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Mangrove Battlelines: culture/nature and ecological restoration

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Ecological restoration is applied natures. Whose nature? This paper explores the complex interplay of scientific, organisational and community cultures in a proposed restoration project. In March 2004 the City of Sydney released the Glebe Foreshore Plan, which included the creation of a mangrove habitat in Bicentennial Park West. Despite widespread support of the mangrove concept, the associated plan generated significant opposition, including what one local newspaper dubbed ‘mangrove battlelines'. This paper develops a framework to analyse competing visions of nature in the mangrove conflict, and the relationships of these visions to contemporary debates in ecological restoration. The article concludes that it is necessary to understand science as socially constructed, that the application of science in ecological restoration must articulate with human values of desired natures, and that the articulation of values is best achieved through the appropriate timing of a participatory approach to restoration.
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Keywords: Ecological restoration; Rozelle Bay; community group; culture; mangrove; media; science

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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