This book addresses historical perspectives and contemporary challenges of the politics of forestland governance and the related sustainability crisis in Africa. It focusses on the power dynamics between key actors involved in the governance of forest-related resources either for their exploitation or with regards to biodiversity conservation policies promoted at international arenas. The book provides conceptual and empirical contributions on what happens when global sustainability agendas and the related policy instruments meet the realities of domestic politics in Africa. It reveals that several actors in forest-rich countries, especially those with limited sovereignty, have often employed complex informal strategies as the ‘weapon of the weak’ to resist the domination of the most powerful actors of global environmental politics.
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"A thoughtful and insightful collection of essays on power, its multiple dimensions and how it is exercised in African forests. This is a well-researched, fascinating and persuasive volume that will be an invaluable aid to students, foresters and policy makers throughout Africa and beyond." Professor David Humphreys, The Open University, UK "This book is a very relevant and timely contribution to the forest governance literature. While most of it holds a rather managerial and technocratic focus, this book starts from a political-economic perspective, with much emphasis on power dynamics and resource inequalities. Such a perspective is all the more relevant in the context of post/neo-colonial relationships between Africa and the global North, and in the context of authoritarian regimes on the continent. By offering several country case studies (e.g. Cameroon; DRC; Tanzania) and by analyzing several current themes (e.g. the role of science in conservation; the permanence of ‘paper parks’; the political economy of rosewood), the book draws attention to Africa, where most governance literatures addressing tropical forests focus on South-America or Asia." Bas Arts, Professor in Forest Governance, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands"This rich collection case studies sheds light on forests and forestry as objects of colonial, post-colonial and continued neo-colonial struggles. Right up to the current era of climate change, the volume shows how dominant actors of globalization including Europe and China, along with domestic elites, continues to expropriate resources in the name of biodiversity conservation and carbon storage. When will this unequal struggle end? The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the political-economic context in which African forest management and conservation policy is made, implemented and undone. It is chocked full of new and exciting insights." Jesse Ribot, Professor, American University, Washington, D.C., USA