The Development of Degradation and Impoverishment: Neocolonialism and the Crisis of People and the Environment in East Africa

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1996

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Abstract

"This thesis focuses on a consideration of the issues of conservation, sustainable development, and environmental management in the East Africa Region - primarily in the East African nations of Kenya and Tanzania - within the larger sociocultural and political framework of the complex diversity of interactions between people and the environment at the international, national, and local levels. In particular, this study examines the power dynamics that have historically characterized issues of human and environmental management, sustainability, and development in East Africa, by focusing on global capitalist and colonial factors, community oppression and resistance, gender domination, and the geographical context of the physical, social, and ideological realms in East Africa. In stressing the exploitation and domination inherent in conservation strategies and development policies in East Africa, this thesis is intended to demonstrate not only that human impoverishment and inequality are inseparably linked with environmental degradation and crises in East Africa, but also that economic wealth, over development, and dominance in 'the North' (primarily Europe and America) are directly connected to this continuing degradation in 'the South.' This thesis suggests that these power dynamics must be addressed directly if environmental and human sustainability are to emerge, and if ecological and social degradation and crises of epic proportions are to be avoided in East Africa and globally."

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conservation, sustainability, environmental policy

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