1st Edition

Power Dynamics in African Forests The Politics of Global Sustainability

Edited By Symphorien Ongolo, Max Krott Copyright 2024
    278 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book addresses historical perspectives and contemporary challenges of the politics of forestland governance and the related sustainability crisis in Africa.

    It focusses on the power dynamics between key actors involved in the governance of forest-related resources either for their exploitation or with regards to biodiversity conservation policies promoted at international arenas. The book provides conceptual and empirical contributions on what happens when global sustainability agendas and the related policy instruments meet the realities of domestic politics in Africa.

    It reveals that several actors in forest-rich countries, especially those with limited sovereignty, have often employed complex informal strategies as the ‘weapon of the weak’ to resist the domination of the most powerful actors of global environmental politics.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    General Introduction to The Politics of Global Sustainability in Africa: Power Dynamics in the Forests

    Symphorien Ongolo and Max Krott

    1. Global Political Economy of Conservation Policies and Ecosystem Services in the Tropics

    Philippe Méral, Colas Chervier, and Symphorien Ongolo

    2. Empowering Scientific Information about Biodiversity by Linking Science with Forest Users in African Contexts

    Max Krott and Mirjana Zavodja

    3. The Rise and Fall of Protected Areas in Central Africa: A Historical Perspective

    Gretchen Marie Walters and David Andrew Wardell

    4. Global China Effects and Domestic Politics of Rosewood in Africa: A Realist Review

    Baidoo Anthony, Philippe Méral, and Symphorien Ongolo

    5. Governing Independent Forest Monitoring from Theory to Empirical Evidence in the Congo Basin

    Aurelian Mbzibain, Richard Nyirenda, Laurence Wete Soh, and Felicien Kengoum

    6. ‘Arab Spring’ Transformations and the Contestation of State Authority in Forestland Use: A Power-Based Case Study in Tunisia

    Ameni Hasnaoui, Symphorien Ongolo, Foued Hasnaoui, Kamel Aloui, Frida Mouelhi, and Max Krott

    7. Biodiversity Governance and Regional Insurgencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo

    Eliezer Majambu, Sylvia Kavira Muyisa, and Symphorien Ongolo

    8. Crises, Complexities and Claims in Protected Areas: Landscapes of (In) Coherent Biodiversity Governance and Social-Environmental Injustice in Southwest Cameroon

    Samuel Assembe-Mvondo, Julius Chupezi Tieguhong, Grace Wong, and Maria Brockhaus

    9. Linking Institutional Weaknesses to Deforestation Drivers in the Governance of Protected Areas in Madagascar

    Alexandra Rasoamanana, Roland Frédéric Tahina, and Charlie J. Gardner

    10. Local Deals for Global Politics: Governing Palm Oil Expansion in Areas of Limited Statehood

    Symphorien Ongolo, Lukas Giessen, and Max Krott

    11. Policy Change and Power Dynamics: How Actors Respond to Participatory Forest Management across Multiple Scales in Tanzania

    Kajenje Magessa and Neal Hockley

    Conclusion. Perspectives in Analysing Power Dynamics in Postcolonial Societies

    Symphorien Ongolo and Max Krott


    Symphorien Ongolo is researcher in political science at the French national institute for sustainable development (IRD – France), University Paul-Valéry of Montpellier.

    Max Krott is professor of international forest policy at the University of Göttingen, Germany and the founding editor of the international academic journal Forest Policy & Economics.

    "A thoughtful and insightful collection of essays on power, its multiple dimensions and how it is exercised in African forests. This is a well-researched, fascinating and persuasive volume that will be an invaluable aid to students, foresters and policy makers throughout Africa and beyond."
    Professor David Humphreys, The Open University, UK

    This book is a very relevant and timely contribution to the forest governance literature. While most of it holds a rather managerial and technocratic focus, this book starts from a political-economic perspective, with much emphasis on power dynamics and resource inequalities. Such a perspective is all the more relevant in the context of post/neo-colonial relationships between Africa and the global North, and in the context of authoritarian regimes on the continent. By offering several country case studies (e.g. Cameroon; DRC; Tanzania) and by analyzing several current themes (e.g. the role of science in conservation; the permanence of ‘paper parks’; the political economy of rosewood), the book draws attention to Africa, where most governance literatures addressing tropical forests focus on South-America or Asia."
    Bas Arts, Professor in Forest Governance, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands

    "This rich collection case studies sheds light on forests and forestry as objects of colonial, post-colonial and continued neo-colonial struggles. Right up to the current era of climate change, the volume shows how dominant actors of globalization including Europe and China, along with domestic elites, continues to expropriate resources in the name of biodiversity conservation and carbon storage. When will this unequal struggle end? The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the political-economic context in which African forest management and conservation policy is made, implemented and undone. It is chocked full of new and exciting insights."

    Jesse Ribot, Professor, American University, Washington, D.C., USA