Is the trade in Wildlife Products Sustainable?

I’ve just read a new report by a group of British academics which criticises the economic arguments around trading in wildlife products. The problems with rhino poaching in South Africa form a backdrop to the report. I’m going to dig down into some of the problems with the Leverhulme report, but let me start by … Continue reading Is the trade in Wildlife Products Sustainable?

Towards an African Epistemology of Nature

Epistemology – now there’s a word you don’t encounter in every day conversation! It simply means a set of beliefs about the world which inform our perception of reality. In a formal sense it’s the study of knowledge – the study of epistemology investigates the origin, nature, methods and limits of human knowledge. So what … Continue reading Towards an African Epistemology of Nature

Managing Common Pool Resources Sustainably: It’s a matter of trust.

When the Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 2009, it was huge boost for the study of Common Pool Resources (CPR) like fisheries, forests, grazing lands and water resources. It gave the field new relevance and injected a bolt of enthusiasm into studies of how rural communities all over the word use … Continue reading Managing Common Pool Resources Sustainably: It’s a matter of trust.

The Zambezi Teak forests of Zambia: A tale of mismanagement.

For the last 4 years I’ve been researching the Zambezi Teak forests of Western Zambia. Or what’s left of them. It’s a pretty depressing picture. I used Landsat satellite images from 1975 (these are the earliest images available) to measure the forests as they were in the early 1970s. It’s important to know that this … Continue reading The Zambezi Teak forests of Zambia: A tale of mismanagement.

Forest Carbon and REDD+: The ultimate equaliser in global North-South Relations?

This article was first published by the St Andrews Foreign Affairs Review who have kindly given me permission to repost here. The deadlock between parties at international climate negotiations has ceased to be headline news; nevertheless, obstacles to any final, substantive agreement remain. The parties are divided between the bloc of nations with forests that absorb … Continue reading Forest Carbon and REDD+: The ultimate equaliser in global North-South Relations?