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The Zambezi Teak forests of western Zambia have been exploited for their timber for over 80 years. The record of this exploitation and the subsequent collapse of the timber industry provide a unique insight into problems around land use change, governance and the interaction between ecology, society and forest management in south-central Africa. A wide-ranging study, Scale, Governance and Change in Zambezi Teak Forests is as much an examination of methodology for sustainability research as it is a review of land use change, forest management and rural livelihoods. It explores the problem of scale and how using explicit considerations of scale may contribute to an integration between the life sciences and the social sciences that a holistic assessment of sustainable development problems demands. Specific details of land use change in the region are examined over a 30 year period, including the first detailed mapping of changes to the Zambezi Teak forests since logging ceased in the early 1970s. Forest management practices and fire emerge as important drivers of land use change, and Scale, Governance and Change in Zambezi Teak Forests provides examples of how forest management and governance are important to sustainable development in this sparsely populated and inaccessible region.
For readers interested a detailed understanding of the problems of deforestation, land use change and governance in the dry forests of Africa, Scale, Governance and Change in Zambezi Teak Forests is essential reading. It also provides insights into wider questions of how multidisciplinary studies may be integrated in a holistic synthesis.
African dry forests have been widely studied, but few publications examine the problems of land use change and deforestation in this level of detail. The author draws on 20 years of experience in south-central Africa to combine historical records with research on current political, social and governance issues. The result is a landmark publication which covers a depth and breadth that is seldom achieved in studies of African sustainable development.
Michael Musgrave graduated from Rhodes University and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and holds a PhD in Sustainable Development from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. A Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society (RGS) and a recipient of the prestigious Frederick Soddy Award from the RGS, his research in south-central Africa ranges widely across different disciplines in an attempt to produce a holistic synthesis of the problems around sustainable development in the region. His recent research in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews examines the role of Chiefs and traditional authorities in the governance of natural resources in Zambia and Zimbabwe.