Environment and Sustainability

The Research Platform attempts to capture and analyse environmental and sustainability issues related to Africa, Africa’s place in the world, and the implications for Africans in diverse settings. The approach is interdisciplinary combining insights from natural and social sciences. Particular attention is given to the discursive and material practices – such as standards certifications or climate change policies or the definition of ‘nature’ itself – through which the terms of environmental governance authority and the disciplining of environmental subjects/citizens are legitimated as well as contested.

In relation to both global and local challenges, Africa's environment and environmental policies are undergoing major changes, with a growing expansion of concerns as well as stakeholders. The interest in Africa's environment ranges from actors with different utilization perspectives, to actors focused on the protection of the environment such as the conservation of biodiversity. This increasing and multifaceted as well as transnational and translocal interest means an intensification of struggles over resource control, which in turn challenges the management of the environment. Sustainability and sustainable development is seen as a key way forward and this Platform look at how related ideas and visions are expressed and materialized in different ways in different contexts in Africa.

Central research questions concern:

  • Knowledge, knowledge production and ‘expertise’ related to environmental governance and sustainable development
  • Synergies between poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • The interplay between local, national and international environmental governance actors
  • The role and implications of private sector initiatives such as ecotourism for rural development and conservation

Platform Researchers: