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Promises Of Economic Development In The Great Limpopo, Southern Africa: Networks And Partnerships Intransfrontier Conservation

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Chapter Summary

The Great Limpopo is one of the largest Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) in the world, covering vast areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The TFCA concept is embraced by practically all (international) conservation agencies, with the rationale for support being that the boundaries of ecosystems generally do not correspond to those of nation-states. By arguing that local communities living in or close to TFCAs will participate and benefit economically, primarily through tourism ventures in cooperation with commercial operators, TFCA proponents claim social legitimacy for the project. However, analysis shows that communities first have to maintain rigid standards set by the international conservation authorities, before they are considered fit to participate and benefit from the commercialization of nature. Commercial operators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the public sector seem to have a similar agenda with regard to prioritizing conservation ideals before local communities can enjoy the benefits of economic development.

Keywords: economic development; Great Limpopo; South Africa; transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs)



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