Africa’s abundant natural resources – from its vast, biodiverse forests in the Congo Basin to its highly productive fisheries lining thousands of coastal communities – sustain the continent’s fast-growing population. Yet over 400 million people across sub-Saharan Africa live in extreme poverty. Clean water is increasingly scarce, over 60 percent of the continent's land suffers from degradation and its forests face intensifying pressure from industrial agricultural and extraction of timber, minerals, oil and natural gas.

The Environmental Governance in Africa Working Paper Series explores emerging environmental governance challenges at the intersection of natural resource management, sustainable development and democracy. Publications examine policies, laws and institutional infrastructure essential for promoting effective and equitable decentralization of power – a political process that allows local communities to have a greater say in decisions that impact the natural resources that support their lives and livelihoods. Authors also analyze national, regional and local actions critical to establishing and protecting citizens’ environmental procedural rights as well as approaches that build civil society’s capacity to both advocate for sound natural resource management and hold those who break environmental laws to account. Papers in the series not only contribute to a growing dialogue on environmental governance in Africa, but they also offer policy recommendations for governments, civil society and citizens across the continent.

Publication Authors

Publication Authors

Analyzing Decentralization: A Framework with South Asian and West African Environmental Cases
Arun Agrawal and Jesse C. Ribot

Breathing Life into Fundamental Principles: Implementing Constitutional Environmental Protections in Africa
Carl Bruch, Wole Coker, and Chris VanArsdale

Partitioned Nature, Privileged Knowledge: Community Based Conservation in the Maasai Ecosystem, Tanzania
Mara Goldman

Whose Elephants Are They? Decentralization of Control Over Wildlife Management Through the CAMPFIRE Program in Binga District, Zimbabwe
Diana Conyers

Co-Management in the Mafungautsi State Forest Area of Zimbabwe – What Stake for Local Communities?
Everisto Mapedza and Alois Mandondo

Concessionary Politics in the Western Congo Basin: History and Culture in Forest Use
Rebecca Hardin

Decentralization, Politics and Environment in Uganda
Nyangabyaki Bazaara

Commerce, Kings, and Local Government in Uganda: Decentralizing Natural Resources to Consolidate the Central State
Frank Emmanuel Muhereza

Decentralization and Wildlife Management: Devolving Rights or Shedding Responsibility? Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Agrippinah Namara and Xavier Nsabagasani

The Decentralized Forestry Taxation System in Cameroon: Local Management and State Logic
Patrice Bigombé Logo

Allocation of Governmental Authority and Responsibility in Tiered Governance Systems: The Case of Environment-Related Laws in Zimbabwe
Alois Mandondo and Everisto Mapedza

Decentralization Viewed from Inside: The Implementation of Community Forests in East Cameroon
Patrice Etoungou

Constructing Subsidiarity, Consolidating Hegemony: Political Economy and Agro-Ecological Processes in Ghanaian Forestry
Aaron deGrassi

Local Governance, Power, and Natural Resources: A Perspective from the Rural Areas of South Africa’s former Bantustans
Lungisile Ntsebeza

Institutional Deficit, Representation, and Decentralized Forest Management in Cameroon: Elements of Natural Resource Sociology for Social Theory and Public Policy
Phil René Oyono

Historical and Political Foundations for Participatory Management and Democratic Decentralization in Mali: A Synthesis of Two Case Studies
Dr. Bréhima Kassibo

Legal Framework for Participatory Natural Resources Management: Privileges or Rights in Mozambique?
Alda I. A. Salomao

Green and Black Gold in Rural Cameroon: Natural Resources for Local Governance, Justice and Sustainability
Phil René Oyono, Jesse C. Ribot, and Anne M. Larson

Accountability in Decentralization and the Democratic Context: Theory and Evidence from India
Ashwini Chhatre