Research Articles

Statelessness and Conservation: Exploring the Implications of an International Governance Agenda



The world’s remaining biodiversity-rich regions are often located in borderlands or physically remote areas which are frequently also inhabited by stateless peoples, who are then subjected to policies expressly designed to exclude or restrict local livelihood activities. This situation has been exacerbated by the tendency for international non-governmental organisations to join forces with the State to promote their conservation agenda. Whilst the political and environmental implications of this trend have been explored within the academic literature, the consequences for the survival of disempowered and marginalised stateless communities have received little attention. This article will focus upon stateless peoples enmeshed within a policy framework influenced by globalised environmental priorities and directed by international conservation NGOs in South-East Asia. It will explore how stateless peoples’ capacities are undermined by models of ‘participation’ used by these actors and underline the importance of recognising stateless peoples’ rights and responsibilities in marine natural resource management.


  • Year: 2014
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 1-2
  • Page/Article: 81-89
  • DOI: 10.1163/22112596-01902009
  • Published on 1 Jan 2014
  • Peer Reviewed