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Abstract

Forest crime has recently surpassed the illegal transnational trade in ivory and other forms of wildlife crime in terms of value and volume, thus making it one of the greatest global challenges of the twenty-first century. This rising trend, largely driven by an increasingly resilient transnational organized criminal network, is particularly apparent in Africa. It raises concerns over loss of forest cover, wildlife habitat, and the future of biodiversity in the continent. In this chapter, I utilize empirical data and secondary sources to examine the ongoing illicit trade in sandalwood and rosewood from parts of Africa, the nature and structure of the organized criminal groups involved in the trade, the black market, and the difficulties associated with efforts to address the phenomenon. Sadly, forest crime continues to receive relatively little attention. Structural weaknesses, including corruption linked to the enforcement of forest laws, an inability to address the demand and supply of forest products, and community participation in forest crime complicate efforts to address the problem.

Open Access
In: African Futures

Abstract

In Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has multiple impacts on quotidian life. At the same time, it influences the way people think about the future. The crisis gives rise to a feeling of uncertainty, while casting doubt on future orientations based on forecasts and planning. COVID-19 reinvigorates the question how African futures are imagined and shaped in relation to the world at large. Against this backdrop, the paper suggests three areas where future-oriented African studies should be revised in response to the current crisis, that is how to incorporate uncertainty, how to decolonize understandings of African futures, and how to translate these considerations into research practice.

Open Access
In: African Futures
Volume Editors: , , and
This interdisciplinary volume provides a comprehensive and rich analysis of the century-long socio-ecological transformation of Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Major globalised processes of agricultural intensification, biodiversity conservation efforts, and natural-resource extraction have simultaneously manifested themselves in this one location.

These processes have roots in the colonial period and have intensified in the past decades, after the establishment of the cut-flower industry and the geothermal-energy industry. The chapters in this volume exemplify the multiple, intertwined socio-environmental crises that consequently have played out in Naivasha in the past and the present, and that continue to shape its future.

Abstract

The Lake Naivasha Basin has witnessed tremendous ecological, social, and economic changes at least since the 1980s, when the floriculture industry expanded around the lake. Land-use changes are marked by competition between agricultural intensification – with reference to floriculture and smallholder cultivation – and conservation. On the fringes of the lake, massive subdivision, privatization, and commercialization of land has attracted more settlers and prompted the growth of vibrant small and medium-sized enterprises and settlements. Water uptake from the lake has also increased over time due to rising demand from a growing population. Recently, the state proposed a variety of megaprojects within the basin, drawing from aspirations contained in Kenya’s development plans including Vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda. These include construction of a mega-dam at the Malewa River, development of Naivasha as an industrial city (Special Economic Zone), construction of a dual carriageway, construction of an Inland Container Depot joining a standard gauge railway, expansion of geothermal exploration, and development of ICT and housing infrastructure. Some of these projects are at the implementation stage while others still remain on paper. This chapter focuses on the social-ecological implications of these megaprojects. It shows how political aspirations and development visions conjoin to produce uncertainties and fears, but also hopes, at the local level. In addition to analysis of secondary sources that include blueprint plans for these projects, the chapter relies on the authors’ in-depth knowledge and experiences due to their connection to the study area as well as observational data on the changes these projects inspire before and during implementation.

In: Agricultural Intensification, Environmental Conservation, Conflict and Co-Existence at Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Abstract

This contribution examines the ways in which frontier dynamics – the development of an agricultural frontier and a political history of violence and eviction – play out in present inter- and intracommunal relations on the outskirts of Naivasha, an economic nerve centre in Kenya’s former so-called “White Highlands”. The hilly Naivasha hinterland at the border between Nakuru and Narok counties is a frontier space, where the agricultural frontier of potato and cabbage plantations meets with the conservation frontier of the Mau Forest complex. It gained a sad prominence through the politically instigated violence that took place in Enoosupukia in 1993, where thousands of mainly Kikuyu settlers were driven out by an organized group of Maasai warriors, on the grounds of conserving the Mau Water Towers. Since then, no large-scale violence has reoccurred in the area, but the past evictions are still present through the persisting collective spatial segregation between Kikuyu and Maasai/Dorobo groups and continuous attempts by Kikuyu evictees to gain back the portions of land they had acquired prior to the evictions. Evictions are also a persistent threat for the Maasai/Dorobo population still residing in Enoosupukia. The spatial segregation of different ethnic groups brings internal divisions and class-based struggles about land access into sharper focus. The article traces the historical evolution of local intercommunal relations in concurrence with the opening and development of an agricultural, and later, a conservation frontier, and discusses how these socio-political dynamics on the frontier are linked to the development of the economic nerve centre, Naivasha.

In: Agricultural Intensification, Environmental Conservation, Conflict and Co-Existence at Lake Naivasha, Kenya