"Edenic Views in Wetland Conservation: Nature and Agriculture in the Fogliano Area, Italy"

Gruppuso, Paolo | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Gruppuso, Paolo. “Edenic Views in Wetland Conservation: Nature and Agriculture in the Fogliano Area, Italy.” Conservation & Society 16, no. 4 (2018): 397-408. doi: 10.4103/cs.cs_17_130.

The article explores the genealogy of Edenic narratives about the Pontine Marshes in Agro Pontino, Italy, and the imaginary of the Bonifica Integrale (integral reclamation). This process of reclamation, implemented by the fascist regime throughout the 1930s, drained the Marshes transforming their ecological, economic, and social structure. The dominant reading of Agro Pontino’s history is polarised through a dualistic view that sees the Marshes as the realm of an almost pristine nature and the Bonifica Integrale as a life-giving event that transformed that environment, making it cultivable and inhabitable. This view reflects a modernist understanding of time as a series of punctuated events in a linear trajectory that leads to environmental degradation. In conservation, this interpretation produces problematic political effects resulting in a specific approach that positions agriculture and nature on opposite sides. The article presents ethnographic materials that challenge this view and suggests a different approach, an ‘Anthropocene conservation,’ which looks at the sustainability of the future rather than defining an ecological baseline to restore. (Text from author’s abstract)

©  Paolo Gruppuso 2018. Conservation & Society is available online only and is published under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.5).