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Conservation in Eastern Africa comes along with the reconfiguration of land-use and tenure systems that prompt a shift away from hitherto existing conditions. In this panel we discuss the role of conservation in people’s future visions and the different trajectories it conveys for local livelihoods.
Conservation is one of the most salient future visions promising to solve key global problems and at the same time provide an impetus for self-determined community development. However, in many instances it still features the ‘fines & fences’ approach and is characterised by a growing spatial exclusivity.
In this panel we will address three topics to understand the current role of conservation: the perception and evaluation of conservation projects in Eastern Africa, the role of history in conservation implementation, and the critical reflection of the coexistence concept. Visions of conservation (or their rejection) are strongly embedded in the local context in which residents not only act towards conservation, but similarly respond to issues of globalisation, adaptation to climate change, or commercialization (livestock, farm products, charcoal, etc.), which are at least equally important. In this contested space, we ask how conservation is organised today along the following questions:
How are livelihood strategies that include (or exclude) conservation negotiated in local communities (i.e. between age sets)? Do younger generations aspire to join CBC or choose other options?
How can local community practices successfully be integrated into CBC?
To what extent is the wicked history of conservation (i.e. colonial practices of big-game hunting and subsequent defaunation) considered in the implementation of conservation projects?
Are local culturally-situated conservation histories also explored?
3) Coexistence and Rewilding
What does it mean to live with (specific) wildlife species in a shared environment and how are transformative conservation visions (i.e. rewilding) perceived by residents?
Accepted papers:Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -
Jackson Wachira (University of Nairobi)
Sara van der Hoeven (University of Gothenburg)
Peter Wangai (Kenyatta University)
Léa Lacan (University of Cologne)