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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Africa's 'charismatic megafauna' and Berlin's 'two concepts of liberty': postcolony routes to utopia?
Author:Cloete, Elsie
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subjects:national parks and reserves
wildlife protection
community participation
Abstract:Charismatic megafauna are those animals, in particular elephants, which have achieved international star status and have been accorded moral significance. In southern Africa, where elephants are relatively plentiful, environmental havoc is being wreaked because so many of them are confined within fortress-like islands of conservation. International and local pressure on nations in Africa to not only preserve biodiversity and conserve and increase its animal species holdings without killing off 'surplus' elephants, has led to the creation of transfrontier conservation areas. While few people would contest the idea that this is morally good and environmentally sound practice, the new ethics in extending conservation areas to surround human settlements raises questions about freedom and hospitality between humans and non-human animals in southern Africa's postcolonies. In this article it is argued that Isaiah Berlin's notion of negative liberty is being, albeit unconsciously, expanded to include elephants, while humans living in and alongside these enlarged conservation areas are being coerced or persuaded to co-operate by not interfering with these elephants. The Kavango-Zambezi transfrontier mega-conservation area, or KAZA, located in Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe, illustrates the argument. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]