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The nature of the land: the Dukuduku forest and the Mfolozi flats, KwaZulu-Natal*

  • Knut G. Nustad (a1) and Frode Sundnes (a2)

Green-grabbing has recently been suggested as a label for describing processes of dispossessions undertaken in the name of conservation in sub-Saharan Africa. For the case examined here, the Dukuduku forest and the Mfolozi flats in northern KwaZulu-Natal, we will argue that the label obscures more than it helps illuminate the complex processes leading up to the present-day struggle over land rights. The land in question has been subjected to a number of different land uses in the past: hunting, conservation, commercial agriculture and small-scale agriculture. We show how contestation over desirable future land use options lies at the heart of the problems raised by an ongoing land claim to the forest.

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Knut G. Nustad wishes to acknowledge support from the Norwegian Research Council, project no 204370, for part of the research on which this article is based, while Frode Sundnes acknowledges support from the Norwegian Research Council, project no 178798, the Nordic Africa Institute and Nansenfondet of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Both authors have contributed equally to the research on which this article is based, as well as in writing the article.

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The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-278X
  • EISSN: 1469-7777
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-modern-african-studies
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