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Call for papers IASC 2013 Africa Regional Meeting


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Call for papers IASC 2013 Africa Regional Meeting

  1. 1. Call for Papers Africa Regional Meeting of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Policy Forum Themes: Defragmenting African Natural Resources Management & Responsive Forest Resources Governance 9-11 April 2013 Venue: Protea Hotel, Sea Point, Cape TownHost: The Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western CapeResearch has shown that success in dealing with problems facing Africa commonsmanagement may lie in addressing fragmentation of the knowledge base and, hence,management policy. Traditionally management has been carried out by government agenciesthat focus on a particular sector, e.g. fisheries, agriculture or forestry, using knowledge fromscientists that specialize in that sector, and working with community groups to create andenforce rules developed for that sector. With the advent of the ecosystem approach tonatural resource management, which is based in turn on a growing appreciation of theinterrelatedness of both the ecological and socio-economic dynamics of natural resources,new cross-disciplinary scientific networks are needed that are able to identify specific areasof sectoral interconnections, articulate and implement the required research, and translate theresults into advice for policy makers, development practitioners and resource users.The objective of this Policy Forum is to bring such networks (formal or informal) togetherwith policy makers and other stakeholders to curve the way forward for effective, integratedcommons management: Meeting ThemesWithin the broad area of integrated management of multiple types of natural resourcecomplex commons we place our emphasis on the presentation of policy relevant research onthe commons that networks and individual African and other scholars are currently carryingout. Therefore the following themes are meant to be suggestive rather than exclusive: 1
  2. 2. 1. Defragmenting African resources managementThe overall broad objectives of resource management are to facilitate the protection ofbiodiversity and promote poverty alleviation using exploited commons. Integral to achievingthese broad objectives is conflict resolution, because ecological degradation leads tocompetition for the remaining resources. Therefore, effective, integrated commonsmanagement addresses three related sets of problems simultaneously: a) limiting access to resources to prevent overexploitation; b) economic development that relieves poverty while respecting utilised resource capacity limits, and c) managing the conflicts that arise when access to resources is limited.All three of these problems require integrated knowledge. The limits must be set through thework of natural scientists, both poverty alleviation and the effective implementation ofmanagement require the work of social scientists, and managing conflicts requires involvingstakeholders who know the locally appropriate solutions. Lately theoretical frameworks suchas ecosystem approach, adaptive management, systems approach, and integrated resourcesmanagement (e.g. integrated water resources management- IWRM) have been developed andimplemented.This theme seeks case studies or theoretical analysis of solutions (or attempts) based on trans-disciplinarity and multi-disciplinarity concepts adapted to deal with issues of fragmentationand their attendant problems in management of the commons in Africa. For example someSouthern African countries are implementing the management oriented monitoring system(MOMS) for wildlife and veld products monitoring within the context of community basednatural resources management (CBNRM) and in line with the concept of adaptivemanagement. 2. Institutional Choice and Recognition in African Forest GovernanceLocal democracy is local governance that is responsive and accountable to local people – bybeing responsive it represents local needs, by being accountable to local people it can beconsidered democratic. Agents intervening in the local arena, including governments, donorsand international institutions, choose local partners. These choices recognize certain forms oflocal governance – certain institutions and authorities as well as supporting particular sets ofrules and regulations. In so doing they strengthen some forms of local governance and mayweaken others. Local democracy, representation, inclusion and participation are often studiedfrom the bottom up – exploring how local actors insert themselves into governing processesthrough engagement and resistance. The Choice and Recognition theme focuses on twoaspects of the development of local democracy as it is shaped by higher-scale interveningagents. First, this theme examines ‘choices’ focusing on why intervening agents privilegecertain kinds of local institutions and authorities. It examines the logic and procedures of theintervening agencies. What do they understand local democracy to be? How do theyoperationalize it? How do they translate democratic impulses into practice? Second, itexamines how these choices effect local democracy. How do the recognized institutions andauthorities support democratic processes in the local arena?Sub-themes include: • Institutional Choice I: Donor Understanding and Making of Democracy 2
  3. 3. • Institutional Choice II: Government Understanding and Making of Local Democracy • Recognition I: The Cultivation of Sub-National Authority from Above through REDD • Recognition II: Pluralisms and Representation in REDD intervention • Recognition III: Participatory Processes and REDD -- Representation within Stakeholder Approaches • Recognition IV: Customary Authority and Local Democracy: Donor Roles in Cultivating Chieftaincy • Public Domain: Enclosures – REDD, Privatization and Democratic Spaces • Local Democracy Effects of Global REDD Processes and Forest Commodification on a Global Scale 3. Embracing and harnessing local indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) in natural resources managementOut of the action research tradition has emerged a very large literature on indigenousknowledge systems in general (IKS) and local ecological knowledge (LEK) in particular,concepts which are extremely important in integrated commons management. Wilson et al.(2006) argue that LEK has a critical role to play in making management effective from theperspective of both the content and timeliness of information and increased legitimacy andcooperation. To make an effective contribution towards defragmentation of resourcemanagement such knowledge systems should be revealed and integrated as part ofcomprehensive studies involving ongoing interactions between resource users, scientists andother stakeholders. This theme proposes papers that would document lessons and experiencesof IK and LEK in Africa and answer some of the following questions: • What is the condition of and how robust are IK and LEK systems for resource management? • How is IK and LEK distributed and transferred across generations, age, gender and economic groups in rural societies? • Do social, cultural, spiritual, political, etc factors influence use and/or sharing of IK and LEK among such social, economic and political groups? • How are IK and LEK systems and attendant management skills and approaches perceived by external agencies? 4. Effective knowledge translation for defragmenting natural resource management in AfricaKnowledge translation has been described as the practice, science, and art of bridging theknow–do gap between knowledge accumulation and use (Ottoson 2009). It is therefore apotential stakeholder interaction and integration platform. Effective communication ofresearch is integral to defragmenting natural resources management, successful knowledgetranslation, and good research practice. Whilst so, concerns are growing regarding inadequateknowledge translation from science research into practice and policy. The status quoconstrains the potential of scientific research to maximally contribute to socio-economicdevelopment and environmental sustainability. It has been argued that while a substantialbody of research knowledge has been generated to inform policy and practice, there is little toshow in terms of application for policy and practice especially in Africa.This theme calls on environmental communication and knowledge translation experts andothers working in the area within the African context to submit abstracts which share 3
  4. 4. experience or review theory to model appropriate knowledge translation models todefragment African natural resources management. 5. The effect of fragmented management and the additional stressors such as HIV/AIDS and climate change.Extreme events such as droughts, hurricanes or floods increasingly affect people from lowincome countries everywhere in the world. Africa is particularly affected as 70% of itspopulation rely on natural resources. HIV and AIDS and other endemic diseases presentother stressors on communities and households. A fragmented approach to resourcesmanagement therefore weakens the people’s capacity to adapt and cope with these stressors.Women are likely to be particularly affected by a fragmented approach to resourcemanagement and dealing with shocks from extreme events and endemic diseases since theybear the burden of household sustenance and are often among the poorest of society.Adaptation to these shocks and epidemics require integrated systems that bring innovationbut also look to indigenous adaption and coping strategies.The panel invites researchers working in these and related issues (e.g. poverty and gender)in the African contexts to submit abstracts for papers exploring these issues and how dealingwith them is affected by fragmented resources management systems and solutions required. 6. Implications of urbanisation and commercialisation for management of the African commons.The governance and management of the African commons is becoming increasingly complexdue to multiple pressures on commonage land and resources. Two such pressures are rapidurbanisation and economic transformations of the commons. Urbanisation presents distinctivenew challenges with respect to the commons, such as more intensified urban-rural linkages interms of food production, land speculation, urban sprawl and other urban – peripherypolitical-economic relations. Moreover, commons usage are being taken to urbanenvironments, for example in urban agriculture. Economic challenges to commonsgovernance and management are, for example, pressures for commercialisation of land andresources, rural unemployment and the search by rural youth for jobs in urban centres.Amongst others, this leads to questions around privatisation and individualisation, with dueconsequences for common property. This theme invites papers exploring the followingquestions: • How have African rural-urban relations changed over the last decades due to urbanisation and what are the effects on the governance and management of the commons? • What types of urban commons are evolving and how are they governed? • What type of general political-economic challenges and opportunities can be identified with respect to the commons? • What are the effects of increasing pressures for commercialisation of land and resources and land speculation for access to and governance of rural commons? • What is the effect of rural unemployment and the rural-urban labour migration for rural and urban commons? • How can the link between the globally dominant political ideology of neoliberalism and African commons be conceptualised? 4
  5. 5. Practical DetailsSubmission of Abstracts deadline: 21st January, 2013 to fmatose@gmail.comSubmission Guidelines:Submitted abstracts should be in Word and use the following format: 1. Title 2. Authors and their affiliations 3. 200 maximum word abstract 4. Minimum 10 point Times New Roman font 4. Corresponding author contact informationProgramme Committee:Dr. Lapologang Magole, Chair, Okavango Research Institute, University ofBotswana Private Bag 285, Maun Botswana Tel: (+267) 681 7227/7200 Fax: (+267) 686 1835 Dr. Frank Matose, Co-Chair, University of Cape Town, South Africa Associate Professor Mafa Hara, University of the Western Cape, South Africa (Chair of Organising Committee) Dr. James Murombedzi, CODESRIA Professor Jesse Ribot, University of Illinois Associate Professor Doug Wilson, Aalborg University, Denmark Dr. Linda Mhlanga, University of Zimbabwe Professor Tobias Haller, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Berne, Switzerland Associate Professor Bram Buscher, Institute for Social Studies, The Netherlands Dr. Peter Mvula, University of Malawi 5
  6. 6. Co-sponsorship: • Defragmenting African Resource Management Project (DARMA) ACP Science and Technology Programme, 9th European Development Fund • Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI): A collaborative project of CODESRIA, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne, and IUCN, Funded by SIDA • Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)Registration fee: Researchers: 200 USD Students: 75 USDConference dinner: 30 USD 6