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Framing Transfrontier Nature Conservation: The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and the Vision of 'Peace Parks' in Southern Africa
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Within the broad field of global environmental history this master thesis analyses transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) also known as 'peace parks', and explores how the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) has been envisioned, described, motivated and implemented. Using Actor-Network Theory and Framing Analysis, the thesis analyses how the idea of the GLTP and the critique against it has been framed over time through the analysis of official reports and academic research in combination with in-depth interviews with key actors. By approaching the topic of transfrontier conservation in a broad manner, and by incorporating a wide variety of sources, the thesis attempts to go beyond single explanations of the phenomenon and, instead, provide a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the transfrontier conservation idea linked to the GLTP and its history.

The thesis shows that the rise of transfrontier conservation involves a complex network of actors, spanning over local-global and public-private scales. Integrated networks are formed between key actors including national governments and conservation authorities, donor agencies, NGOs – in particular the Peace Parks Foundation, and civil society. The GLTP has been framed as a way to achieve three main goals: biodiversity conservation, community development through ecotourism and public-private partnerships, and regional peace and security. The thesis shows that the framing has shifted over time, from a strict conservation focus to more inclusive approaches where social aspects are seen as increasingly important for the long term sustainability of TFCAs. But the idea that transfrontier conservation can resolve all regional problems, from political cooperation to wildlife management to local socio-economic development, is also contested in this study. The thesis illuminates a gap between official policy/management reports and academic studies related primarily to the role of community development in the framing and implementation of the GLTP. Despite various challenges that hinder the effective implementation of the goals and visions of the park such as wildlife crime, insufficient community involvement and problematic legal and policy arrangements, the thesis concludes that the GLTP represents an important contribution to global conservation commitments and needs to be viewed as a complex, long-term and constantly evolving project.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 81 p.
Keyword [en]
Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, Peace Parks, Transfrontier Conservation Areas, Actor-Network, Framing, Global Environmental History
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254921OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-254921DiVA: diva2:821312
Educational program
Master Programme in Global Environmental History
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-11 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Master Thesis Global Environmental History Kristina Berglund 2015(1767 kB)215 downloads
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