The naturalization of protected areas is based on the discursive redefinition of both the environment and the social actors that inhabit it. This article studies how, within the processes associated with the creation and management of protected areas, discourses are generated that define humanity in relation to nature and its effects on access to resources and power relations. These processes are analyzed on the basis of a comparative ethnographic case study of El Manu National Park (Amazon, Peru) and the Galapagos National Park (Ecuador). Finally, it is concluded that discourses on humanity are instrumental in the processes for legitimizing or delegitimizing the role played by locals within protected areas, depending on attributed proximity or distance of humans to nature.
Keywords: nature, naturalization, humans, discourse, protected areas, Amazon, Galapagos
How to Cite:
Valcuende del Río, J. M. & Ruiz-Ballesteros, E., (2019) “Trapped in nature: discourses on humanity in processes of environmental naturalization”, Journal of Political Ecology 26(1), 184-201. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/v26i1.23244