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Study Sites

The selection of study sites prioritizes areas of enhanced land-use change where SET happens in a particularly dynamic way. Under the prevailing conditions in large parts of sub-Sahara Africa (SSA), growth corridors play an important role as drivers of spatial change, especially with regard to agricultural intensification, but also relating to the expansion of conservation areas. Similar to infrastructure projects in the 1960s and 1970s, when many African countries invested in highways, the construction of growth corridors today is supposed to foster better integration among places within the corridors, connect them to global markets, and create economic growth. In contrast to earlier infrastructure projects, a strong emphasis is now put on the involvement of the private sector and the development of value chains along the corridors to enhance productivity and economic change. Conservation efforts have also become part of large-scale development corridors through the establishment of trans-boundary parks that amalgamate existing national parks, private conservation areas and land used for community-based conservation efforts. Overall, such newly established development corridors can be regarded as “hot spots” of current land-use change in African savannas, and their related intensification and conservation processes will thus form the empirical focus of the proposed CRC.

The three study sites selected as examples for the CRC´s inception phase all have a connection to growth corridors, but in different ways. In particular, we will concentrate on three different examples:

 

(1) The Kenyan Rift Valley (KRV) in relation to the “Lamu Port – South Sudan – Ethiopia” (LAPSSET) corridor

(2) The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT)

(3) The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) in southern Africa and its links to the Trans-Caprivi corridor that was recently expended to form the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC).

 

While the KRV and LAPSSET are examples of fragmented intensification with historically and economically diverse processes of transformation, SAGCOT is characterized by a state driven commercialization and intensification of agriculture through public-private partnerships. In contrast, KAZA is the largest conservation project in Africa, integrating five national approaches to land-use rights and governance. While being located within the savanna biome with comparable biophysical conditions and similar agricultural land-use strategies, the drivers, underlying concepts and spatial representations of future-making are in principal highly divergent, involving “intensification” (SAGCOT), conservation (KAZA-WBNLDC) and exploitation (KRV-LAPSSET).

 

The SAGCOT corridor (see figure below) is characterized by a state-driven commercialization and intensification of agriculture through public-private partnerships. The Tanzanian government, together with private investors, aims at exploiting the favorable availability of natural resources (land, soil, water) in the Rufiji Basin (mainly lowland rice in the Kilombero Cluster, and potatoes, field vegetables and dairy products in the Ihemi Cluster) for large-scale mechanized production to satisfy a growing national demand, but partially also targeting the international market. Year-round crop production entails an expansion of cultivated land area but also investments in (irrigation) infrastructure, increased size of production units, and the provision of links to national and international markets.

sagcot.JPG

  

KAZA (see figure below) is the largest conservation project in Africa, integrating five national approaches to land-use rights and governance. The signatory countries aim at a large transnational protection zone for wildlife and vegetation. Former land users are pushed out of the core conservation area. Their re-settlement entails population concentrations on the fringes, namely along the WBNLDC. In this narrow corridor, a growing number of land users but also of organizations catering for tourists are establishing a livelihood on increasingly restricted space. The resulting demand for food but also the concentration of agriculture entails intensification strategies that are rather similar to those occurring in SAGCOT. However, in KAZA they may partially be considered non-planned side effects of a future vision of conservation.

 

kaza.JPG

 

KRV and LAPSSET (see figure below) are examples of fragmented intensification with historically and economically diverse processes of transformation. With the future vision of exploiting geothermal (and wind) energy as well as fresh water resources for establishing a cut-flower and export-oriented field vegetable industry in the KRV, investments in infrastructure (i.e. road constructions linking Narok in the south to Chemolingot in the north) provide access to national and international markets, and foster investments in other infrastructure measures along the corridor, but also attract investors, developing the value chain for agricultural products. Such developments provide a strong pull for labor in-migration, intensified crop agriculture and the sedentarization of pastoralists.

 krv und lapsset.jpg

 

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