Tourism, labour and the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa

By Stasja Koot, 12 December 2017

In the Kruger to Canyon (K2C) region, South Africa, there are two big phenomena of which the interactions have so far hardly been researched: tourism and the rhino poaching crisis. Based on four field trips to South Africa in 2016/17, totalling about 3 months, I have investigated these links, and here I wish to present some first ideas. In particular, I wish to explain one important tension that I observed; the role of labour in tourism and how this is related to the rhino poaching crisis. Read more

CFP JPE special issue: Political Ecologies of the Blue Economy in Africa

The Journal of Political Ecology is seeking contributions for a Special Issue on “Political Ecologies of the Blue Economy in Africa”.

Describing the potential contribution to human wellbeing provided by seas, oceans and their resources, the ‘blue economy’ and ‘blue growth’ agenda have variously become a guiding frame, policy discourse and set of practices across the globe. However, at the same time and with limited exceptions (e.g. Winder and Le Heron 2017), there has yet to be a sustained critical analysis which draws upon the fact that blue growth is simultaneously an economic, social, biological and geologic project. What are the political implications for scripting oceans and water as part of an economic imaginary of ‘progress’ and ‘growth’, and of separating it from landed ‘green’ economies’? As the ‘blue’ (like the ‘green’) is reworked spatially into a language of new ‘frontiers’, ‘opportunities’ and ‘alternative sustainabilities’ (Cavanagh and Benjaminsen 2017), what new political ecologies might emerge?

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Multi-layered mountain: Mt. Kenya’s hidden conflicts


By: Lys-Anne Sirks for Vice Versa

Control and access over land is an important issue that often causes conflict, yet what goes on behind the larger problem is often hidden and multi-faceted. The journey of how Mount Kenya became a World Heritage site shows how a complex, colonial background came into play and ultimately shaped the process and outcome.
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Is Africa’s ‘resource nationalism’ just big business as usual?

Is Africa’s ‘resource nationalism’ just big business as usual?

This is so-called “resource nationalism” in action, and the DRC is far from alone in seeking greater economic control of its natural resources. The state is back, the theory goes, and it’s taking on the multinational. From Scotland to Namibia, Zambia to Ecuador, resource rich nations throughout the world are rhetorically reclaiming gas, oil and minerals as their own. Read more