New book by Assistant Professor Sharlene Mollett and Professor Thembela Kepe

Left: Sharlene Mollett, Centre: Book Cover Right: Thembela Kepe

Land Rights, Biodiversity Conservation and Justice seeks to illuminate struggles for land and territory in the context of biodiversity conservation. This edited volume explores the particular ideologies, narratives and practices that are mobilized when the agendas of biodiversity conservation practice meet, clash, and blend with the demands for land and access and control of resources from people living in, and in close proximity to, parks.

In the context of sustainable development, recent land debates tend to construct two porous camps. On the one side, norms of land justice and their advocates dictate that people’s rights to tenure security are tantamount and even sometimes key to successful conservation practice. On the other hand, biodiversity protection and conservation advocates, supported by global environmental organizations and states, remain committed to conservation strategies, steeped in genetics and biological sciences, working on behalf of a "global" mandate for biodiversity and climate change mitigation.

The book maintains that, while biodiversity conservation is an important goal in a time where climate change is a real threat to human existence, the successful and just future of biodiversity conservation is contingent upon land tenure security for local people. The original research gathered together in this volume will be of considerable interest to researchers of development studies, political ecology, land rights, and conservation.