On 10 March 2015 a new book co-edited by Rene van der Duim (Cultural Geography Group), Machiel Lamers (Environmental Policy Group) and Jakomijn van Wijk (Maastricht School of Management) and published by Springer Academic Publishers was launched at the office of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WNF) in Zeist. The research for this book “Institutional Arrangements for Conservation, Development and Tourism in Eastern and Southern Africa. A Dynamic Perspective” was sponsored by NWO’s Responsible Innovation Program. The book starts by arguing that over the past two decades tourism has become a key mechanism for biodiversity conservation and development outside national parks in eastern and southern Africa. This is evident in the rise and diffusion of numerous novel institutional arrangements like conservancies in Namibia, conservation enterprises in Kenya, community-based organizations in Botswana and private game reserves in South-Africa.
In the book presentation Rene van der Duim, Personal Professor at the Cultural Geography chair group of Wageningen University, highlighted how different actors like communities, private tourism entrepreneurs, governments, NGOs and donors collaborate to achieve conservation objectives through the launch of eco-lodges, safari camps and trophy hunting and what opportunities, challenges and dilemmas such collaborative arrangements involve. After a lively debate with WNF staff members, the book was offered to the WNF Director Johan van der Gronden.