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In a Wounded Land: Conservation, Extraction, and Human Well-Being in Coastal Tanzania

by Vinay R. Kamat

University of Arizona Press, 2024


eISBN: 978-0-8165-5309-9

Cloth: 978-0-8165-5308-2

About the Book
Global efforts to conserve nature and prevent biodiversity loss have intensified in response to planetary-scale challenges—nowhere more so than in coastal regions. Accordingly, international conservation organizations have increased their efforts to promote marine protected areas as one of the interventions to prevent biodiversity loss in global hotspots.

Focusing on the human element of marine conservation and the extractive industry in Tanzania, this volume illuminates what happens when impoverished people living in underdeveloped regions of Africa are suddenly subjected to state-directed conservation and natural resource extraction projects, implemented in their landscapes of subsistence. In a Wounded Land draws on ethnographically rich case studies and vignettes collected over a ten-year period in several coastal villages on Tanzania’s southeastern border with Mozambique. In seven chapters, the book demonstrates how state power, processes of displacement and dispossession, forms of local resistance and acquiescence, environmental and social justice, and human well-being become interconnected.

Written in lucid, accessible language, this is the first book that reveals the social implications of the co-presence of a marine park and a gas project at a time when internationally funded conservation initiatives and extraction projects among rural African populations are engendering rapid social transformation.
About the Author
Vinay R. Kamat is a professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Tanzania and is the author of Silent Violence.
“Vinay Kamat’s exploration of the Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park in Tanzania offers a multifaceted analysis of the social, cultural, and economic complexities surrounding the intersection of conservation and resource extraction, shedding light on the tensions between environmental justice and social justice.”—Anat Rosenthal, author of Health on Delivery: The Rollout of Antiretroviral Therapy in Malawi

"In the far southeast of Tanzania, global, national and community interests in conservation, development, and local livelihoods collide.  Drawing on careful, long term ethnographic research, Vinay Kamat provides an often gripping, richly paced account of the complex politics of natural gas extraction in a marine park, and the effects of competing agendas on those for whom this is home."—Lenore Manderson, University of the Witwatersrand, co-editor of Water's Edge: Writing on Water— -

Global Change / Global Health, Extraction, Marine parks and reserves, African, Ethnology, World, Cultural & Social, Social aspects, Anthropology, Political Science, Social Science
Open Access Information

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0