When the Huascarán National Park in the Peruvian highlands was established in 1975, consultation with the local comundidades campesinas (peasant communities) was limited. While no consent was sought or given, prior to park establishment, post-facto attempts to include the surrounding communities in the conservation efforts have produced diverse responses from the local population. This paper reviews the history of this process by discussing three distinct cases in which the Huascarán National Park has devised strategies for negotiating the legitimacy of its control over park resources with neighbouring comunidades campesinas. In examining these park-community dynamics from the standpoint of control over the aesthetic and productive values of natural resources and territory, the article explores the emergence of authority and the exercise of power in conservation. We argue that within the Huascarán National Park, different modalities of governance exist partially and simultaneously, and that conservation conjunctures are historically conditioned sedimentations that continuously shape the park-people relationship. This leads the park to appear as both a paper park and fortress-style conservation entity in different sites and moments. The paper highlights the problem of creating consent post facto in defining the use of landscapes, thereby underscoring the importance of a grounded and historically specific analysis of attempts to create social inclusion in processes framed as development.
- Resource control