Problematizing Protected Areas by Introducing Edge-Dwellers

February 18, 2015

Amber Abrams

Similar to botanic gardens, protected areas such as nature reserves or game parks often appear as quaint institutions that are useful for public education and entertainment, not to mention their centrality to environmental conservation efforts. Indeed, nature reserves, safari parks, and marine protected areas are places that people flock to for holiday adventures. Visitors revel in the notion of being “in nature” or “in the wild” because it is “simple” or “serene.” Entire economies are built around eco-tourism, a growing global trend. Public health research even touts the benefits of living near green spaces for mental health and pollution-related health issues (Maas et al. 2006; Mitchell and Popham 2008).
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