We are pleased to announce the publication of two books, launched on Monday, 4 August 2014 in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science. The volumes were launched together with another two books – edited by staff in the department.

Photo: Merle Sowman, Sue Parnell, Sophie Oldfield, Rachel Wynberg and Maria Hauck at the launch of their books in the Environmental and Geographical Sciences building.

Sharing Benefits from the Coast

Edited by Rachel Wynberg and Maria Hauck

Coastal resources are vital for communities in developing countries, many of whose coastal-dwellers live in severe poverty. These resources also hold significant value for a number of different sectors of the economy, such as mining, fisheries, forestry and tourism, which supply expanding global consumer markets. Although these activities provide opportunities for economic and income growth, global patterns indicate growing levels of economic inequality between the custodians of coastal resources and those who exploit them, as well as an increase in absolute levels of poverty. Benefit-sharing has emerged as a popular term to describe interventions to redress inequalities and thus alleviate poverty. Drawing from empirical research in coastal communities across South Africa and Mozambique, this book provides cutting-edge analyses of and new conceptual approaches to these issues. It aims to enhance an understanding of why benefits are distributed in the way they are, the main blockages preventing greater equity, and strategies for more equitable benefit-sharing.

Southern Africa is blessed with a magnificent coast and abundant natural resources but the cruel irony is that local coastal communities receive only crumbs from these riches. This book is an important step towards deepening awareness and understanding of these economic and social injustices and suggesting ways to reduce inequalities and to improve environmental sustainability.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Prize, Gandhi Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom


Benefit Sharing from the Coast

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Governance for Justice and Environmental Sustainability

Edited by Merle Sowman and Rachel Wynberg

Understanding the governance of complex social-ecological systems is vital in a world faced with rapid environmental change, conflicts over dwindling natural resources, stark disparities between rich and poor, and the crises of sustainability. Improved understanding is also essential to promoting governance approaches that are underpinned by justice and equity principles, and that aim to reduce inequality and benefit the most marginalised sectors of society. This book is concerned with enhancing the understanding of governance in relation to social justice and environmental sustainability across a range of natural resource sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. By examining governance across various sectors, it reveals the main drivers that influence the nature of governance, the principles and norms that shape it, and the factors that constrain or enable achievement of justice and sustainability outcomes. The book also illuminates the complex relationships that exist between various governance actors at different scales, and the reality and challenge of plural legal systems in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Resource governance at its best. Sowman, Wynberg and colleagues have produced a book with strong theory and fascinating case studies that provide a broad vista across the sub-Saharan African landscape and waterscape.
Professor Fikret BerkesNatural Resource Institute, University of Manitoba, Canada


Governance for Justice and Environmental Sustainability

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Click here for a review.