Jim Igoe, Conservation and Globalization: A Study of National Parks and Indigenous Communities from East Africa to South Dakota. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2004.
In the first part of this book Jim Igoe discusses how globalization is a homogenizing process and he uses the example of the Maasai people of East Africa to describe how western conservation is not always best for local communities. Igoe explains how indigenous communities are often pushed off their land by commercial enterprises. In the case of the Maasai People Western organizations took over the land in efforts to implement certain conservation strategies. They set up a national parks to conserve the land and animals while also creating a tourist activity for profit. Many people believe that these are all positive changes. The local land gets conserved, people are made aware of the local people and the poverty they are in and local people are given employment opportunities. However, it does not always have such positive results. Igoe describes what the tourists see as a “controlled experience” because it is actually doing more harm than good to the locals. In this case the Maasai people used the land for their primary means of livelihood, cattle herding. It was vital for their economy and well-being. When Western organizations came in the locals were pushed off the land and unable to use it for cattle herding anymore. This book provides a case study of how western organizations do not always know the proper ways of managing foreign environments and how they are more focused on profit than the livelihood of the local community. It also highlights the negative side of ecotourism.