In L.P. Hartley’s novel The Go-Between he writes, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” In dealing with conservation and sustainable development I frequently encounter the opposite – the past echoes through to the present continuously and a consideration of history is essential for understanding the present. The problem with sustainable … Continue reading In Africa, the Past is Not a Foreign Country
Our lives are based on myths. We all have personal myths that we live by and which define who we are. They make us secure in the knowledge that we are living a good life. Adhering to the myths that are more widely shared in society help us gain the approval of our peers and have a strong role in binding … Continue reading The Myth of African Wilderness
There are few places, even in the Wild West that is the internet, that you can get away with calling for summary execution of other human beings and not attract some censure. When you start describing the parts of their body you would like to cut off and the nature of the slow death which you … Continue reading Kill the Poachers: Death, Drones and Dickheads
Conservation is an industry, and like any industry, it has its problems. For my post this week I’m doing a review of a number of different types of organisation, with a few examples which are not exhaustive, but representative of some of the best and some of the worst of the different organisations I have … Continue reading Conservation Organisations: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
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?
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
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.