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RT03 - Conservation, prosperity and development

Convened by Christine Noe (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), Stefano Ponte (Copenhagen Business School)

This roundtable will discuss two new unique research-based books that together examine the complex interactions between conservation, prosperity and development in the global South. The books unpack the trajectories of social, livelihood and environmental change from different perspectives, helping us better understand how natural resource governance dynamics are shaping rural livelihoods. They do so through a long-term historical perspective and by leveraging innovative methodological combinations, including the use of longitudinal data, remote sensing and social network analysis.

'Prosperity in Rural Africa?' (Dan Brockington and Christine Noe, eds) brings together the expertise of a collection of researchers with decades of experience of working in Tanzania, all of whom faced a deceptively simple task: go back to your study sites, to the places you know well, and to the families you first visited and then describe, and try to explain, the changes that you see. The result is a fascinating compilation of insights and experience into prosperity, livelihood trajectories and inequality in rural societies in Tanzania, which highlights the importance of investment in assets.

'Contested Sustainability' (Stefano Ponte, Christine Noe and Dan Brockington, eds) analyzes the policies and practices of sustainability in three natural resource sectors in Tanzania – forestry, wildlife and coastal resources – to establish which organizational setups work best. The contributors examine the emergence, structure, and evolution of sustainability initiatives and the social networks in which they are embedded; assess whether co-management with local communities results in more equitable and sustainable livelihoods and environmental outcomes than top-down governance systems; and assess the distribution of benefits and losses that these initiatives entail, and the forms of sustainability they produce.


Christine Noe, Unviersity of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Stefano Ponte, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark


Camilla Toulmin, IIED, UK
Matthew Bukhi, University of Dodoma, Tanzania
Christine Noe, Unviersity of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Stefano Ponte, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark