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Why governance matters: a comparative study of the causes of deforestation in the miombo woodlands of Zambia and Mozambique, 1990 - 2010

Fane-Hervey, Angus (2012) Why governance matters: a comparative study of the causes of deforestation in the miombo woodlands of Zambia and Mozambique, 1990 - 2010. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

Between 1990 and 2010 sub-Saharan Africa experienced some of the highest levels of deforestation anywhere in the world. The problem has been particularly acute in what are known as the miombo woodlands of southern Africa. These occupy a unique ecological niche and are crucial to the livelihoods of millions of people in the region, yet are disappearing rapidly. The aim of this thesis is to identify the structural causes of this phenomenon in two of the miombo countries, Zambia and Mozambique. Standard ‘resource based’ explanations for deforestation in both countries tend to focus primarily on demographic and economic factors, emphasising the impact of economic reforms, population growth, rural migration, poverty, minimal access to electricty and a lack of institutional resources. However I argue that these explanations do not account for Mozambique’s relatively better record on deforestation during the period in question, and that a more convincing account is offered by a ‘governance based’ explanation, which emphasises different forms of forest governance and institutional arrangements affecting the forest sector in each country. Specifically, Mozambique has fared better than Zambia thanks to its more secure system of traditional land tenure, the implementation of more progressive legislation and a sustained commitment to community based natural resource management. The implication is that future initiatives to curb deforestation in these countries should concentrate on addressing institutional and policy based shortcomings before implementing market based mechanisms designed to encourage conservation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © Angus Fane Hervey
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Held, David
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/709

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