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Conservation, Land Conflicts and Sustainable Tourism in Southern Africa

Conservation, Land Conflicts and Sustainable Tourism in Southern Africa

Contemporary Issues and Approaches

(1st Edition 2022)

By Regis Musavengane, Llewellyn Leonard |
ISBN 9781032037622

This book examines the nexus between conservation, land conflicts and sustainable tourism approaches in Southern Africa, with a focus on equity, access, restitution and redistribution. While Southern Africa is home to important biodiversity, pristine woodlands and grasslands, and is a habitat for important wildlife species, it is also a land of contestations over its natural resources with a complex historical legacy and a wide variety of competing and conflicting issues surrounding race, cultural and traditional practices and neoliberalism.

Drawing on insights from conservation, environmental and tourism experts, this volume presents the nexus between land conflicts and conservation in the region. The chapters reveal the hegemony of humans on land and associated resources including wildlife and minerals. By using social science approaches, the book unites environmental, scientific, social and political issues as it is imperative we understand the holistic nature of land conflicts in nature-based tourism. Discussing the management theories and approaches to community-based tourism in communities where there is or were land conflicts is critical to understanding the current state and future of tourism in African rural spaces.

This volume determines the extent to which land reform impacts community-based tourism in Africa to develop resilient destination strategies and shares solutions to existing land conflicts to promote conservation and nature-based tourism. The book will be of great interest to students, academics, development experts, and policymakers in the field of conservation, tourism geography, sociology, development studies, land use and environmental management and African studies.

<strong>Conservation, Land Conflicts and Sustainable Tourism in Southern Africa</strong>

Conservation, Land Conflicts and Sustainable Tourism in Southern Africa

Contemporary Issues and Approaches

(1st Edition 2022)

By Regis Musavengane, Llewellyn Leonard |
ISBN 9781032037622

This book examines the nexus between conservation, land conflicts and sustainable tourism approaches in Southern Africa, with a focus on equity, access, restitution and redistribution. While Southern Africa is home to important biodiversity, pristine woodlands and grasslands, and is a habitat for important wildlife species, it is also a land of contestations over its natural resources with a complex historical legacy and a wide variety of competing and conflicting issues surrounding race, cultural and traditional practices and neoliberalism. Drawing on insights from conservation, environmental and tourism experts, this volume presents the nexus between land conflicts and conservation in the region. The chapters reveal the hegemony of humans on land and associated resources including wildlife and minerals. By using social science approaches, the book unites environmental, scientific, social and political issues as it is imperative we understand the holistic nature of land conflicts in nature-based tourism. Discussing the management theories and approaches to community-based tourism in communities where there is or were land conflicts is critical to understanding the current state and future of tourism in African rural spaces. This volume determines the extent to which land reform impacts community-based tourism in Africa to develop resilient destination strategies and shares solutions to existing land conflicts to promote conservation and nature-based tourism. The book will be of great interest to students, academics, development experts, and policymakers in the field of conservation, tourism geography, sociology, development studies, land use and environmental management and African studies.

Sustainable Urban Tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa Risk and Resilience

Sustainable Urban Tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa Risk and Resilience

(1st Edition 2021)

By Llewellyn Leonard, Regis Musavengane, Pius Siakwah
ISBN 9780367904142

This book investigates urban tourism development in Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the challenges and risks involved, but also showcasing the potential benefits. Whilst much is written on Africa’s rural environments, little has been written about the tourism potential of the vast natural, cultural and historical resources in the continent’s urban areas.

Yet these opportunities also come with considerable environmental, social and political challenges. This book interrogates the interactions between urban risks, tourism and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan African urban spaces. It addresses the underlying issues of governance, power, ownership, collaboration, justice, community empowerment and policies that influence tourism decision-making at local, national and regional levels.

Interrogating the intricate relationships between tourism stakeholders, this book ultimately reflects on how urban risk can be mitigated, and how sustainable urban tourism can be harnessed for development. The important insights in this book will be of interest to researchers and practitioners across Tourism, Geography, Urban Development, and African Studies.

Environmental Impact Assessments and public participation: The case of environmental justice and mining development

South African democracy witnessed considerable effort to redefine Environmental Impact Assessment regulations to improve participation of citizen’s towards sustainable development of activities. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of participatory processes has generally been mixed and in many cases fallen below expectations, with a lack of empirical evidence especially in South Africa to understand the underlying elements that may contribute to poor public participation in Environmental Impact Assessments. This paper attempts to investigate the participatory inefficiencies of Environmental Impact Assessments for mining development specifically in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga and presents viewpoints from key stakeholders. Results indicate that Environmental Impact Assessments, especially for mining development, are conducted as tokenistic tools to approve developments rather than to genuinely engage with the concerns of interested and affected groups. There is a need for environmental practitioners to be impartial during assessments, including for the independence of government as regulator and enforcer of environmental assessment processes rather than spearheading mining development for economic development. The paper makes recommendations to improve participation of citizen’s during environmental impact assessment processes

Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessments, mining, participating, environmental justice; civil society

Leonard, L. (2017) Environmental Impact Assessments and public participation: The case of environmental justice and mining development, Environmental Assessment Policy and Management  DOI

Dullstroom mining development hindering environmental sustainability

Poor participatory processes during Environmental Impact Assessments and weak governance over mining development in Mpumalanga is causing loss of environmentally sensitive tourism and conservation areas.

This is according to a series of recent published journal articles conducted by the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Tourism. The research which investigated governance processes and participation during Environmental Impact Assessments for mining development in the Dullstroom, Mpumalanga region – known for its natural environment – noted that Environmental Impact Assessments, especially for mining development, are conducted as tokenistic tools to approve developments rather than to genuinely engage with the concerns of interested and affected groups.

The research notes that despite the advent of democracy which witnessed government making considerable progress in developing the legal frameworks to manage mining development and include citizens in decision making processes, this has largely been unsuccessful. According to Professor Llewellyn Leonard from the University of Johannesburg who led the research into mining development in Mpumalanga noted that, ‘despite improvements in environmental regulations it is unfortunate that our research suggests that mining development in post-apartheid South Africa is conducted as a priority by the Department of Mineral Resources for economic development with a disregard over environmental protection and democratic processes to engage with citizens.’

Peter Arderne, a director at Dullstroom Trout Farm said that there was a need for better enforcement of regulations, but that the capacity of government was limited with both the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Water Resources being under-resourced and unable to carry out their functions effectively. Arderne noted that, ‘local communities and civil society groups have to put a lot of pressure on government to get them to enforce the legislation.’

According, to Peter St Clair, a resident in Dullstroom and chairman of the Dullstroom Ratepayers Association, referring to the mining Environmental Impact Assessments conducted in the area, ‘The EIA process is vital because it gives everybody the opportunity to comment but generally the mining companies and consultants abuse the process and do not consult properly nor do they give the proper notifications to get the process approved.’

Dr Koos Pretorius of the Escarpment Environmental Protection Group (EEPOG) which opposes mining development in important biodiversity areas said that, ‘there is a need for mining consultants to not view the public participation process as a box ticking exercise just to get their mining application approved. There is a need to genuinely engage with public concerns and address these during public consultations.’

The research conducted by the University of Johannesburg revealed a number of other complex factors that influenced governance and participation for mining development such as lack of government human resources, the ruling party promoting mining for social and economic upliftment, collusion between government and industry, and the Department of Mineral Resources domination of decision-making to promote mining limiting co-operative governance to name a few.

Regarding Environmental Impact Assessments more specifically, the research suggests that there is a need for environmental consultants to be impartial during assessments, including the independence of government as regulator and enforcer of environmental assessment processes rather than spearheading mining development for economic development. This would better ensure protection of environmental heritage and environmental sustainability for future generations as enshrined in the South African constitution. No government officials contacted during the research responded to interview requests to assist with data collection.

News24 Media Release, 13 March 2017: Mining development and environmental sustainability

State Governance, Participation and Mining Development

Despite the advent of democracy witnessing government making considerable progress in developing the legal frameworks to manage mining development and include citizens in decision-making processes, this has largely been unsuccessful. Although it is known that the post-apartheid state may be ineffective in holding mining companies accountable for social and environmental abuse and engaging citizens in decision-making processes, it is unclear what may hamper effective governance and participation by the state. Since the popular tourist destination of Dullstroom, Mpumalanga has become under threat from an increasing number of mining applications for coal (and to a much more limited extent – diamonds), this paper presents viewpoints from key stakeholders to examine the effectiveness of the state to govern mining development and applications, including how the state (and industry) engages in participation with civil society surrounding mining development. Most participation literature has dealt with improving participatory processes rather than exploring the challenges towards successful participation. Investigations reveal a number of complex factors influencing governance and participation such as lack of government human resources, the ruling party promoting mining for social and economic upliftment, collusion between government and industry, and the Department of Mineral Resources domination of decision-making to promote mining limiting co-operative governance

  • Leonard, L. (2016) Governance, participation and mining development, Politikon, DOI: 10.1080/02589346.2016.1245526
  • Mining and/or tourism development for job creation and sustainability

    Mining and/or tourism development for job creation and sustainability

    Although the tourism sector has greater potential for job creation than the mining sector, the debate on which sector may be more sustainable for employment and local social development, has not been extensively researched, especially in the global South. The popular tourist destination of Dullstroom, Mpumalanga has come under threat from an increase in the number of mining applications for coal (and diamonds). Despite opposition to mining from civil society due to the potential destruction of the natural environment and hence tourism job losses, mining applications are being approved by the ruling party in the country. Government and mining companies state that mining will contribute to much needed job creation and social development. Disparity thus exists between mining and tourism development frameworks for sustainable job creation. This research thus presents perspectives from key participants surrounding the sustainability of mining and/or tourism jobs in Dullstroom, including the benefits and challenges for job creation and sustainability offered by both sectors. Investigations reveal that mining should not be allowed in pristine areas such as Dullstroom’s wetlands, biodiversity and conservation and agricultural lands. Besides the short-term jobs offered by mining, the precautionary principle, as suggested in South African regulations, should apply against mining development since there are added threats of serious or irreversible environmental degradation which does not support sustainable tourism development and long-term jobs. However tourism in Dullstroom is also beset with challenges which need to be addressed if tourism is to contribute to sustainable employment for the majority of people.

    Link to full article: Local Economy 31(1-3):249-263 – 2016

    Examining the quality of carbon trading as pathway to environmental justice or recipe for disaster

    The Kyoto Protocol is an international arrangement setting goals for thirty-seven industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Development Mechanism as a flexibility mechanism defined in the Kyoto Protocol offers emission reduction projects which generate Certified Emission Reduction units which may be traded in emissions trading schemes. The purpose is to support industrialised countries in attaining compliance with part of their quantified emission curb and reduction obligations but without emission reductions in their own countries. The Bisasar landfill in Durban was opened in 1980 during the Apartheid era in the largely Indian residential area of Clare Estate. Although the new democratic government promised to close the landfill in 1994, it still remains operational – mainly due to the Clean Development Mechanism project adopted by government. In an attempt to examine the effectiveness of carbon trading schemes to reduce emissions, this paper examines literature on how the carbon trading project at the landfill has progressed since its inception. Empirical work with key social actors since 2007 is drawn upon coupled with recent literature to examine how government’s ‘model’ quality project has unfolded. Evidence suggests that the state has failed to acknowledge that the carbon trading project stimulates waste accumulation in order to secure methane for carbon credits. Far from addressing climate change, the scheme intensifies local environmental and health risks and ignores livelihoods while reestablishing Apartheid-era racial conflicts. There is an urgent need for government to explore alternatives to landfills and carbon trading projects which will offer sustainable jobs and robust recycling interventions.
    Keywords: Bisasar landfill, carbon trading, resource recovery, environmental justice

    Leonard, L. (2015) Examining the quality of carbon trading as pathway to environmental justice or recipe for disaster at the Bisasar landfill in Durban, South Africa, Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance 1: 125-137