Property and Difference in Nature Conservation

Maano Ramutsindela, Innocent Sinthumule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Social science research on nature conservation ascribes enclosures and the consequent evictions and dispossession of local people to unequal power relations. It reveals that the monopoly of power by the state configures new relations between local people and their natural resources, and legitimizes land grabbing. In this paper we build on this literature by engaging two questions. The first question relates to how land tenure regimes enable green grabbing and also configure the participation of local people in nature conservation enterprises. Knowing how land tenure regimes structure the involvement of local people in nature conservation is a necessary step toward an inquiry into the relationship between local people and protected areas. In the second question we ask how historical land tenure allocations enable current configurations of power relations in conservation areas. We use the case study of Mapungubwe on the Botswana-South Africa-Zimbabwe borderlands to demonstrate that historical land tenure allocations facilitate land alienation and the marginalization of local people in TFCAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-432
Number of pages18
JournalGeographical Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Mapungubwe
  • Property
  • transfrontier conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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