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Perspectives on local environmental security, exemplified by a rural South African village
Programme for Applied Environmental Impact Assessment, Department of Human Geography, Uppsala University, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2005 (English)In: Environmental Management, ISSN 0364-152X, E-ISSN 1432-1009, Vol. 36, no 4, 483-494 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyzes the human-nature interaction in a village in rural South Africa. It discusses preconditions, perceptions, and consequences of natural resource use, and places these findings into a regional and historical context. Applying an interdisciplinary perspective, the study uses interviews, questionnaires, remote sensing, and participatory mapping to analyze land cover changes and local perceptions of the environment. The study area is located in a former homeland (Transkei), a setting where well-recorded conflicts in the human-nature sphere have previously been triggered by population pressure, apartheid policies, and other historical, political, and social reasons. A small-scale and subjective conceptualization of environmental security is used as an approach to analyze local livelihood strategies in a selected village. The results indicate that the environment is not the highest priority in local survival strategies. Instead, formal and informal jobs and governmental grants are the most important security strategies. There are thus no major conflicts resulting from the interaction between the local population and the natural resources in this specific area. Explanations to this pattern can partly be found in historical contexts, which include apartheid policies, re-localizations, and a system of migrant labor. The study also suggests that general truths about a region such as Transkei might be misleading in specific localities. For relevant and successful environmental management and development planning however, it is crucial that decision-makers be able to get a clear picture of local situations and adjust their plans accordingly. © 2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 36, no 4, 483-494 p.
Keyword [en]
Environmental security, Interdisciplinary studies, Livelihood strategies, Local perspectives, Natural resources, South Africa
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-50417DOI: 10.1007/s00267-004-0052-7OAI: diva2:271313
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2010-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Hajdu, Flora
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