Communities dependent on natural resources in modern society face a number of challenges, many of which have been created or worsened through the process of globalization.

Globalization does not bring all negatives to the community, however. The globalization process directly connects communities to world markets, international non-governmental organizations, and international financing. This connection gives the opportunity to communities to bypass state power and increase the relative importance of the local. Strengthening of local identity in the face of globalizing forces manifests itself in increased demand for indigenous language education, increased production of cultural festivals, and increased support for ethnic music. These efforts all take place through the realization of the importance of cultural diversity. Three processes that support the local have emerged through the globalization process: a) direct challenges to state power, b) “glocalization”, and c) the rise of alternatives.

Recognition by citizens that nationally-produced management was not necessarily locally relevant or effective has led to local ingenuity. For instance, state misinterpretation of ecological effects in the forest-savanna border led managers to produce policies against land degradation; however, instead of forest converting to savanna as assumed, villagers were maintaining the reverse dynamic. “That these problematic interactions have not had a more degrading effect on vegetation is owed at least partly to the effective resistance strategies which villagers developed” (Fairhead and Leach 1996 p.260). In another example, fair trade banana cooperatives in Equador were able to bypass state-sanctioned Dole distribution and participate directly in the global market. This enabled farmers to recover the cost of cropping and make a livable wage (Shreck 2002).

Globalization has been far from conflict-free. Escobar (2004) describes two sides of the globalization process. The first is the “economic-military-ideological” order that heightens already present marginalization and suppression of local knowledge and culture. The second balancing force is the emergence of self-organizing social movement networks to counter globalization and engage in the politics of difference. Colloquially, this second process has been termed “glocalization”.

The movements are in direct response to the perceived problems with globalization. Escobar describes these movements as being place-based and locally motivated but tied into transnational networks for support. For example, struggles for water sovereignty in Bolivia were aided by international efforts for indigenous rights that succeeded in electing Bolivia’s first indigenous president. His administration was quick to nationalize utilities and prioritize Bolivian needs even though that meant withdrawing from the global market (Swyngedouw 2004).

The global capitalist market also has a similar countermovement occurring, creating a rise in the existence of alternatives. For example, the World Bank has realized through Grameen Bank microcredit loans that investments made at the community level for small-scale, cooperative entrepreneurship are more effective than programs meant to enter communities into the global marketplace (McMichael 2004). They work through small loans to small groups of women to start a business in their communities. The reason they chose women is because women have been shown to more reliably invest profits back into the community

My Say: Many state promoted projects often replaced and disenfranchised the resource dependent communities

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