Preprint version. Published in Antipode, Volume 43, Issue 4, September 1, 2011, pages 1357-1379.
This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: The (Mis)Use of Disaster as Opportunity: Coerced Relocation from Celaque National Park, Honduras, Benjamin F. Timms, Antipode,43:4.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00865.x.
“Disaster capitalism” refers to political economic processes that take advantage of mass trauma to impose neoliberal capitalist economic policies, facilitating the redistribution of wealth and exacerbating socio-economic divisions. Here the basic tenets of disaster capitalism are applied in another context: how natural disasters can be used to impose exclusionary protected area conservation principles with similar socio-economic consequences and ecological ramifications. The post-Hurricane Mitch relocation of resident populations from Celaque National Park, Honduras serves as a case study whereby a natural disaster, combined with the effects of neoliberal structural adjustment policies, created the opportunity to implement a universal model of exclusionary nature protection. The resultant displacement and increased semi-proletarianization of the affected population effectively served the capitalist interests of international conservation and the agro-export coffee industry and, contradictorily, worked against the proclaimed goals of nature preservation through exclusionary national park policies.
Social and Behavioral Sciences