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A dam, a park, and offsets: Analyzing socio-ecological conflict in Santander, Colombia, through political ecology and Galtung's conflict triangle

Author: Jane Kathryn Feeney orcid logo (Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin)

  • A dam, a park, and offsets: Analyzing socio-ecological conflict in Santander, Colombia, through political ecology and Galtung's conflict triangle

    Articles

    A dam, a park, and offsets: Analyzing socio-ecological conflict in Santander, Colombia, through political ecology and Galtung's conflict triangle

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Abstract

Environmental offsets are proposed as a solution to counterbalance the inherent conflict between extractive development and environmental protection. However, with the expansion of offsetting projects across the world, new socio-ecological conflicts are emerging as a direct consequence of these initiatives. This article examines a case study of environmental offsets implemented in Parque Nacional Natural Serranía de los Yariguíes located in Santander, Colombia, to compensate for the impacts of the Hidrosogamoso hydroelectric dam. Based on fieldwork conducted between 2018 and 2019 and adopting an analytical framework that combines Johan Galtung's conflict triangle with political ecology, this study reveals the contradictory goals, values, policies and narratives, and the behaviors and attitudes that have led to tensions. In doing so, it highlights the social impacts of offset projects implemented in a protected area, as well as the practical and ethical challenges of attempting to offset environmental harm.

Keywords: Environmental compensation, biodiversity offsets, conflict, Colombia, Hidrosogamoso, protected area, conflict triangle

How to Cite:

Feeney, J. K., (2023) “A dam, a park, and offsets: Analyzing socio-ecological conflict in Santander, Colombia, through political ecology and Galtung's conflict triangle”, Journal of Political Ecology 30(1), 166–190. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.4685

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Funding

  • Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship (grant GOIPG/2016/510)

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Published on
06 Mar 2023
Peer Reviewed