""Anti-anthropologist" Maurice Bloch talks in interview about the abuse of anthropological expertise by developmental ecologists"...
"In Madagascar, the development experts are being replaced by conservationists who wield tremendous power. They are largely motivated by some general kind of ideologies about ecology in the world, about preserving forests or some species, which is obviously a good idea. But what they really want is to have large reserves in places like Madagascar. They want to turn the whole country into a national park. Countries like Madagascar are hugely indebted. And European and North-American countries perform a kind of blackmail, which they call "swapping debt for nature". If you'll have natural parks then we'll drop the debt. And of course, the Malagassy government can't resist. The Malagassy elite are quite happy to have as many natural parks as the wealthy countries like, because the parks bring experts and the experts bring their money. But for the local people, it means that their land is just being taken away. They are not allowed to cultivate their land anymore. And they say, quite rightly, "the land has gone to the Americans". Villagers see their field on the other side of the fence; if they go to their field they will be fined or imprisoned, while they see American or European natural scientists wandering around on it. It's a terrible situation.
Those anthropologists who work there have denounced very strongly what is going on in ecology. But they find that because of the power and self-righteousness of the ecological discourse, it is difficult to get heard."....16 parags. from end. Interview took place 7/29/2007. via Democrats Against UN Agenda 21