A Political Ecology Perspective on Bridging Organizations and Their Influence on Marine Conservation

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Abstract

This article draws on areas of inquiry from the political ecology literature to critically examine the influence of bridging organizations in marine conservation efforts in Indonesia. Bridging organizations are hypothesized to facilitate coordinated conservation action involving diverse actors across scales. As we show, however, how such organizations interpret conservation needs and objectives can vary immensely, and with far-reaching consequences for people, policy, and conservation practice. This study used qualitative interviewing, participant observation, and content analysis to demonstrate how narratives about conservation are enmeshed in valuing judgements that steer conservation towards certain solutions (e.g. protected areas, community management), embody and alter the interactions and relationships of others, and produce specific social and ecological consequences, such as changes to use rights and social practices. We outline a series of themes and questions that offer a way forward to engage these organizations and their partners in a more reflexive and critical manner.

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Berdej, S., Silver, J., & Armitage, D. (2019). A Political Ecology Perspective on Bridging Organizations and Their Influence on Marine Conservation. Society and Natural Resources, 32(11), 1258–1275. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2019.1626960

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