscapes valued for their bio-cultural resources, ICCAs are being established in areas that are rapidly transforming into capitalist frontiers, where multiple actors and institutions are competing for land, resources and recognition. Focusing on Bandafassi commune, in Kedougou region an emerging capitalist frontier of extractivism in South-Eastern Senegal, this paper explores the politics and struggles surrounding the creation of an ICCA, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home for the Bedik (menik speaking) communities. It argues that in frontier contexts, where ICCAs articulate with pre-existing pathways of accumulation and exclusion, they present a double edge sword. While they can support the authority of collective land and resource claims, they also bring the communities seeking recognition under increasing pressure to meet the expectations and conditionalities of the actors and institutions involved, ranging from government institutions, local authorities to international organizations. Furthermore, the engagement with ICCAs based on cultural claims of indigeneity have multiple unintended effects on existing sedimented authority relations, fuelling competing claims of representation, while reinforcing inequalities in access to resources, circuits of capital and power, feeding into capitalist frontier dynamics of dispossession.