Local resource use, nature conservation and tourism in Mkuze wetlands, South Africa: A complex weave of dependence and conflict
2005 (English)In: Geografisk tidsskrift, ISSN 0016-7223, Vol. 105, no 1, 43-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Competition over natural resources is a complex phenomenon. This is explored through a case study in the Mkuze Wetlands, South Africa, where fibrous plants are important to local women who produce craftwork for the growing tourist market. The tourist industry encourages this, but simultaneously promotes the wetlands as ‘a wilderness untouched by man’. Conservation authorities fear the harvesting of fibrous plants may degrade the wetlands but have to accommodate local as well as tourism interests. The study investigates this complex weave of dependence and conflict, and discusses how efforts at negotiation and co-operation may become more constructive. Present needs play an important role in shaping local conflicts, but so do different interpretations of reality, difficulties in evaluating sustainable use, and international markets and agendas further compound the situation. The results demonstrate the existence of multiple interpretations of the environment, and an unexpected high degree of variability in resource use. Studies aiming to provide a base for sound decisions on the management of resources must take this into account and apply an interdisciplinary approach that includes different theoretical frameworks and empirical data sets, and that acknowledges the value of knowledge systems represented outside academia.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 105, no 1, 43-55 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86248OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-86248DiVA: diva2:586535