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Acciaioli Institut Pertanian Bogor presentation 2018 on neoliberal environmental education

Neoliberal Environmental
Education in Archipelagic
Southeast Asia: The
Accomplishments and
Limitations of RARE
programs in Borneo
Prepared for the Panel ‘Environmental
Education in South East Asia’,
Asian Studies Association of Australia
(ASAA) 21st Biennial Conference,
The Australian National University,
5-7 July 2016
<[email protected]>
Neoliberal as an Ideology and an Imaginary
 An Ideology posing the market as key institution to solve all human problems
• Construction of a global order based upon capitalist market dynamics
• Increasing economic growth as motor to power all solutions
• Dependence upon state for legislative and policy framework to ‘actively foster
and bolster the markets as an ongoing political creation’ (Wacquant)
 An imaginary seeking to exclude all other ways of imagining social, political, and
economic relations
• Orientation toward hegemony: not just consent but setting the only frame for
thinking about social problems
Dressler and Roth’s (2010) definition of neoliberalism
‘a political and an ideological project which
seeks to overhaul governance toward that with
a smaller role of the state and a greater role for
the capitalist markets and an assumption of an
idealized homo-economicus as the primary
subject and agent’
Neoliberalism as a Governmentality (Foucault)
 Governmentality: Discursive regime constituted by an apparatus of discourses and
technologies that manage people through the tactics of power
 Neoliberal Governmentality
• Creation of uniform subjects operating according to logic of neoliberal order
• Ideal neoliberal subject: individual as entrepreneur creating own fate through
• Responsibility to maximise opportunities to create and deploy capital
 Neoliberal Environmentality
• Creation of subjects operating according to a logic of pragmatic choices
regarding what benefits conservation practices can yield
• Logic of pragmatic choice replaces logic of compliance of earlier conservation
– Conservation must demonstrate its benefits to self-interested (i.e. ‘rational’?) actors
– Incentive structures rather than regulations
The Neoliberal Turn in Conservation
 Neoliberal recasting of nature: REVALUATION as commodified nature
 Resource and potentialities accorded quantitative economic values
 Preservation of economic values as key to sustainability
‘Putting a price on nature’ (McAfee)
 Conservation based on premise of maintaining and enhancing economic values of
• Green developmentalism
Neoliberal Conservation Strategies and Programs
 Reduction of role of state in protected area governance
• Role of transnational conservation organisations in protected areas
– Assumption of management roles rather than the state
– Establishment of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM)
– Transformation of subjectivities of local inhabitants as pragmatic stakeholders
 Livelihood transitions
• Replacement of ‘extensive’, low energy swidden agriculture with intensive cash
crop cultivation
– Rotation on commons land  individual private ownership of fixed plots
• Ecotourism as productive use of forest (and marine) areas no longer worked
– Conversion of local biodiversity into ‘spectacle’
– Charismatic megafauna
– Coral reef marine life
– Opportunities for resort construction to intensify capital expenditure
Neoliberal Conservation Strategies and Programs
 Revaluation of unworked areas as repositories of Ecosystem Services
 E.g. Repositories of carbon  carbon market trading schemes
• REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)
• Cap-and-trade frameworks allow continuation of pollution practices by paying for
measured excess
• PES (Payment for ecosystem services): payments to local inhabitants for
managing their resources to provide ‘benefits of nature’ to other populations
– Fresh water
Air quality
– Water purification
Waste treatment
– Cultural services (including eco-cultural tourism)
Climate regulation
• Periodic valuation of such services by Millennium Ecosystem Assessments
 Climate Mitigation Offset schemes
 ‘Rewilding’ schemes: including purchase of communal and privately owned land by
wealthy philanthropists and conservation organisations (e.g. TNC)
Creation of appropriate subjects for revaluation of nature:
Neoliberal turn in environmental education
 Reconstructing individuals as subjects who revalue nature to operationalise neoliberal
revaluation requires education
 Marginalisation of environmental education in curriculum
• Its aims, interdisciplinary range, orientation to everyday behaviours not core to areas
in which schools evaluated
 Content and orientation of environmental education
 Underlying concepts
• E.g. Resilience: Mitigation effects of critiquing discrete behaviours
Failure to critique underlying systems
• ‘Reduce-reuse-recycle’ triangle as behavior mitigation
• E.g. Consumption diaries: but not a radical critique of consumerism
 Larger structural framework intact
• Economic growth as foundation of solving both socio-economy and environmental
problems left uncriticised
Neoliberal turn’s effects upon environmental education
 Relegation of delivery of environmental education by NGOs across contexts
• Formal: curricular learning in formal educational contexts from primary to university
Green Education
Education for Sustainability
• Informal: transmission of conservation aims in context of belief systems of local
Especially conceptions of humanity and environment or
‘the native knowledge and values that define human relationship to nature’
 Interventions to transform subjectivity of local peoples (both adults and childrens) in rural
 Especially salient in and round protected areas (e.g. national parks, wildlife reserves, etc.)
• E.g. Park Management Authority at Lore Lindu National Park (Taman Nasional Lore
Lindu or TNLL) not concern itself with environmental education
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) charged with environmental education efforts in Palolo Valley (Kamarora) at periphery of
• In Wakatobi National Park environmental education as carried out by multiple NGOs
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Operation Wallacea
Case Study of rare as a transnational conservation organisation
 rare as a private transnational conservation organisation
• Home branch in Arlington, Virginia, USA
• Dependent upon private donations
 Independent but at one point almost merged with The Nature Conservancy
 Motto ‘Inspiring Conservation’ expanded into (e.g.) ‘rare inspires change so people
and nature thrive’
 Rare’s history
rare’s origin and early history
Origin in frustrated campaign to save Saint Lucia Parrot in
Carribean (St Lucia in Southern Antilles Islands)
• Symbol of global extinction process
Begin with committee to design a poster to save the bird:
• Bad marketing strategy!
Turn to commercial marketing ‘If an attractive girl in an advertisement
could sell beer, why couldn’t a lovable parrot sell conservation?’
• So, create t-shirts with St Lucia parrot ‘brand’ to sell
conservation’ (as well as mugs, bumper stickers, hats, badges,
key rings, etc.)
• Appeal to people on ‘emotional level’: ‘tapping into the power of
• Saving a species of extinction generating a legacy of
environmental pride
• Creation of giant mascot parrot
• St. Lucia parrot as national bird
• Creation of ecological reserves
• Updating and enforcement of laws
Replication of this approach throughout the Caribbean lead to ‘more
scalable support platform’
rare’s regional scope
 Upscaling from Caribbean to founding by participants of rare as a transnational
conservation organization
 USA home base complemented by 5 branch offices
The Philippines
– Bogor office also covers rare campaigns in Malaysia
• Centralised training centre at University of Kent, UK
• Now followed by MA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso, USA
rare’s orientation: ‘Inspiring conservation’
 Aims: ‘Conservation on a Human Scale’
• Balancing Act: ‘Conservation ultimately comes down to people – their
behaviors toward nature, their beliefs about its value, and their ability to
protect it without sacrificing basic life needs. And so, conservationists must
become as skilled in social change as in science; as committed to
community-based solutions as national and international policymaking.’
 Rare’s emphasis upon giving people ‘motivation’ to change their behaviour
• Ascertaining behaviours threatening to biodiversity
Illegal logging
Unsustainable agriculture, etc.
• Searching for innovative community-based solutions to modify behaviours
‘Bright spots’
• Launching social marketing campaigns to promote adopting alternative
behaviours: signature PRIDE CAMPAIGN
The Neoliberal Turn in rare’s approachy
‘Inspiring conservation’ as a focus upon changing: lnvidividual’s
(2) ATTITUDES (& motivations)
• KAP variable do not focus on engaging with / change of community social
– E.g. Changing structures related to livelihood pursuits
• Individual as primary reality
 rare’s theory of change expressed in it formula:
K + A + IC + BR  BC  TR  CR
 ‘an increase in knowledge plus a change in attitude, interpersonal communication
and barrier removal leads to behavior change, which leads to threat reduction, and,
ultimately, a conservation result’
SMART Method
 SMART components
 3C Framework
rare Pride Campaigns as vehicle for motivation transformation
 Use of ‘private sector marketing tactics’ to motivate behaviour
change & garner community support ‘bottom-up’
• Audience segmentation
• Focus-groups testing of highly targeted messages
• Use of multiple media vehicles & outlets over sustained period of
• Rigorous measurement of ‘product adoption’
– New attitudes
– Behaviours
– Sustainable alternatives in livelihoods
– ‘
rare partnerships
 Partnerships: avoid direct interventions
• Training ‘local’ partners in implementation of Pride
– Rare fellows
• Described as ‘local conservationists’ who are the
‘heroes’ of Pride campaigns
• Campaigns site-specific but launched in cohorts of 1015 trainee fellows
• Rare fellows listed not ‘local’ in sense of being
members of local communities
– Not inhabitants of villages in localities of Pride campaign implementation
• Drawn instead from
State conservation and park agencies
Government ministries
Directorate generals
Conservation NGOs
Partnerships in Indonesia (and Malaysia): Majority not local!
 Conservation International - Indonesia
Development Alternatives Inc.
Directorate General of Forest Preservation
and Nature Conservation
Fauna and Flora International
Institute Pertanian Bogor (IPB)
Kaliandra Sejati Foundation
Komodo National Park
Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia
Mapayah Foundation
North Sumatra Conservation Agency
PEKAT Foundation
Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program
SEKA Foundation
The Nature Conservancy - Indonesia
Titian Foundation
Ujung Kulon National Park Agency
USAID - Environmental Services Project
Wildlife Conservation Society - Indonesia
World Wildlife Fund - Indonesia
World Wildlife Fund - Malaysia
Case Study 1: Pride Campaign Project for the Sungai Lamandau Wildlife
Reserve ((Suaka Margasatwa Sungai Lamandau)
 Campaign’s major aim:
• Reducing shifting cultivation practices around the
Sungai Lamandau Wildlife Reserve (SLWR)
– Preserving an important habitat for orangutan
– Release area designated by Birute Galdikas
 Campaign Manager: Head of Education Section of
 Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia (Yayorin)
Case Study 1: Conceptual Model (‘Factor Chain’) of the Sungai Lamandau
Wildlife Reserve as part of Project Planning Process
Threat Ranking:
4) Poaching
1) Fire
5) Pollution
2) Land Clearing (for shifting cultivation and oil palm plantations)
3) Logging
Key to the Conceptual Model of the Sungai Lamandau Wildlife Reserve
1 : Lack of education and environmental awareness
2 : Lack of knowledge about land management
3 : Discrepancy of agricultural instructions
4 : Low education and knowledge
5 : Illegal timber market
6 : Lack of law enforcement
7 : Lack of patrol and land monitoring
8 : Low human resources quality
9 : Lack of knowledge about agriculture cultivation
10 : Lack of land for field
11 : Shifting cultivation
12 : Local tradition
13 : Building construction materials
14 : Land sale by locals
15 : Oil palm plantation
16 : Demand for timber
17 : Illegal timber brokers
18 : Unclear area boundaries
19 : The dry season
20 : Grass burning to attract deers or other animals
to hunt
21 : Forest fire
22 : Land clearing
23 : Illegal logging
24 : Financial pressure
25 : Bad economic conditions
26 : Competition for social status
27 : Lack of attention from relevant institutions
28 : Consumers of poached nimals
29 : Offers of employment in mining
30 : Illegal mining
31 : Water pollution
32 : Pastime
33 : Local source of protein
34 : Local tradition
35 : Poaching
36 : Offers of employment in timber
37 : Consumerist mindset
38 : Lack of socialization
39 : Market demand
40 : Lack of awareness
41 : Project Scope: The Lamandau River Wildlife
Reserve and Surrounding Areas
42 : Forest Habitat of Orangutans and Other Wildlife
43 : Animals (orangutans and others) or Wildlife
44 : Freshwater Ecosystems (wetlands, lakes and
The University of Western Australia
Social Marketing Techniques of the Campaign
 Motto: ‘Be Prudent on Our Own Land’
(‘Hemat di Lahan Sendiri’)
• Calls to Action
Permanent Agriculture Is More Profitable
Permanent Agriculture Saves Our Water
Permanent Agriculture Maintains Our Climate
Permanent Agriculture Provides Other Benefits
of the Forest
 Mascot
• Primary: Orangutan (Paman Wira)
• Secondary:
– Hornbill (Bili Si Rangkong)
– Deer (Sam)
Media of the Social Marketing Campaign
Public Service Announcements on the Radio
• ‘Permanent Agriculture without Slash-and-Burn –
“Kopi Asin”’
Radio talk shows
Radio inserts – the District Head’s Appeal
Stickers with campaign logo and slogan
Pins with campaign logo and slogan
Posters – permanent agriculture
Calendars – climate change
SUMPITAN Bulletins
Fact Sheets – ‘How to Cultivate Land without
Agriculture Demonstration Plot without
Slash-and-Burn (Rubber, Fruit Trees,
Horticultural Plants)
(Main ‘Barrier Removal’ Technique)
Trainings and Comparative Studies on
Agriculture without Slash-and-Burn
Community Meetings
Presumption/Construction of the Neoliberal Subject in the Campaign
 Campaign manager’s rationale of the effect of the demonstration plot’s successful
harvests of horticultural products during the campaign
• Chillies, eggplants, bitter melons, gourds
 ‘This is a general characteristic of the community: when influenced by something
from outside that gives them benefits and is inspirational, they are capable of
changing their attitude and behavior and try to emulate new things. As is clear from
the demonstration plot, that has shown them the yield of the plant products, and the
comparative studies that shown them success stories in other places, things like
these stick in their minds and get them interested to try on their own.’ (Santoso, Final
Report Pride Campaign Project, Suaka Margasatwa Sungai Lamandau Wildlife
Reserve, 2010, p. 77)
Evaluation of Success of the Campaign
 Differences between Pre-Campaign and Post-Campaign Surveys
• Showing knowledge of the sedentary mixed crop farming, wildlife reserve, etc.
– E.g. Knowledge about mixed crop sedentary farming w/o burning increase from 50% to 93.3% across surveys
• Showing improvement in attitudes to adopting mixed crop sedentary farming
• Showing more engagement in ‘interpersonal communication’ with others
concerning mixed crop sedentary farming
• Admitting behavior of either adopting sedentary agroforestry without any further
burning of fields or adopting sedentary agroforestry in addition to burning for
– 118 farmers in 2 primary target villages adopt sedentary farming w/o slash-and-burn and 39 sedentary farming with
slash-and-burn in addition
 Decrease in number of forest fires
 Reduction of logging activities
 Changes in forest cover
• Extended rains
• Only one month after the campaign end
Case Study 2: Campaign for Sustainable Fishing - Tun
Sakaran Marine Park, Malays
Campaign Motto:
• [They] are to be preserved so that there will
be many [i.e. they will become numerous]
• Dijaga supaya banyak (Malay)
• Nijagahan kok pahika (Sama)
Campaign Promise
• ...to preserve the reef in TSMP by working
with the fishing village to change them to
fishing only in particular zones and respect
the parks regulation...
They + reef fish, coral, etc.
— Fazrullah Rizally Abdul Razak, Rare Conservation Fellow,
Park Manager, Sabah Parks, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Theory of Change
• Campaign for Sustainable Fishing - Tun
Sakaran Marine Park, Malaysia (Bogor-5) will
protect the No Take Zone Areas and to
ensure that there will be no changes on the
percentage of live coral reef cover within the
areas by reducing the prohibited fishing
activities under the TSMP regulation to 10%
by 2014-06-28
Symbol of Pride Campaign at TMSP: Si Kubing
• Mousegrouper aka Humpback
Grouper/Barramundi Cod
• Ikan Kerapu Tikus (Malay)
• Daing Kuhako Kubing or just Kubing (Bajau)
• Cromileptes altivelis (Scientific name)
The University of Western Australia
Location of Tun Sakaran Marind Park in a Nested Hierarchy of Conservation Zones:
Coral Triangle Initiative
Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion
Semporna Priority Conservation Area
Tun Sakaran Marine Park
The University of Western Australia
Evaluating the Efficacy of the Exercise – Conservation Quiz Administered
during the Malam Maglami-lami (Malam Bersenang-senang or ‘Night for
Enjoying’) as a Signature Pride Campaign Event
Which colour represents the Conservation Zone?
What is the fish used for the logo of the Pride Campaign?
Name 2 zones that must be cared for so that the fish may multiply?
Sabah Parks is setting out flotation markers. What is the colour of the flotation marked for the
Conservation Zone where one cannot fish and must have a permit for recreational purposes?
Name the zones where is it allowed to catch fish?
What is the colour of the flotation devices that are to be placed for the Conservation Zone?
Name 2 zones that are to be found in Tun Sakaran Marine Park?
Where is the zone where we can catch fish in Tun Sakaran Marine Park?
Name the two zones of which one can make use outside the Prohibition Zone?
How many water zones are there in Tun Sakaran Marine Park?
Why is it necessary for us only to catch fish in the General Use Zone and the Pelagic Zone?
What is the name of the zone with the yellow flotation marker?
What is the slogan of the Pride Campaign that has been put forward by Sabah Parks?
What is the name of the zone that has the yellow flotation marker?
Name the zones where we are allowed to catch fish in Tun Sakaran Marine Park?
Name all the zones that there are in Tun Sakaran Marine Park?
What is the type of fish that is used in the logo and also in the [campaign]?
Efficacy of the Pride Campaign Quiz Exercise – Bonus Question Performance
 Results:
• Incorrect answers:
• Not fully correct answers
but accepted by MC/jury:
• Fully correct answers:
• Unrecorded answers
(due to crowd noise, etc.)
 Low rate of correct answers (33%) despite opening
lecture and Sabah parks drama
• Crowd cues for right answers
– Some mishearings by contestants
– Crowd cue
– Pelagik
– Konservasi
Contestant answers
Pelangi (Rainbow)
Kota Bersih (Clean City)
Concluding Observations: Flaws in the rare Pride Campaign Methods
 Evaluating the claimed successes of rare’s approach to conservation
• Pre- and post-campaign survey results
– On some indicators, especially relating to knowledge and interpersonal communication. real increases
among individuals of target population
– Survey responses relating to behavioural change more subject to change without scrutiny of actual
– Where projected increases not apparent, survey questions characterised as ‘unconstructive’ and ‘diffuse’
‘To anticipate this, fewer questions will be given and the questions will be made more specific, while repondents will be
informed on the issue prior to socialization’
 Other indicators (reduced fires and illegal logging (SLWR), reduced harvesting of reef fish
from No-Take Zones (TSMP) cannot be unambiguously attributed to Pride Campaign
• SLWR Pride campaign manager: ‘Since we did not conduct a control (for
comparison), we are unable to ensure that the change was caused by the Pride
 Omission of addressing factors related to e.g. food security/food sovereignty
• If no ladang fields are burned off for planting dry rice, where is rice to be obtained?
• If this staple is not grown, is the income from the permanent sedentary plot sufficient
for purchasing rice?
Concluding Observations: The Inadequacy of Neoliberal Conservation
Does changing the knowledge, attitudes, interpersonal communication and practices of individuals
address the drivers of fires, illegal logging and other environmental issues of Borneo?
• Individuals’ swidden plots are not the main causes of fires and haze in Borneo
• Satellite imagery: haze sources coincide with clearing of large-scale oil palm plantations
Failure to address the structural issues driving the proliferation of oil palm plantations
• Despite being listed in preliminary threat analysis
The neoliberal approach to conservation and environmental education may be necessary, but it is not
sufficient to address the problems identified
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