Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Activity / 2013 / Land Grabs in Tanzania: The Scramble Over Nature, Food, and Fuel

Environmental Studies

Land Grabs in Tanzania: The Scramble Over Nature, Food, and Fuel

Story posted February 04, 2013

Event date(s): February 01, 2013 — February 24, 2013

Wed. Feb 20- Lecture
1:00-2:00 PM
ES Common Room

Wed. Feb 20-Dinner
5:30-7:00 PM
Thorne Hall, Mitchell North

Tanzania is rich in natural resources, from the Serengeti plains, to the lush forests of Kilimanjaro, and the mangroves & coral reefs of Zanzibar. This natural wealth has contributed to sustained economic growth over the past decade, yet it has not translated into better well-being for the majority of people.   Evidence suggests the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Land grabs are one contributing factor to the uneven distribution of benefits. Large swaths of land are being captured by external actors and used for nature conservation, tourism & hunting, biofuel production, carbon credits, and export agriculture. As a result, local people are being displaced from ancestral lands and losing access to resources vital for their livelihoods.

What is driving the scramble for land in Tanzania and who are the winners and losers? What roles do foreign policy and notions of ‘poverty alleviation’ play in shaping the ‘development’ landscape? How are international actors, such as conservation BiNGOs (Big International Nongovernmental Organizations), multilateral development agencies (i.e. World Bank), and private companies influencing land use change?  How are communities navigating these challenges of neoliberal globalization for the 21st century?

Jennifer Jones, Ph.D.

jenniferjonesDr. Jones is a political ecologist who uses a transdisciplinary approach to explore the relationships between people and other elements of nature. Her interests include international conservation policy, local livelihoods, animal rights, and food justice. She served as a Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Williams College, and spent five years in South Africa researching the impacts of protected areas on local communities. She currently serves as Program Director for the International Honors Program on ‘Beyond Globalization: Reclaiming Nature, Culture and Justice’, and is a Visiting Associate Professor at Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability. Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria.