Becoming-forest, becoming-local: Transformations of a protected area in Honduras

Mark Bonta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Neotropical cloud forests have been locked away in protected areas that conservationists seek to fashion into spaces exclusively for "Nature," but they often cannot do so because of the pressure of migrant agriculture, among other factors. The author documents the case of a protected area in Honduras that, while it fails to evolve into an idealized "conservation space," nevertheless undergoes transformations until it becomes accepted by local actors as a space that provides protection for marginalized groups under threat from a hydroelectric project that seeks to dislodge them. A Deleuzian theoretical approach loosely drawing from complexity theory is utilized to explain the process whereby diverse and conflicting land-use spatialities come to embrace an alien and imposed national park and in the process ally with each other against a perceived greater threat from the outside. The author shows the transformative potentials of protected areas as allies, rather than enemies, of spatial justice movements currently confronting the challenges of "regional economic integration" initiatives such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-112
Number of pages18
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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