Political Ecology of Shifting Cosmologies and Epistemologies Among Berber Agro-Sylvo-Pastoralists in a Globalizing World

Authors

  • Pablo Dominguez Laboratory Géographie de l’Environnement (GEODE)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.18831

Keywords:

Agro-sylvo-pastoralism, Agdals, Cosmologies, Globalization, Morocco

Abstract

In this article, I examine how local religious traditions and environmental management interact with each other, as well as how both relate to new globalizing inmuences such as emerging State structures and ideologies, mass media, migrations, market integration, tourism, NGOs, modernist conceptions of nature, and present Islamic movements. Through an ethnographic study of the Berber Mesioua tribe of the Moroccan High Atlas, I focus on the agdal, a locally produced agro-sylvo-pastoral governance system prohibiting access to particular natural resources for a given period in order to optimize its yield and assure its sustained and equitable use. The integration of agdals into local religiosity and their associated ethics entail a local conservationist and egalitarian set of principles. I conclude that, strained in great part by the socio-economic and cultural-political forces implicated in the globalization of cosmologies and epistemologies, the replacement of local worldviews and the decline of the agdal governance system are interlinked. The consequences include increasing environmental degradation and social inequality.

Author Biography

Pablo Dominguez, Laboratory Géographie de l’Environnement (GEODE)

Pablo Domínguez is an Environmental Anthropologist (BSc Environmental Biology & PhD Social Anthropology) and his research has mainly focused on the Mediterranean region, particularly on Berber populations of the High Atlas of Morocco and their agdal systems of communal natural resource management. For the last decade his main theoretical question has been how symbolical-cultural representations and socio-material uses of the Environment relate to each other (www.tdx.cat/bitstream/10803/79093/1/pdg1de1.pdf), whereas his present and future research agenda concentrate on how the procedures of heritization (http://www.mediter.ird.fr) can contribute or disdain agdals, particularly from a Political Ecology perspective.

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Published

2017-09-25

How to Cite

Dominguez, P. (2017). Political Ecology of Shifting Cosmologies and Epistemologies Among Berber Agro-Sylvo-Pastoralists in a Globalizing World. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 11(2), 227–248. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.18831

Issue

Section

CLOSED- Special Issue: Ecocosmologies