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Political Ecology and Methodology for Protected Areas Research in Eastern and Southern Africa Peter J. Rogers Bates College Environmental Studies Program.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Ecology and Methodology for Protected Areas Research in Eastern and Southern Africa Peter J. Rogers Bates College Environmental Studies Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Ecology and Methodology for Protected Areas Research in Eastern and Southern Africa Peter J. Rogers Bates College Environmental Studies Program 111 Bardwell St. Lewiston, ME tel: (207) fax: (207)

2 Thanks to US Dept. of Education and Bates College for research funding, field work assistance from the Institute of Resource Assessment and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority in Tanzania and Kruger National Park in South Africa, Jim Hart from Bates Information Services, and the following students; Chris Westcott, Andrew Beckington, Elizabeth Morrill, Graham Veysey, and Hillary Schwab.

3 Dedication Dedicated to Ernest Grueing ( ) - Governor of Alaska, U. S. Senator, unrecognized originator of the concept of “political ecology” (see Gruening 1951), and one of two Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964.

4 Goal of Paper Outline a methodology for research which synthesizes poststructural theorizing about political ecology and governmentality with positivist ideas about systematic, transparent social science research methods

5 Organization of Paper Background Political Ecology and Governmentality Wildlife Conservation and Protected Area Management in Sub-Saharan Africa Research Questions

6 Organization of Paper Methodology Comparative Case Study Approach Protected Area Complexes and Units of Analyses Operationalizing Political Ecology and Governmentality The Role of Computer Databases and Qualitative Analysis

7 Organization of Paper Conclusion: Is “Antiessential Political Ecology” an Oxymoron?

8 Background Political Ecology Nature as politically contested and shaped Non-human nature shapes processes of economics and political contestation How we “know” the environment is critical Political contestation involves actors

9 Background Governmentality Recognition of importance of historical processes, the role of “genealogy” Historical process should focus on the identification of important, distinct “problematization” events Most importantly, “priority give[n] to ‘how’ questions”

10 Background Wildlife Conservation and Protected Area Management in Sub-Saharan Africa CITES controversies over ivory trade Spatial extent of protected area Economic importance of wildlife tourism

11 Background Research Questions How are wildlife conservation and protected areas governed in sub-Saharan Africa? What are the sources of wildlife conservation and protected area governance in contemporary sub- Saharan Africa?

12 Methodology Comparative Case Study Approach Quasi-experiment Between case comparison Within-case comparison

13 Methodology Serengeti-Mara and GLTP Case Study Similarities Size Transboundary Multiple Administrative Jurisdictions International Importance Predominantly Savanna Ecosystems National Economic Assets Recent Management Plan Exercises

14 National Parks in Africa Source: Griffiths (1984) p. 153

15 Serengeti-Mara Source: Sinclair (1995) p. 5

16 Great Limpopo Source: CODEX (2001)

17 Methodology Protected Area Complexes National government protected areas Sub-national government protected areas Community wildlife management areas Private protected areas

18 Methodology Units of Observation Direct elements Indirect elements

19 Methodology Operationalization What are the “techniques” employed in the governance of wildlife conservation and protected areas? (examples: fire management, water provisions for wildlife, community access to resources and revenue, forms of tourism, role of hunting or culling)

20 Methodology Operationalization How are protected areas and wildlife conservation made “visible” for the purposes of governance? (examples: maps, organizational plans, and statistics) Who is responsible for such projects of surveillance? (examples: researchers, consultants, management authorities)

21 Methodology Operationalization What “forms of knowledge and expertise”and “rationality” guide wildlife conservation and protected area governance? (examples: disciplinary, theoretical, technical, and education backgrounds of researchers and management authorities)

22 Methodology Operationalization Who is involved in the governance of wildlife conservation and protected area management, how do they identify themselves, and how do others identify them? (examples: local communities, ethnic identities, international conservation organizations, animal rights advocates, traditional authorities, private business, and government officials)

23 Methodology Operationalization What have been the key “problems” of wildlife conservation and protected area governance? (examples: periodization of history based on critical “problem events/episodes,” see partial example in the conclusion below)

24 Methodology Operationalization Historically, how has wildlife conservation and protected areas been governed in sub-Saharan Africa? (recapitulation of above questions based on problemization periodization scheme)

25 Methodology Computer Databases and Qualitative Analysis Management of very large data set Collaborative and participatory research Dissemination of research product

26 Methodology Prototype Database South African Protected Areas along the Western and Southern Boundaries of Kruger National Park Initial Governmentality Survey, June 2003

27 Conclusion Is “Antiessentialist Political Ecology” an Oxymoron? Theoretical need to recognize the biophysical reality of nature Practical demands of collaborative research

28 Governmentality Problemataization, Techniques, and Environmental Impacts CaseProblematizationTechniqueEnvironmental Impact Eastern Africa, early 1960s Concern over Maasai Banning of fires inside the NCA Spread of Eleusine jaegeri Southern Africa, late 1990s Opposition to elephant culling Transolaction as sole management tool Anticipated biodiversity change Southern Africa, late 1990s Change in vegetation from block burning Shift to “natural” fire regime Less frequent, more intense veldt fires, Sept event


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