UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Community mobilization at the convergence of conservation and extraction Asiyanbi, Adeniyi; Ogar, Edwin


This article examines the mobilization of local communities within spaces of conservation-extraction convergence in an African context. We draw on ethnographic research from the Cross River area of Nigeria to trace the trajectory of the conservation-extraction assemblage as produced through the recent intensification of state-led capitalist development that builds on a history of colonial and postcolonial resource regulation. Our analysis suggests that ’spaces’ of conservation and extraction convergence should be understood not only in terms of their spatiality and internal logic but also in terms of their articulation with agrarian relations that play out in such ‘soft’ techniques as community recognition and enrolment of community labour, and ‘hard’ techniques of resource exclusion. Drawing on a case study of the Ekuri people from Cross River area, we show how local mobilization within spaces of conservation-extraction convergence relies on globalized constructs and supranational alliances as well as claims of indigeneity and place-based belonging. Community mobilization exploits the cracks and tensions in these convergent spaces to forge dynamic alliances and deploy diverse strategies necessary to defend resource rights and access.

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