Territorialization strategies and the historical expansion of protected areas in Chile

Authors: Magdalena García*, Universite De Montreal
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Latin America, Historical Geography
Keywords: political ecology, protected areas, Chile, national parks, territoriality
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The creation of protected areas (PAs) is essentially a spatial practice. By setting aside lands for the protection of resources, the nation-state has played a pivotal role in the history of conservation. For more than a century states have claim land to be assigned as PAs which has been the dominant governance strategy for biodiversity conservation. During the last two-decades, political ecologists and geographers have explored the territorialization of the establishment of PAs and the social impacts on neighboring indigenous and local communities. Whilst these narratives have unveiled social conflicts and resistance to the expansion of protected areas, little has been explored regarding the extent of the territoriality concept for the State’s purpose of expanding protected areas. Drawing upon on the growing body of literature on territorialization of PAs, we consider the evolving rationales applied in support of PA expansion in Chile and show how the establishment of state hegemony over territorial land and resources was intimately tied to the creation of PAs, thus as territorializing acts. In this presentation, by exploring the history of the protected areas expansion in Chile, we aim to outline the variety of the state’s territorialization strategies not as a linear growth, rather as a shifting rationale over time. We examine the role of state actors and institutions on the historical expansion of PAs and discuss the extent of the territorialization concept within four different historical phases.

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