ورود درگیری ها در جنوب کامرون : چشم انداز اقتصاد محیط زیست فمینیستی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8754||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 70, Issue 2, 15 December 2010, Pages 170–177
Growing attention has been paid to gender in ecological economics, political ecology and development studies but a focus on gender in resource extraction conflicts is still rare. This article explores women-led resistance movements to commercial logging in South-eastern Cameroon, focusing on the moabi tree (Baillonella toxisperma). The latter provides oil, medicine and other non-timber products and use-values to local forest societies and particularly to women. Resistances arise because most socio-environmental costs of the international logging trade are imposed on the rural populations and especially on women of the extractive regions. The aim of this paper is to analyze the root causes of the gender structure of such mobilisations as well as the impacts on gender relations induced by such resource extraction conflicts. After proposing a typology of different environmental currents and their gender counterparts, this paper focuses on the gender construction of local Bantu societies, taking as a point of departure Paola Tabet's thesis that masculine control over production tools is the objective factor revealing the sexual division of work. In our case study, we found that the men's control over technology not only highlights the sexual work division but also the gendered division of access rights to natural resources. Thereby, we argue that the sexual division of access rights and work — revealed through differentiated control over technology — are two key institutions explaining the gendered structure of local mobilizations. We, then, discuss the empowerment allowed by the new forms of women's organizations, with a particular focus on the appropriation of new production tools by women. This highlights a non-Western form of environmental feminism.
The convergence between feminism and ecology has been explored from various perspectives since d'Eaubonne's book was published (1974). It has been envisaged from an essentialist viewpoint, generally referring to Shiva (1989), but also from a social constructivist perspective, that looks at gender construction in its material relations to the environment (Agarwal, 1994, Agarwal, 1998, Mackenzie, 1990, Mellor, 1997a, Mellor, 1997b, Moore and Vaughan, 1994, Rocheleau, 1997, Rocheleau et al., 1996 and Thomas-Slayter, 1992). It has thus raised the old conflict between feminism and essentialism among all these scholars critical of traditional economic development. In addition, mainstream economic authors (World Bank, 1987 and World Bank, 1994) have also begun to address the relation between gender and the environment. For their part, ecological economists have addressed women's roles in the economy, arguing that mainstream economic thinking has neglected both women's work and ecosystem services (Perkins, 1997, Perkins, 2007 and O'Hara, 2009) and pointing out that there are ‘links between the marginalization and exploitation of the natural world and women's labour’ (Perkins and Kuiper, 2005: 122). A special issue of Ecological Economics was devoted to Women, Ecology and Economics (Perkins, 1997). This article contributes to the feminist ecological economics literature by studying the connection between (1) the exploitation and degradation of the environment due to international trade in ‘precious’ woods, and (2) the resulting gendered structure of the conflicts over such resource extraction with a special emphasis on control over technology. This will be done by examining the resistances of Bantu communities to the commercial logging of moabi (B.toxisperma), an endemic tree species of the Congo basin forest, the world's second most important forested region. The management of moabi trees offers a good starting point for the study of gender structure of resistances to commercial logging because this species attracts a variety of interests and cultural values. Indeed, moabi trees provide oil, medicine and other use-values to Cameroonian forest societies and particularly to women, but at the same time moabi wood is particularly valued by loggers due to its high price, and its numerous qualities in carpentry. In line with this, moabi is the eighth most exported tree species in Cameroon (in volume of sawn logs) (Cameroonian customs, pers. comm., 2007), despite its low density as well as its fragility and low reproduction rate. This leads to an increasing shortage in this species which alarms international NGOs such as Friends of the Earth who proposed adding this species to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) red list. In this article, we first explore the links between three main environmental currents and gender issues, in order to situate our analysis in the debates on gender, environment and development. Then, we examine the construction of gender in Bantu forest societies of Southern Cameroon, emphasizing the gender division over the control of technologies. In doing this, we use Tabet (1998) theoretical insight — on the control of tools as the objective factors of the sexual division of work — and propose an extension of it by arguing that, in this case, control over technologies also reveals gendered access to natural resources. Secondly, we focus on the access rights to moabi and on the specific gendered knowledge and interests in this tree species, highlighting the distinctive way women perceive ecological degradation because of their daily experience. Thirdly, we link this gender specification (Zein-Elabdin, 1996) with the gendered structure of resistances to moabi logging. Finally, we emphasize how resistance leads to new strategies built up by women in this extractive region, thereby promoting women's empowerment. This article contributes therefore to the literature on gender, ecology and economics by providing additional empirical material for understanding how gender interacts with environment and thus shape gender structure of resistances in resource extraction conflicts. Moreover, it highlights how these resistances can also challenge patriarchy in the specific context of the Bantu societies of Southern Cameroon, thereby pointing out non-Western forms of environmental feminism.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article contributes to the new field of ‘feminist ecological economics [that] combines social justice and ecological perspective’, while emphasizing that nature's services are essential for human welfare (Perkins and Kuiper, 2005: 134). The paper contributes to this emerging study field by showing that, in the case examined, technology is at the interface between gender relations, economy and environment, and technologies of production/extraction therefore provide a fruitful starting point for understanding the gender structure of resource extraction conflicts linked to international trade. It also highlights how some institutions (control over technology and kinship) shape both resource access rights and gender relations. Specifically, we focus on women outside of the market system who face the ‘externalities’ of commercial logging; who organize accordingly to fight against such industrial activities and to build up alternatives; and who therefore challenge patriarchy in their own culture. More precisely, we have intended to highlight two broad phenomena which are interconnected. Firstly, from an ecological economics perspective, the article draws attention to the local resistance to the commercial exploitation of tropical forests in Southern Cameroon. The mobilizations described here can be seen as responses to the expansion of international trade and the progression of the generalized market system that require, for their proper functioning, increasing quantities of raw materials taken from nature, and especially from Southern countries (Giljum and Eisenmenger, 2004, Hornborg, 1998 and Muradian and Martínez-Alier, 2001). These resistance movements appear because the deterioration of natural resources threatens the livelihoods of populations (still) not dependent on markets — or who know the market system cannot meet their needs partly because of their marginalized position vis-à-vis this system. These mobilizations therefore highlight the unequal distribution of the economic benefits and the socio-environmental costs of economic growth and international trade (Martínez-Alier, 2002). In particular, the moabi trade is unequal given the fact that its wood is used by Western consumers at an unsustainable rate of exploitation, and that the major part of the economic benefits remains in the hands of Northern companies — especially French — while most of the socio-environmental costs are imposed on the local populations of the extractive regions. Specifically, the pressure of world demand does not allow time for moabi regeneration. Therefore, local women's organizations mobilize against the velocity of an economy driven by the profit and interest rates, which differ from nature's temporality (see Adam, 1996, Bunker, 1985 and Mellor, 1997b, on the contradiction between biological and market times). Secondly, from a gender perspective, this article argues — building on Tabet's (1998) insights — that the masculine control over technology represents the objective (i.e. material) factors highlighting the gendered access to natural resources (fields and trees) in Bantu forest societies. This provides a new way of investigating the interaction between gender construction and resource access and highlights the consequent construction of gendered traditional ecological knowledge. Therefore, we have proposed some additional empirical material for understanding the gendered structure of resource extraction conflicts. Inside Bantu forest societies, the gendered division of access to natural resources, work, and ecological knowledge are interrelated and lead to a different perception of moabi scarcity, pushing women to develop specific strategies and mobilizations against the commercial exploitation of moabi. This concurs with the central thesis in the field of feminist political ecology stating that gender specification makes women and men perceive and react differently to market intrusion as well as natural resources depletion (Rocheleau et al., 1996). In the CADEFE case, this process also leads women to resist patriarchy in their own culture thereby highlighting non-Western forms of feminism. Moabi oil production provides a good illustration of Tabet's (1998) thesis: as soon as more complex tools are at stake (the press), men get control over the production and its monetary profits. However, the CADEFE case also shows that it is possible to reverse this process: when women organize themselves in order to gain control over production tools, they can keep the command over production, thereby inducing an empowerment process. Further research should be undertaken on these kinds of relations, because they may have useful practical applications in gender-sensitive sustainable development projects.