Top-down “green” EU policy and neoliberal development dramatically affect people living in or near EU protected areas. We invite ethnographic contributions that explore the resulting socio-environmental issues and ways in which traditional ecological knowledge might be integrated in future programs.
The relationships between “nature” and “culture” have long been interrogated from different perspectives, with environmental anthropology raising the issues of power, traditional ecological knowledge, loss of biocultural diversity, to name just a few. People living inside, or near, protected areas have been of particular interest: their ways of coping have been dramatically challenged by new institutions and international regulations. Neoliberal ideologies and politics are often blamed for environmental degradation and conflict in protected areas worldwide. However, a paucity of research in Europe, particularly, its eastern areas, means that environmental issues of these countries are less well examined and understood.
The European Union is dramatically (re)shaping landscapes and local cultures through its “green policies”, conceived in Brussels, often thousands of kilometers away from the communities intended to follow the environmental rules and regulations.