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November 16, 2011 | History

Conservation song 1 edition

Conservation song
Wapulumuka Oliver Mulwafu

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Conservation song
a history of peasant-state relations and the environment in Malawi, 1860-2000
Wapulumuka Oliver Mulwafu

Published 2011 by White Horse Press in Cambridge, UK .
Written in English.

About the Book

"Conservation Song explores ways in which colonial relations shaped meanings and conflicts over environmental control and management in Malawi. By focusing on soil conservation, which required an integrated approach to the use and management of such natural resources as land, water and forestry, it examines the origins and effects of policies and their legacies in the post-colonial era. That interrelationship has fundamental contemporary significance and is not simply a phenomenon created in the colonial period. For instance, like other countries in the region, post-colonial Malawi has been bedevilled by increasing rates of environmental degradation due, in part, to the expansion of human and animal populations, cash crop production, drought and consequent deforestation. These issues are as critical today as they were six or seven decades ago. In fact, they are part of a conservation song that has a long and complex history. The song of conservation was initially composed and performed in the colonial period, modified during the immediate postcolonial period and further refashioned in the post-dictatorship period to suit the evolving political climate; but the basic lyrics remain essentially the same. This book attempts to explain the evolution of the conservationist idea whilst demonstrating changes and continuities in peasant-state relations under different political systems. The dominant narrative posits conservation as a progressive movement aimed at re-organising natural resources and protecting them from destruction but the idea was contested and deeply embedded in colonial power relations and scientific ethos. Conservation emerged as an important tool of colonial state intervention and control concerning people and scarce resources. Conservation Song shows how the idea of conservation was rooted in and driven by a particular type of science about the organisation of space and landscapes. It offers a strategic entry point to understanding the historical roots of Africa's social and ecological problems over time, which are also intertwined with power and poverty relationships. In the postcolonial period, the conservation tempo subsided and became neglected in public discourse, only to re-emerge in the 1990s through the democratisation movement"--Publisher's description.

Table of Contents

Pre-colonial environment and production systems, 1860s-1900
Christian and colonial attitudes towards the environment
Scientific networking, ideology and the rose of conservation discourse in colonial Malawi
The Natural Resources Board and the soil conservation campaign in colonial Malawi, 1946-1964
Colonial intervention into African Trust Lands, 1939-1964
State intervention into private estate production in the Shire Highlands
Conservation and politics, 1952-1964
The religious dimension to the campaign against soil erosion in colonial Malawi
Ecological change, gender relations and peasant resistance in Zomba District
Post-colonial environmental discourses, 1964-2000.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. [239]-260) and index.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
S934.M3 M853 2011

The Physical Object

xiii, 269 p. :
Number of pages

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