Title

Whose Elephants? Conserving, Compensating, and Competing in Northern Botswana

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Publication Title

Society and Natural Resources

Department

Politics and Government

Abstract

While conservationists and politicians applaud the recent growth of Botswana's elephant population, farmers and residents of northern Botswana struggle to live with elephants who destroy crops and threaten livelihoods. The state's response has been to implement a narrowly applied compensation policy that reinforces government control over wildlife while communities affected by so-called human–elephant conflict demand increased rights to deal with the problem themselves. In this way, elephants represent contested ground between the state and local communities that can only be fully understood by considering the experiences and views of those who live with them as well as the national policy context in which management decisions are made. This article focuses on the hidden costs of attempting to live with elephants, framing this struggle as contestation over ownership of elephants in a political context that is increasingly focused on generating tourism revenues and expanding conservation territories.

Volume

25

Issue

9

pp.

837-851

ISSN

0894-1920