Black R, Watson E, 2006, "Local community, legitimacy, and cultural authenticity in postconflict natural resource management: Ethiopia and Mozambique" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24(2) 263 – 282
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Local community, legitimacy, and cultural authenticity in postconflict natural resource management: Ethiopia and Mozambique
Richard Black, Elizabeth Watson
Received 3 October 2003; in revised form 9 December 2004
Abstract. In this paper we explore the way in which ‘local community’ has been conceptualised in initiatives to promote natural resource management (NRM) in postconflict Ethiopia and Mozambique in the late 1990s. Both countries have seen a shift towards policy discourses that stress ‘participatory’ approaches to NRM, and a search for legitimate and authentic cultural institutions at a local level that can act as a vehicle for implementation of this new policy approach. Yet, engagement with a range of local institutions has often conflated terms such as ‘indigenous’ and ‘traditional’ with ‘local’, ‘community’, and ‘communal’, missing contestation over their social and cultural authenticity and making mistaken assumptions about the rootedness of institutions in geographical space. Examples of forest management initiatives in Manica Province, Mozambique, and land and water management in Borana, southern Ethiopia, are contrasted to consider the differences and similarities in the nature and outcomes of such external interventions.
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