Integrated conservation-development : a geographical analysis of policy and practice in northern Maputaland.
Curry, Megan Sumner.
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The thesis examines the genesis and implementation of integrated conservation development and associated projects in northern Maputaland during the 1980s and 1990s. The premise upon which this study is based is that there has been a worldwide paradigmatic shift in conservation policies and practices during the 1980s and 1990s. The extent to which initiatives in Maputaland reflected these trends is examined. In formulating a conceptual and theoretical framework for the study, the developments within the discipline of geography as well as the paradigmatic shifts within the broader sphere of conservation and development thinking, are discussed. Traditionally geography focuses on the nature of the relationship between human beings and their environment. Working within this tradition, the relationship between geography and conservation policy and practice is identified and applied to South Africa. Analysis of the process of integrating conservation and development in Maputaland is informed by both the broader international debate surrounding conservation and development and by local history and place specific conditions. The key geographical concepts of process and place are viewed as interdependent factors influencing one another. Within this framework and drawing on the concept of sustainable development, the experience of implementing the new conservation paradigm in Maputaland is recorded and analysed. The case study examples are associated with Ndumo Game Reserve. Sources of data and methodologies include primary sources (published books and journals), secondary sources (unpublished reports), participant-as-observer status with conservation liaison committees and the Ndumo Environmental Education Centre, key informant and focus group interviews and Participatory Rural Appraisal with the Ndumo Environmental Education Centre Management Committee. The study indicates that the Maputaland initiative did represent a considerable paradigm shift in the conservation policies guiding the general practice of conservation in Maputaland. The conservation agency did attempt to initiate Integrated Conservation Development Projects (ICDPs) during the 1990s, but this has been a complex process, fraught with tensions and suspicions. The practise fell short of the ideals and there is a long road to be travelled before reconciliation between conservation and community development is reached.
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