The Javan Rhino's Last Stronghold: Ecogovernmentalities on Ujung Kulon, 1920s-1960s
Korte, Hannah de
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In the 1960s, the number of protected areas that were created boomed on a worldwide scale. However, park creation had been a conservation tool since the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The aim of this thesis is to explain why the 1960s witnessed a new surge in park creation. In this thesis, I argue that a conservation regime change took place between the 1920s and 1960s, from a regime based on the idea that parks should protect “wilderness” and “pristine” nature, to a regime based on the idea that the main function of parks was to protect threatened species. I argue that the rise of a global “park-species” conservation regime was enabled by the synergy between the conservation tools of park creation and “red listing” (classifying and prioritizing species in order of their perceived extinction risk by creating threatened species lists). In this regard, I argue that conservationists increasingly used threatened species lists as a biopolitical conservation instrument with which to exert influence over territories, while park creation can be considered as a territorial conservation instrument with biopolitical implications. I argue that the entanglement between these two conservation tools altered the way in which conservationists could exert power over territory, people and species, which enabled the surge in protected areas in the 1960s. To analyze these phenomena, this thesis is focused on a case study of the conservation of the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) in the Ujung Kulon Wildlife Reserve on Java, Indonesia (former Dutch East Indies), between the 1920s and 1960s.