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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contested Forests: Modern Conservation and Historical Land Use in Guinea's Ziama Reserve
Authors:Fairhead, James
Leach, Melissa
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Guinea
Subjects:nature conservation
land use
agricultural land
Development and Technology
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/723664
Abstract:The wisdom of colonially derived forest conservation approaches in West Africa based on policing externally imposed reserves has recently been questioned. Instead, attempts are now made to secure the support of forest edge populations by linking conservation to the provision of socioeconomic benefits. The Ziama forest in Guinea was designated a forest reserve in 1932, made a Biosphere reserve in 1981, and is now the subject of a major internationally funded conservation project. The written evidence of 19th-century explorers, coupled with the oral evidence of today's inhabitants and the works of regional historians, makes it possible to gain a good idea of the Ziama area's past populations, their land use, the chain of events which led to their decline, and their relationship with present-day populations. This provides a context in which to review local attitudes towards conservation strategies pursued during the colonial period and in the present day. Like many others, this area of high forest owes its origin to late 19th-century warfare and its persistence to colonial land alienation. It is this history which helps explain the nature of modern land use conflicts. Notes, ref.