'Securing Space': Mapping and fencing in transfrontier conservation in Southern Africa

M.J. Spierenburg, H. Wels

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This article provides a brief history of the use of maps and fences in wildlife conservation. Analysis of the promotional materials of one of the main promoters of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) in southern Africa, the Peace Parks Foundation, reveals the importance of mapping as a planning and promotion tool. These maps, however, appear to be quite silent about the communities that are supposed to benefit from the TFCAs. The fences around wildlife areas are resented by local communities because they prevent them from harvesting natural resources "on the other side." Local communities also object to the fences because of their symbolic meaning and instrumentality, shown in warfare and policies "to control and divide." Conservation organizations nowadays use the symbol of the fence to communicate their change in policy toward local communities: stressing the need to move "beyond the fences" by involving local communities in the management of protected areas and using these to promote economic development. ©2006 Sage Publications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)294-312
    Number of pages19
    JournalSpace and Culture
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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