Monthly Archives: September 2015


“The “truths” of Western scientific and engineering knowledge are deemed universal, and only isolation, “peasant conservatism,” illiteracy, and poverty impede their transmission and implementation” – Robert Netting

When shopping for clothes one usually has to pick between the standard sizes of Small, Medium and Large. However, sometimes there are items that are considered “one-size-fits-all.” This means that one size is supposed to fit everyone, no matter what their size or body type. This hardly seems possible and from my experience, and the experience of others I know, it is rarely the case that these items of clothing successfully fit people of all body shapes and sizes. This idea of one-size-fits-all is applied to aspects of our world more important than clothing and where the effects are more detrimental than simply going home with an unflattering dress.  The Western world seems to have a desire to homogenize the rest of the global community by implementing their strategies and techniques on various rural areas that are lived on and used by indigenous groups. There is a popular idea that all environmental issues can be solved with a “one size fits all” policy. This means that the policies in environmental discourse which are successful in some regions are assumed to be successful in all. This however, is not the case. Evidence shows that it is much more effective to take a holistic approach when addressing issues of environmental management around the world. Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations. It is a process that can be very rewarding and bring benefits to many communities around the world. However, there are times when the effects of globalization may benefit one group and harm another. There are many examples of this happening in the area of environmental management and conservation. One-size-fits-all policies of environmental conservation, often times, involve an outside organization implementing policies that have worked in other areas but without considering the local environment and how local people interact with it. Using these policies is a way for these outside groups to solve problems without “reinventing the wheel.” It is also a way for organizations, especially larger corporations, to minimize risk and maintain profits. There is a relationship between one-size-fits-all policies, also known as world projects, and negative consequences arising from ecotourism activities, economic hierarchies and social structures and environmental degradation. It is vital that, when trying to implement environmental management projects, that one considers the local environment and the way the community thinks about and interacts with it. This e-portfolio will focus on the consequences of globalization and western homogenization on environmental management for local and indigenous communities. It will provide evidence of the importance of thinking about environmental management through a “cultural lens” and using multiple disciplines to come up with solutions to problems of conservation. It is making an implicit ethical statement regarding the consequences of these one-size-fits-all environmental policies.