Focuses on a much-discussed and controversial aspect of conservation: the commodification of nature. Can the successful marketization of what is generally perceived as wilderness help to provide for biodiversity conservation, economic development and social emancipation?
At a time of profound anxiety about the impact of human activity on nature and the catastrophic effects of climate change, the "sixth mass extinction", invasive species and rapidly expanding zoonotic diseases, this volume engages with the practices, discourses, and materialities surrounding the commodification of "the wild". Focusing on the relationship between commodification and wilderness, the contributors pay particular attention to commodification's newer iterations in which human management plays a significant role, such as wildlife-park tourism, trophy-hunting, and trade in herbal medicines, perfumes and luxury exotic food items.
Dominant neoliberal approaches have aimed to address global environmental challenges through the commodification and marketization of nature: by valorizing nature, they claim, biodiversity can be safeguarded and "wild" landscapes protected. This, it is thought, will not only open up a new frontier of sustainable, non-exploitative, participatory capitalist expansion, but invigorate rural livelihoods, reduce poverty, and add important assets to otherwise vulnerable rural economies. This important book challenges this future trajectory. Investigating a broad range of cases across southern and eastern Africa, from the illegal sandalwood trade to legal trade in devil's claw and honeybush to trophy-hunting and wilderness safaris, the contributors reveal the pitfalls and challenges of commodification, what this means for the continent and beyond.
PART 1: INTRODUCTION
1. Introduction: Practices, discourses, and materialities surrounding the commodification of the 'Wild' / Michael Bollig, Linus Kalvelage, Léa Lacan, Selma Lendelvo, Alfons Mosimane, and Romie Nghitevelekwa
PART 2: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES
2.Fetishizing the 'Wild': Conservation, commodities and capitalism / Clemens Greiner and Michael Bollig
3. Value Chains and Global Production Networks: Conceptual considerations and economic development in the 'Wild' / Javier Revilla-Diez, Carolin Hulke, and Linus Kalvelage
4. Benefit Sharing and Biodiversity Commodification: A failed approach for social justice, equity and conservation? / Rachel Wynberg
5. Transfrontier Conservation Governance, Commodification of Nature, and the New Dynamics of Sovereignty in Namibia / Johannes Dittmann and Detlef Müller-Mahn
PART 3: PLANTS FROM THE WILDERNESS FOR A GLOBAL MARKET: THE COMMODIFICATION OF NON-DOMESTICATED (WILD) PLANTS
6. Towards Pro-poor or Pro-profit? The governance framework for harvesting and trade of devil's claw (Harpagophytum spp.) in the Zambezi Region, Namibia / Jessica-Jane Lavelle
7. Marginalisation and exclusion in honeybush commercialisation in South Africa / Sthembile Ndwandwe
8. From Forest to National Resource: Forest conservation and state power in Baringo, Kenya / Léa Lacan
9. Commodifying East Africa's Sandalwood: Organised crime and community participation in transnational smuggling of endangered species / Eric Mutisya Kioko and Michael Mugo Kinyanjui
10. The Gum Arabic Business: Modernization of production in north-eastern Nigeria / Hauke-Peter Vehrs and Ibrahim Maina Wazirii
PART 4: COMMODIFYING WILDLIFE
11. Producing Elephant Commodities for 'Conservation Hunting' in Namibian Communal-area Conservancies / Lee Hewitson and Sian Sullivan
12. Human-wildlife Interaction, Rural Conflict and Wildlife Conservation / Ezequiel Fabiano, Selma Lendelvo, Alfons Mosimane, and Selma Kosmas
13. Hunting for Development: Global production networks and the commodification of wildlife in Namibia / Linus Kalvelage
PART 5: COMMODIFICATION AND SOCIAL DYNAMICS
14. Women in Rural Northern Namibia and the Commodification of Indigenous Natural Products / Romie Nghitevelekwa, Selma Lendelvo, and Martin Shapi
15. Conservation, Traditional Authorities, and the Commodification of the 'Wild': a Namibian perspective / Alfons Mosimane, Kenneth Matengu, and Michael Bollig
16. Commodification of Wildlife Resources in the Okavango Delta, Botswana / Joseph E. Mbaiwa
17. Justice Dilemmas in Conservation Conflicts in Uganda / Lioba Lenhart
PART 6: CONCLUSIONS
18. Conclusions: Commodifying the 'Wild' - Where do we go from here? / Michael Bollig, Linus Kalvelage, Léa Lacan, Selma Lendelvo, Alfons Mosimane, and Romie Nghitevelekwa
Michael Bollig is a Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Cologne. His books include Shaping the African Savannah: From Capitalist Frontier to Arid Eden in Namibia (2020) and, with David Andersen, Resilience and Collapse in African Savannahs (2017).
Selma Lendelvo is a Senior Researcher and Director of Grants Management and Resources Mobilisation at the University of Namibia. Her research focuses on environmental management and sustainable natural resources management.
Alfons Mosimane, a geographer, is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Namibia. For the past 20 years, Dr Mosimane has researched institutional development and governance systems in community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) in Namibia.
Romie Vonkie Nghitevelekwa is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Namibia. She is the author of Securing Land Rights: Communal Land Reform in Namibia (2020).