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Zoning: environmental cosmopolitics in and around the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Petén, Guatemala

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This article considers debates concerning the contribution of anthropology to an understanding of vernacular and marginal forms of cosmopolitanism in relation to the environmental cosmopolitics of zoning practices in and around the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR), Petén, Guatemala. Zoning practices realize political and economic restructuring, integration, and fragmentation through conditionality and exceptionalism. The rationale for zoning of MBR territories evident in UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme and USAID MAYAREMA Resource Management Project have combined the instrumentalism of aid-tied development with a cosmopolitan appeal to the protection of the global environment in the interests of “humanity” imagined as an internally differentiated, and yet singular entity. As zoning practices have emerged as forms of conditionality placed on a range of human activities, they have been called into question by “Other” discrepant and cosmopolitan constituencies advancing different imagined relations between cosmos and polis, “environment” and “society.” The article considers discrepant zoning practices and related imaginings adopted by the Communities of Population in Resistance. Q'eqchi' perspectives are also addressed, notably with reference to the environmental cosmopolitics of indigenous religious practice. By exploring the environmental cosmopolitics of the MBR, the article argues that through anthropological knowledge practices, plural and over lapping cosmovisions and related vernacular and discrepant forms of environmental cosmopolitanism are brought into view. The task lies in grappling with relativization, pluralization, and complexity as these follow on from anthropological knowledge practices and environmental cosmopolitan zoning practices alike.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22018/

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