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Eco-nationalism (also known as ecological nationalism or green nationalism) manifests as a desire to eliminate reliance on foreign sources of fuel and energy by promoting alternative energy sources that can be adequately created and maintained with a nation's boundary. Brazil displayed an example of this by becoming completely energy self-reliant. In subaltern studies and cultural anthropology, eco-nationalism refers to the iconification of native species and landscapes in a way that appeals to a nationalist sentiment.
According to J. Dawson, eco-nationalism is the rise of social movements that closely connect problems of environment protection with nationalist concerns. In the former Soviet Union, citizens perceived environmental degradation as both a systemic fault of socialism and a direct result of Moscow's desire to weaken a particular nation by destroying its natural base, and exploiting its resources. Estonian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian independence movements drew great strength from environmental activism, especially from an antinuclear stance. In 1985-1991, eco-nationalism was one of symptoms and at the same time a new impulse for disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Eco-nationalism as defined by anthropologists often manifests in the adoption of nature as an entity outside of culture that must be protected in its pristine and untouched state whenever possible. This process is particularly visible in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, which are known for their unique animal life. Eco-nationalism is also marked by national pride in natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef or Mitre Peak, extensive conservation efforts towards iconic species such as the kakapo and largetooth sawfish, and the creation of National Parks in order to protect these species and areas. While beneficial for conservation efforts, eco-nationalism has been criticized as an extension of colonialist dichotomies and ontologies and rarely addresses Indigenous ecological knowledge.
Eco-nationalism can manifest in ecotourism, which can enrich local economies but has garnered criticism from a variety of perspectives. Artistic works that extol the virtues of a nation's natural phenomena, such as the poetry of William Wordsworth or the paintings of the Group of Seven, are another expression of eco-nationalism.
The British National Party claimed in its 2005 manifesto to be the "only true 'Green Party'" in Britain since:
"Only the BNP intends to end mass immigration into Britain and thereby remove at a stroke the need for an extra 4 million homes in the green belts of the South East and elsewhere, which are required to house the influx of 5 million immigrants expected to enter the country under present trends over the next twenty years."
In 2014, the nationalist leader of the French National Front, Marine Le Pen, launched a 'patriotic ecology' project. Termed New Ecology, the movement branded itself on a nativist form of environmentalism - encouraging locally sourced products being an example. In keeping with Le Pen's nationalist agenda, Le Pen described open borders as "anti-ecological". Conversely, Le Pen also promised to "decree an immediate Moratorium (law)moratorium on wind energy" In an article in the Huffington Post, the Danish entrepreneur Jens Martin Skibsted, reported that he once saw Marine Le Pen's father and former leader of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, "cut a water melon in two to demonstrate that green environmentalists were in fact hidden red communists."