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The Chagga people and environmental changes on Mount Kilimanjaro: Lessons to learn

Abstract : Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is a site of exceptional diversity. However, its fragile balance is presently under threat, mainly from hydrological issues. Scientists and politicians have different hypotheses concerning the condition and availability of water on the mountain, thus far without consensus. Some of these hypotheses infer that the local Chagga communities living on Kilimanjaro's slopes are implicated in the overall degradation of natural resources. A major part of the research presented in this paper focuses on the Chagga people's view of their environment. The research uses the Actor in 4 Dimensions (A4D) methodology. This multidisciplinary conceptual model helps one to understand a territory by analysing the relations between individuals (social link) and the relations between humans and no humans (natural link). This paper aims to (1) present the A4D model and its innovative methodology, (2) analyse the stakeholders' dynamics around environmental issues on the mountain and (3) focus on the Chagga's perception of natural resource evolution and management. The A4D results show that the Chagga display a profound attachment to their territory, the forest is the element creating social relations, technical progress can mean social regression, conflicts over natural resources are increasing and hydrological risks on Mount Kilimanjaro are primarily of a social nature.
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Léa Sébastien. The Chagga people and environmental changes on Mount Kilimanjaro: Lessons to learn. Climate and Development, Taylor & Francis, 2010, 1 (2), pp.364-377. ⟨10.3763/cdev.2010.0055⟩. ⟨hal-00985803⟩



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