Advanced

Villain or scapegoat: New perspectives towards understanding the current management of the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka

Russ, Annemarie LU (2019) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20191
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The conflict between humans and elephants (HEC) in Sri Lanka is severe. Due to habitat fragmentation and resource reduction elephants increasingly roam in areas with human settlements. These human-elephant interactions often lead to losses on both sides, which should be prevented. The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) holds all decision-making powers which enables them to implement solutions to HEC. Their power makes them an easy target for criticism, especially now because HEC is increasing and people want the DWC to be more proactive. Thus, current solution approaches are not as effective as they should be and the DWC is pictured as the ‘villain’. This paper aims to understand the reasons behind the DWC's decision-making because... (More)
The conflict between humans and elephants (HEC) in Sri Lanka is severe. Due to habitat fragmentation and resource reduction elephants increasingly roam in areas with human settlements. These human-elephant interactions often lead to losses on both sides, which should be prevented. The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) holds all decision-making powers which enables them to implement solutions to HEC. Their power makes them an easy target for criticism, especially now because HEC is increasing and people want the DWC to be more proactive. Thus, current solution approaches are not as effective as they should be and the DWC is pictured as the ‘villain’. This paper aims to understand the reasons behind the DWC's decision-making because it is crucial to analyze a problem from different perspectives in order to fully understand it. This analysis is theoretically grounded in a combination of a DPSIR-model and Foucault's ideas about discourse. The first part of the analysis is based on a narrative literature review generating scientific knowledge. The second part is grounded in a content analysis using newspaper articles and government documents. This novel approach using different schools of thought enables the creation of new insights. Using this theoretical frame, I argue that the DWC's work is influenced by global structures and discourses, by the diverse history of the country, and by political structures, power distribution and corruption. These influences partially prevent DWC employees from doing their job because of the many hidden pitfalls people usually do not consider. These invisible circumstances reveal that the DWC is more of a scapegoat instead of a villain. Thus, this paper finds that people working with the HEC need a more holistic view of the human-elephant conflict itself to be able to find sustainable solutions that can be implemented in Sri Lanka's specific social and political setting. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Russ, Annemarie LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
human-elephant conflict, social-ecological systems, species co-existence, wildlife conservation, sustainability science, Sri Lanka
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2019:026
language
English
id
8980060
date added to LUP
2019-06-10 10:44:19
date last changed
2019-06-10 10:44:19
@misc{8980060,
  abstract     = {The conflict between humans and elephants (HEC) in Sri Lanka is severe. Due to habitat fragmentation and resource reduction elephants increasingly roam in areas with human settlements. These human-elephant interactions often lead to losses on both sides, which should be prevented. The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) holds all decision-making powers which enables them to implement solutions to HEC. Their power makes them an easy target for criticism, especially now because HEC is increasing and people want the DWC to be more proactive. Thus, current solution approaches are not as effective as they should be and the DWC is pictured as the ‘villain’. This paper aims to understand the reasons behind the DWC's decision-making because it is crucial to analyze a problem from different perspectives in order to fully understand it. This analysis is theoretically grounded in a combination of a DPSIR-model and Foucault's ideas about discourse. The first part of the analysis is based on a narrative literature review generating scientific knowledge. The second part is grounded in a content analysis using newspaper articles and government documents. This novel approach using different schools of thought enables the creation of new insights. Using this theoretical frame, I argue that the DWC's work is influenced by global structures and discourses, by the diverse history of the country, and by political structures, power distribution and corruption. These influences partially prevent DWC employees from doing their job because of the many hidden pitfalls people usually do not consider. These invisible circumstances reveal that the DWC is more of a scapegoat instead of a villain. Thus, this paper finds that people working with the HEC need a more holistic view of the human-elephant conflict itself to be able to find sustainable solutions that can be implemented in Sri Lanka's specific social and political setting.},
  author       = {Russ, Annemarie},
  keyword      = {human-elephant conflict,social-ecological systems,species co-existence,wildlife conservation,sustainability science,Sri Lanka},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Villain or scapegoat: New perspectives towards understanding the current management of the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka},
  year         = {2019},
}