Community Rights, Conservation and Contested Land: The Politics of Natural Resource Governance in Africa, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Community Rights, Conservation and Contested Land

The Politics of Natural Resource Governance in Africa, 1st Edition

Edited by Fred Nelson


360 pages

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Natural resource governance is central to the outcomes of biodiversity conservation efforts and to patterns of economic development, particularly in resource-dependent rural communities. The institutional arrangements that define natural resource governance are outcomes of political processes, whereby numerous groups with often-divergent interests negotiate for access to and control over resources. These political processes determine the outcomes of resource governance reform efforts, such as widespread attempts to decentralize or devolve greater tenure over land and resources to local communities.

This volume examines the political dynamics of natural resource governance processes through a range of comparative case studies across east and southern Africa. These cases include both local and national settings, and examine issues such as land rights, tourism development, wildlife conservation, participatory forest management, and the impacts of climate change, and are drawn from both academics and field practitioners working across the region. Published with IUCN, The Bradley Fund for the Environment, SASUSG and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


"An extremely useful and up to date analysis of community natural resource management in Africa." - William M. (Bill) Adams, Moran Professor of Conservation and Development, University of Cambridge, UK

Table of Contents


Part 1.

1. Introduction: The Politics of Natural Resource Governance in Africa

2. Agrarian Social Change and Post-Colonial Natural Resource Management Interventions in Southern Africa's 'Communal Tenure' Regimes

Part 2: Political Economies of Natural Resource Governance

3. The Politics of Community-based Natural Resource Management in Botswana

4. Peasants' Forests and the King's Game? Explaining Institutional Divergence and Convergence in Tanzania's Forestry and Wildlife Sectors

5. The Evolution of Namibia's Communal Conservancies

6. Historic and Contemporary Struggles for a Local Wildlife Governance Regime in Kenya

Part 3: Local Struggles and Negotiations across Multiple Scales

7. Windows of Opportunity or Exclusion? Local Communities in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, South Africa

8. 'People are not Happy': Crisis, Adaptation and Resilience in Zimbabwe's CAMPFIRE Programme

9. The Rise and Fall of Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Zambia's Luangwa Valley: An Illustration of Micro- and Macro-Governance Issues

10. External Agency and Local Authority: Facilitating CBNRM in Mahel, Mozambique

11. Adaptive or Anachronistic? Maintaining Indigenous Natural Resource Governance Systems in Northern Botswana

12. Pastoral Activists: Negotiating Power Imbalances in the Tanzanian Serengeti

Part 4: Looking Forward

13. A Changing Climate for Community Resource Governance: Threats and Opportunities from Climate Change and the Emerging Carbon Market

14. Democratizing Natural Resource Governance: Searching for Institutional Change


About the Editor

Fred Nelson has worked as a scholar and practitioner on natural resource governance in East Africa for over ten years. He has worked in the field with local communities in northern Tanzania to establish more equitable and beneficial resource governance arrangements and has researched the political economy of natural resource management across East and Southern Africa. His work has been published in journals such as Conservation Biology, Development & Change, and Biodiversity Conservation.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection