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Title:Unruly landscapes: politics of biodiversity, energy and livelihoods in India
Author(s):Lakhanpal, Shikha
Director of Research:Chhatre, Ashwini
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Birkenholtz, Trevor
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Dill, Brian; Ali, Tariq O
Department / Program:Geography & Geographic InfoSci
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Renewable energy
Abstract:Global concerns on climate change mitigation and reduction in emissions are influencing sustainable projects worldwide. The global discourse on sustainability is manifested locally in various forms that re-arrange human-environment relationships. Such ‘green geographies’ are inevitably rooted in territoriality and are operationalized through controlling access to natural resources. The re-working of the spatial arrangements demarcating control over access to natural resources can pose a threat to local livelihoods that depend on nature. For projects located next to areas of conservation concern, it necessitates a political process of prioritization between conservation, development and livelihoods. In this dissertation, I focus on the re-working of these green geographies. I examine cases of local opposition against renewable power projects that are located in or around areas of prime conservation. The case sites are located in the Western Ghats and near the Great Himalayan National Park in India. I argue that these green geographies are inherently dynamic and democracy provides the context within which these landscapes are contested and re-defined. Further, I argue that the introduction of renewable energy projects in pre-territorialized landscapes reorients spatial arrangements, resulting in a re-territorialization of these geographies. Further, I position this re-territorialization as an outcome of intense political wrangling that traverses multiple scales and is influenced by the larger politics of environment and development at higher scales. This study contributes to an understanding of how low-carbon geographies are operationalized.
Issue Date:2016-11-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Shikha Lakhanpal
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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