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Eco003


Centering Ecologies in re-configuring Africa studies – emerging perspectives 
Convenors:
Cyrus Samimi (University of Bayreuth)
Heila Lotz-Sisitka (Rhodes University)
Nelson Odume (Rhodes University)
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Format :
Panel
Stream :
Ecology and planetary consciousness
Transfers :
Open for transfers

Short Abstract:

Humanity is at many planetary boundaries resulting in ecological crisis. The panels asks what it means to centred Ecologies in Africa studies, debating emerging and novel perspectives that contribute to responding to ecological challenges and advancing the theoretical underpinning of Africa studies.

Long Abstract:

Environmental extractivism and over-exploitation have been causing destructions of ecosystems in many parts of Africa. The global climate crisis may exaggerate the processes and will affect the wellbeing of current and future generations. Already today Africa’s people are faced with challenges such as climate change, land and water degradation, and biodiversity loss. These issues contribute to forced migration, intra- and inter-communal conflicts, ecological regime shifts, insecurity, and the transformation of the food, energy, and water systems. Institutions with inadequate capacity to respond to contemporary challenges and inequalities (historical and contemporary) at all scales exacerbate these challenges.

On the other hand, many African societies have traditional but also novel adaptation strategies for living with uncertainty, variability, and change. These are often marginalized or even neglected in scientific discourses as well as mitigation and adaptation projects. Therefore, traditional, and locally embedded knowledge systems are underutilized, leading to knowledge gaps, misunderstanding of environmental change impacts and failures of projects.

Hence, recovering, regenerating and learning from the many examples of traditional and novel strategies is urgently needed as well as the re-imagining and reconstituting nature-culture relations to be less damaging and exploitative, leading to alternative options for more sustainable livelihoods and futures in Africa for both current and future generations.

The panels asks what it means to centred Ecologies in re-configuring Africa studies, debating emerging and novel perspectives and insights that contribute to responding to emerging ecological challenges and advancing the theoretical underpinning of Africa studies.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3