Prof Maano Ramutsindela

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Maano Ramutsindela holds a Masters Degree from the University of the North (Turfloop). He obtained his PhD in Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he studied as a Canon Collins Scholar. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town. He held the Distinguished Hubert H Humphrey Chair of International Studies at Macalester College (St Paul, Minnesota) in 2010 and was a resident Mandela Fellow of W.E.B. Dubois Institute, Harvard University, in 2011. He has researched and published widely on land reform in protected areas, borders, regions, and transfrontier conservation. He is the author of Parks and People in Postcolonial Societies (Kluwer/Springer 2004, 2010); and Transfrontier Conservation in Africa: At the Confluence of Capital, Politics and Nature (CABI 2007). His latest book (with Marja Spierenburg and Harry Wels) is Sponsoring Nature: Environmental Philanthropy for Conservation (Earthscan/Routledge, 2011).


Abstract for Plenary Panel

Conservation: A de facto land reform ‘policy’?

The history of nature conservation and current strategies for protecting and managing biodiversity are inseparable from the land question. This is to be expected since the availability of land is a precondition for establishing conservation areas. Indeed, land for conservation has been acquired through brutal force, land purchase and leasing, and in the form donations and bequests. In this presentation I aim to show how nature conservation strategies such as the creation of transfrontier conservation areas across state borders not only intensify the demand for land for conservation but also pre-empt and give direction to land reform. The contestation between conservation and land reform takes place in these areas at the time when conservation enjoys and commands international support. The presentation poses and also engages the question of how land reform and nature conservation might be pursued in tandem, and with the goals of equity in mind. 


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