The Namibian bioeconomy: Transformation toasustainable society?
Hauser, AnneHeeren; Cheikhyoussef, Ahmad; Chimwamurombe, PercyM.
Worldwide, bioeconomy is promoted as an 'engine for sustainable development'. However, increasingly, the notion that
'the bioeconomy' will facilitate sustainable development per se is challenged. Based on the assumption that when leaving
the relations between 'nature' and 'society' unquestioned, inherent inequalities are rather reproduced than overcome,
we draw upon a social-ecological framework to analyse the societal relations to nature in the Namibian bioeconomy.
In Namibia, with independence, an array of diferent beneft-sharing mechanisms have been developed to implement
local participatory governance structure, which will be further streamlined under the newly introduced access and
beneft-sharing law. Results show that despite eforts to facilitate a diversity-based bioeconomy, separating structures
and trade-ofs are persistent. Images of 'nature', like the 'eternal Namibian landscape', that draw upon colonial notions are
frequently used to market indigenous natural products. Institutions to 'nature' that guarantee fair and equitable terms
of trade are often only short-term and/or small-scale, e.g. as shown at the case of Devil's claw, Hoodia and Namibian
Myrrh. Even when perspectives cannot be assigned in a stereotypical way between user and provider, and instead, all
actors refer to biodiversity and traditional knowledge as 'welfare of the people', 'cultural heritage', 'input for R&D', 'community
beneft', and 'marketing tool', a rational-instrumental reasoning tends to be favoured of a normative-ethical one. A more
diversifed awareness towards the dialectics entailed in the conception, making, and management of 'nature' potentially
inhibiting an inclusive sustainable development is relevant at any theory'practice interface, including development
project-management and environmental policy-making.
Projekt DEAL: https://www.projekt-deal.de/about-deal/
bioeconomy, Namibia, sustainable society, Societal relations to nature, Access and benefit-sharing, Indigenous knowledge systems
Type of publication|
Heeren-Hauser, A., Cheikhyoussef, A. & Chimwamurombe, P.M. (2020).The Namibian bioeconomy: transformation to a sustainable society?. Discov Sustain 1, 8 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43621-020-00007-6
Windhoek - University of Namibia
Added to C-A: 2023-01-31;11:02:16|
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