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The Environment /18–41/

And Access for All /11/ Cutting Deep /18/ My Land /32/ Falling Down /45/

no. P2 2005

Research across academic boundaries

Peace and the Environment

Only during the past four decades has the environment become an issue at the forefront of national and international events. The environment as a public issue came to the forefront in the late 1960s and early 70s, but more or less fell asleep until the mid- to late 80s. Then, the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 along with new scientific findings on global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer provided a serious wake-up call. Even though a new period of decreasing interest followed in the 1990s, environmental issues could no longer possible be ignored. Moreover, the protection of the environment has increasingly become an issue of wider social, economic and political significance. In this regard, researchers in the natural and social sciences have emerged as the main providers of arguments for decision-makers. Today, it is widely accepted that fresh water and natural resources are fundamental prerequisites for peace, stability and development. It is also widely accepted that lack of access to such goods are potential sources of conflict, though this is not agreed upon by all researchers.

The protection of the environment has increasingly become an issue of wider social, economic and political significance. In this regard, researchers in the natural and social sciences have emerged as the main providers of arguments for decision-makers. Nevertheless, it is difficult to see why environmental values should not be included in our concept of peace. Professor Maathai’s tactic of mobilising poor women to plant 30 million trees is not just about growing forests and providing food, fuel, shelter and income. It is just as much about the social and economic empowerment, knowledge and political awareness that emerge from such environmental improvements and the process itself. The Green Belt Movement is only one of many around the world in which environmental activism promotes social justice and economic empowerment at the same time. The struggle for human rights and democracy has become an integral part of building environmental sustainability. Professor Maathai is a good example of how academics can play a crucial role in defining environmental issues to which the media and

News /04/

Education. Yes! International student festival in Norway/06/


When Kenyan professor and founder of the Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, both prominent academics and politicians raised eyebrows: She had certainly done an impressive job for the environment, yes, but what did peace have to do with it?


the politicians find it worth paying attention. Researchers define and document needs; they provide knowledge and possible solutions. In the Andes region of South America a team of international researchers are co-operating with local forces to explore ecological, as well as technical and social, dimensions of water systems, as reported in this issue of Global Knowledge. Researchers and organisations are trying to find ways of improving access to fresh water in the region. This is not an easy task. Particularly in Bolivia, access to and control over water resources are at the core of important national political conflicts. In 2000 the government sold the national water company to Agua Tunari, a British water company. The company raised charges and banned people from using their own traditional methods of water harvesting. Massive protests forced Agua Tunari to redraw from Bolivia. But according to the researchers, the privatisation of water resources in the region still represents a major threat to local water-collection systems. Conflict over ownership of land is another source of unrest. The most obvious example is in Zimbabwe, where violent land occupations have led to environmental devastation as well as food shortages and human suffering. In neighbouring South Africa, where huge land dispossession took place during colonial and apartheid rule, the situation is quite different. There, the national programme for land reform is a relative success, as reported in Global Knowledge. However, outdated environmental policies and patriarchal traditions are among the obstacles to a fair distribution of land in the Namaqualand region, according to South African and Norwegian researchers who are studying the reform process. Findings from research on the land reform from environmental, sociological or human rights perspectives have been disseminated and are available for the government to make use of in the land reform process. A failed land reform could pose a threat to peace and democracy.

Ecological sustainability is inextricably linked to social sustainability, and thus, in the long run, to stability. For this reason, peace has everything to do with the environment. Peace and the environment are and will continue to be contested areas of human endeavour. Nevertheless, in poor countries in particular, ecological sustainability is inextricably linked to social sustainability, and thus, in the long run, to stability. For this reason, peace has everything to do with the environment.

Global Knowledge is an interdisciplinary magazine about international cooperation in research and higher education, and is aimed at academics, students, administrators and policy-makers. Global Knowledge focuses on cooperation where partners have different points of departure in the following areas: political history, economics, geography and/or cultural and religious understanding. The magazine offers stories on political questions with global implications in research and higher education and provides an international arena for debate. The interviews, feature articles and news items are produces by journalists and photographers from all over the world. At least one academic essay will appear in each issue. Global Knowledge is published by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU), although the content is by no means limited to the programmes administered by SIU.

Living in Fear Peace prize to Colombian students/07/

The Double Edge of Knowledge Negative aspects of education/09/

And Access for All Academic publishing free for all/11/

Connecting Academics with Activism Womens’s World 2005 in Korea/14/

Rejuvenating the African University Interview with Minister of Education Naledi Pandor/16/

THE ENVIRONMENT Cutting Deep Carnivores in Poland/18/

The Politics of Water Water in Ecuador and Bolivia/24/

The Melting Glaciers Glaciers in Nepal/29/

My Land

Global Knowledge is published twice a year and distributed free of charge all over the world. PUBLISHED/September 2005 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/Director Gunn Mangerud EDITOR/Teresa Grøtan EDITORIAL ASSISTANT/Ragnhild Solvi Berg ADVISORY BOARD/ Associate Professor Harald Hornmoen, Norway Researcher René Smith, South Africa Associate Professor Tom Skauge, Norway Professor James Tumwine, Uganda Vice-Rector Galina Komarova, Russia Researcher Džemal Sokolović, Norway/Bosnia-Hercegovina COVER PHOTO/Eivind Senneset DESIGN AND LAY-OUT/ PRINTED BY/Bryne Offset CIRCULATION/2500 ISSN 1503-2876 SIU, P.O. Box 7800, NO-5020 Bergen, Norway

Land in South Africa/32/

Life under the Ice The Barents Sea of Russia and Norway/38/

Managing Africa’s Forestry NFN conference in Uganda/41/

Defining Ownership Ensuring intellectual property rights/43/

Vanishing Voices How the Andamanese people survived the tsunami/44/

Falling Down The media and education in Zimbabwe/47/

Academic Climbing Norway-Tibet collaboration 10 years on/51/

Exodus for the Educated Brain drain from South to North alarming/52/

The Politics of Land and Livestock Academic essay/54/

Announcements and Events /59/

New President of the AAU

In February 2005 the Association of African Universities (AAU) celebrated its 11th General Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Professor Njabulo Ndebele, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, was elected as President of the AAU for the coming four years. One of the tasks of the General Conference was the admission of 24 new member institutions to the Association. The topic of the five-day conference, hosted by the University of Cape Town, was “Cross-border provision and the future of higher education in Africa.” Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, addressed the conference in a special session. He pointed out the need for research and teaching to contribute to development challenges such as the deepening of democracy and the consolidation of peace and stability, while at the same time upholding rigorous standards of academic quality.

Changing Childhoods

Living conditions for children and young people in the context of globalization and change was the topic of an international interdisciplinary conference in Oslo, Norway between June 29 and July 3 2005. One of the main themes of the conference was the UN convention on children’s rights, which was the point of departure for discussions on the rights and possibility of children to influence their own situation, for instance through active participation in policy-making. “Childhoods 2005” was organised by the University of Oslo (UiO), Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) and the Childwatch International Research Network (CWI). About one thousand participants attended this event, coming from 80 different countries and representing a variety of research disciplines and interests. CWI is a global nongovernmental interdisciplinary network of institutions that are active in the field of child research. The main topic of the next issue of Global Knowledge (December 2005) will be research on children. Articles and inspiration have been gathered from the conference.

Global Virtual University

The Global Virtual University (GVU) was established in 2003, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). GRID/UNEP in Arendal, Norway, is GVU’s administrative organ. GVU is a consortium of universities that work together to provide learning in the field of environmental sustainability. “Through its extensive network of universities, GVU offers Master’s degree programmes in global environment and development studies (GEDS), as well as short courses,” explains information coordinator Karen Landmark at GRID. “We concentrate first and foremost on learning-centred teaching, as opposed to traditional lectures. Thus, professors and lecturers will mostly be involved before studies start, while online tutors will guide the students through the courses.” The University of Pretoria in South Africa, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, Makerere University in Uganda and Agder University College in Norway are the institutions that are formally part of the GVU network so far, but according to Landmark, GRID is in dialogue with a number of universities across the world.

Improving Teacher Training

In 2005, Norad and SIU launched a new pilot programme for SouthNorth cooperation in teacher training. The main goal of the programme is to help to improve the quality of teacher training in the South. “This programme adds a new dimension to our work in facilitating South-North cooperation in higher education,” says SIU director Gunn Mangerud. She points out that one of Norway’s development cooperation goals is to ensure education for all, as set out in the United Nations’ Millennium Goals. Teacher training plays an essential role in this effort. “The main goal of the new cooperative programme is to raise levels of competence and quality in teacher training in a number of countries in the South, which in turn will improve the basic education of children. We also aim to strengthen the internationalisation of Norwegian teacher training, so we regard this as an equal partnership programme,” concludes Mangerud. An agreement for a pilot programme to run from 2005 until 2007 was signed in May 2005. Applications for the pilot programme should be submitted no later than December 1, 2005.

North-South Student Exchange

CHILDREN’S EXPRESSIONS/The rights and possibilities of children to be heard and seen, were a major issue at “Childhoods 2005”. These giant masks, which were exhibited at the conference, were produced from children’s drawings in cooperation with artist Adriana Bertet.

Cooperating Norwegian and South African academic institutions were recently invited to submit joint applications for a new pilot programme on student exchanges between South Africa and Norway. The pilot programme will finance scholarships to enable South African students enrolled in Master’s degree programmes at their home institutions to take courses in Norway. The Norwegian institution commits itself to send, as a minimum, an equal number of students to the cooperating institution in South Africa. “The student exchange programme is one component of South African/Norwegian cooperation in research and higher education,” says Benedicte Solheim, adviser at SIU. “Institutions of higher education in the two countries have signed agreements that cover a wide range of activities, including research and student exchange.” The agreement between Norad and SIU covers a pilot phase for 2006-2007. The total budget is NOK 3 million.


Quota Scheme to SIU

In January 2005, administrative responsibility for the Quota Scheme (previously the Quota Scholarships) was transferred from the Ministry of Research and Education (UFD) to the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). Higher executive officer Lei Hodneland says that the most important objectives for SIU will be identifying the various arrangements that operate under the quota umbrella and act-

ing as a bridge-builder and service provider to all institutions involved. Approximately 1 100 quota students are pursuing studies in Norway this year. Up-to-date information on application procedures for the Quota Scheme can be found on SIU’s webpage.

Advisory Board of Global Knowledge An advisory board has been appointed for Global Knowledge. The board advises the editor in matters concerning the magazine, but is an organ independent of both SIU and the editorial staff of Global Knowledge. Harald Hornmoen, Norway Associate Professor at Oslo University College, Norway.

2005. He is also member of the research group Ghera, a collaboration of researchers with an interest in comparative studies in higher education and research.

Academic/work background: PhD from 2003, his doctoral studies dealt with American science journalism. He has been a reporter for the Norwegian music press and for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s NRK Radio, and has been editor of the University of Oslo’s research magazine Apollon.

Researcher at the University of Bergen, Department of Comparative Politics and Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies. Director of the Institute for Strengthening Democracy, Konjic, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Interest in international cooperation: Most of Dr. Harald Hornmoen’s elementary and secondary school education experience is from international schools, among them the International School of Tanganyika in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His experience of international research cooperation has so far been oriented towards the Nordic countries and Europe.

Academic/work background: Before the war in Bosnia, Dr. Džemal Sokolović was a professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Sarajevo. From 1992-1994, he taught and did research at the Universities of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Heidelberg, Germany, and Graz, Austria. He has published several books and articles.

René Smith, South Africa Researcher for the Broadcasting Diversity, MISASA (South African Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa). She is also a board member of the Film and Publications Review Board, and of the Broadcasting, Monitoring and Complaints Committee. Academic/work background: Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies. Ms René Smith has published on popular culture, representation and entertainment-education, and is currently completing a PhD on youth, media consumption and lifestyles. Interest in international cooperation: Smith has carried out studies abroad, and through this experience developed interest in international cooperation in media and cultural studies. She is also interested in international cooperation on public policy and the regulation of information and communication technology. Tom Skauge, Norway Associate Professor, Department of Business Administration, Bergen University College, Norway. Academic/work background: Dr.polit from the University of Bergen in political science, public administration, on the theory of professions and civil-military relationships. Interest in international cooperation: Dr.Tom Skauge was formerly head of the Overseas Section at the Norwegian Centre for Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). He has been leader of the Norad Fellowship Programme and was responsible for establishing a new cooperation programme for teacher education launched in May

Džemal Sokolović, Norway/Bosnia-Herzegovina

Interest in international cooperation: since 1998, Sokolović has organized the annual international seminar on “Democracy and Human Rights in Multiethnic Societies” in Konjic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, which attracts participants from more than 60 countries. He has organized a postgraduate course “Welfare, Multiculturalism and European Development,” at the Inter-university Centre in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He is also a member of the advisory boards of two international journals. James Tumwine, Uganda Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Makerere University, Uganda. Academic/work background: Professor James Tumwine graduated in medicine from Makerere University in 1976 where, in 1981, he became a paediatrician in the Department of Paediatrics. He worked in Zimbabwe between 1991 and 1993, and has also served as health adviser for Oxfam in England. In 2003 he gained his doctoral degree from the University of Bergen (UiB). Interest in international cooperation: Professor Tumwine is the Ugandan coordinator for the NUFU project “Essential Nutrition and Child Health in Uganda: A Research Project to Promote Innovative Community-based and Clinical Actions,” a cooperative project of Makerere University and UiB. Galina Komarova, Russia Dr. Galina Komarova is Vice-Rector for International Affairs at Arkhangel State Technical University, Russia. She is also a member of the Barents Virtual University Vice-Rectorial Council.


Education. Yes!


419 students from 89 countries joined the ISFiT festival.

Fifteen years ago, students in Trondheim, Norway, had the idea of creating an event that would bring together students from all over world. Today, the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) has grown to become the world’s largest thematic student festival. “We have seen a flourishing of student commitment. All over Europe, other student festivals based on ISFiT are becoming regular events,” says ISFiT president Sæba Bajoghli. The Festival, partly financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has become well known for presenting speakers of high international calibre. Previous speakers include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Director-General of WHO Gro Harlem Brundtland and Dr Klaus Töpfer of the UN. After the 2001 Festival, ISFiT even sent its own delegation to the UN to express students’ thoughts on global responsibility. Taking one specific theme for each festival, ISFiT has covered issues ranging from Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to human rights and global responsibility. This year, the Festival asked: “Education. Why?” Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, visited the Festival this year to express her views on the relationship between education and peace. “Education is a powerful tool that can be used by tyrants to oppress their subjects. On the other hand, education can be a way of creating enlightened citizens of the world, ready to shoulder the responsibility of creating a sustainable future,” the Festival stated in its programme. “Students play an important role in building and sustaining democracies. The students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow,” says president Bajoghli.

Living in Fear


The Colombian student organisation ACEU is fighting for democracy and the right to education in a country torn with conflict. Now its efforts have been rewarded with the Student Peace Prize. Since 2002, 47 students have been killed, 12 have disappeared and over 150 have been forced to flee their homes and become internal refugees in Colombia. Even more have been the victims of random violence, torture and imprisonment. Student life in a country affected by over 40 years of civil war can too easily become a life in fear. Since 1998 Colombia’s largest student organization, Asociación Colombiana de Estudiantes Universitarios, (ACEU) , has been fighting a non-violent struggle for students’ rights to education and student democracy. It has also become a vital contributor to the struggle for democracy in Colombia. In February the Association received the Student Peace Price 2005 during the International Student Festival in Trondheim, Norway.

is cold, Claudia and Ana Paola appreciate the warmth with which they have been welcomed by students from all over the world. Unlike most other students, however, Claudia and Ana Paola represent a movement which is regarded a threat by their own government, figure on the death lists of paramilitary groups and have experienced close friends and family being killed in the struggle for rights that most of the participants in the festival can take for granted.

Since 2002, 47 students have been killed, 12 have disappeared and over 150 have been forced to flee their homes and become internal refugees in Colombia.

The Student Peace Prize, launched for the first time in 1999, is awarded on behalf of all students in Norway. Students fighting for peace and human rights are often neglected or forgotten by the media and politicians, but often play an important role in the global struggle for peace and democracy. Their work sometimes involves risking their own lives, and the Student Peace Prize therefore wishes to ensure that such students get the recognition they deserve. The prize is awarded every second year. The winner in 2003 was the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) for its long hard struggle for basic human rights under Robert Mugabe’s dictatorial regime.

International eye Thirty-year-old Claudia Florez is a biology student in Bogotá and a senior member of ACEU. That is why she has to live with two bodyguards 24 hours a day. Florez stamps along the snowy roads of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)campus together with fellow ACEU member, 23 year old Ana Paola Romero. It’s the day before the official Student Peace Price ceremony and even though the weather PROUD TO BE STUDENTS/Colombian students Ana Paola Romero (23), left, and Claudia Florez (30) both live in fear for their lives, as they represent the Colombian student organisation ACEU. Now their efforts are being rewarded as ACEU receives the Student Peace Prize 2005. ISFIT/7

“In January 2000 I was forced to flee from my region. A month later my father was killed,” says Claudia Florez. The statement by the award-giving committee emphasised the Colomibian students’ courage : “Students in Columbia have shown courage and determination as they defy the dangers and difficulties which are entailed in the fight for education and democracy. Focusing on the use of peaceful and non-violence means in the fight for peace and human rights, ACEU has shown that students can be a major force in the struggle for a peaceful democratic society. By educating students in human rights issues, ACEU is spreading consciousness and knowledge among students,” the prize statement reads. The prize might also prove to be an important weapon. “This prize is a very important recognition for us as we now can show the authorities that international society has its eyes on us. If human rights are broken it will now generate far more attention,” says Claudia Florez.

Military versus education Since 1998 several prominent figures in ACEU have been kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Student activists are kept under surveillance, and all activity considered subversive by either the government or paramilitary groups is violently suppressed. In 2003 Gerson Gallardo and Edwin Lopez, two journalists at the University of Cúcuta’s student newspaper, were carried off, imprisoned and tortured for a month before being found dead in the outskirts of the town. Their crime was trying to tell the truth about the situation at the university. “It is becoming harder and harder for Colombian students to express their opinions. But our motivation is greater than our fear. Those who have died give strength to continue the struggle for a good education and a better situation,” say Florez and Romero.

During a search of La Universidad Nacional the police and army officers seized the opportunity to put up posters saying “Defend the university against terrorism–be an informant!” During the past ten years some 35,000 people have been killed in Colombia and the number of internal refugees is now close to 3.4 million. This last number has increased by 40 per cent since president Alvaro Uribe came to power. Uribe has also ended all peace talks between the authorities, the illegal military groups and the guerrilla and now wants to use the national army to destroy all opposition. ACEU is a strong critic of Uribe’s methods, and have clearly stated that it is absolutely necessary to resume negotiations. “The government seeks a military solution, which means that it is spending far more money on the military than on education. We believe the situation would be all different if this was the other way around. If that money was spent on educating the people, we would be much closer to a solution,” says Claudia Florez.


Private power ACEU’s vision for higher education in Colombia is one in which students, teachers and professors have a commitment to the rest of society, whereby the university takes on an active, creative and constructive role in relation to the country’s social, economic and political crisis. “Education is a basic tool for democracy. Without improving the students’ situation there is no hope of a better future in Colombia,” Florez says. “The leaders who do not want an educated people are the greatest tyrants. Without education democracy cannot work,” adds Romero. Of those admitted to Colombian universities, only three of every eleven students complete their degrees. One of the problems is finance. “There are 32 public universities and more than 170 private ones. Students are forced to choose private alternatives with higher fees and lower quality,” says Ana Paola Romero.

Students labelled terrorists Through Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and the government’s new security policy “la Seguridad Democratica,” or democratic security, student politicians are more or less labelled terrorists for mentioning human rights.


Education means power–but not necessarily to the people. “All oppressors are educated - education has to be accompanied by moral,” said Congolese author in exile Rais Neza Boneza. His voice is one of many that point out that education for all comes with more than just pure benefits. Poet and peace activist Boneza met Zimbabwian author Chenjerai Hove for an African book debate during the International Student Festival in Trondheim, Norway. Starting with the question of whether art and literature can be a tool against oppression, the debate quickly turned to the question whether knowledge and education can be a tool for oppression.

During a search of La Universidad Nacional the police and army officers seized the opportunity to put up posters saying “Defend the university against terrorism–be an informant!”, taking advantage of the difficult financial situation of many students.

Chenjerai Hove, forced to flee Zimbabwe after refusing an offer of money and property to stop criticizing the Mugabe regime, said that for him “education is change. If something is a mystery, you can’t change it. But if you can put a name on it, then you can!”

“Student movements and other organisations working for human rights are regarded as a threat because their interests differ from those of the government. Students are afraid to be linked to our organisation and on several universities it is impossible to join in political student groups without being subjected to threats and violence,” says Claudia Florez.

Maybe you can make decisions about physics. But does that necessarily mean that you will decide not to bomb and kill children?

ACEU has earlier received support from equivalent student organisations in South America and Canada, as well as some financial aid from the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund. Even so, the Student Peace Prize is their highest recognition so far. Claudia Florez and Ana Paola Romero both long for a peaceful life, but in order to make that a real option, they and other ACEU members have assumed roles and responsibilities far beyond the grasp of most students visiting Trondheim during the festival. “The Student Peace Price is a victory not only for us, but for all groups working for democracy and human rights in Colombia. We wish to dedicate this prize to all of those who have lost their lives in this struggle,” say Florez and Romero.

view is that education in China is one of the main reasons why the Communist Party is still in power. “I see many similarities between the educational system in China and Nazi propaganda used in pre-war Germany”, said Wei Jingsheng. “For the Communist Party, propaganda has never been enough. They use the educational system to indoctrinate pupils and students into thinking that there is only one way. Chinese education makes a fertile soil for Maoism.”

However, they claimed, this positive edge to knowledge can easily turn into the negative, depending on the intentions of those empowered by education. “Maybe you can make decisions about physics. But does that necessarily mean that you will decide not to bomb and kill children?” asked Rais Neza Boneza.

Knowledge is power The relation between education and power was one of the Student Festival’s main themes and basis for a workshop which included Norwegian professor of social anthropology Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng. Jingsheng, a well known figure in criticism of the Chinese communist regime, was imprisoned for more than 18 years and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Price ten times. He now lives in exile in Washington DC. His NEED NO THOUGHTS CONTROL/Authors Chenjerai Hove from Zimbabwe (left) and Rais Neza Boneza from the Democratic Republic of the Congo discuss education and power. ISFIT/9

FREE READING/University libraries are connecting up to a growing and increasingly global network of Open Access archives and repositories in an attempt to reverse the commercialisation of scientific publishing. Meanwhile, a new breed of research journals is flourishing. These are available online for free to everyone who wishes to read them.

According to Wei, the Communist Party spent over 20 years cleansing Chinese educational institutions of teachers who did not fully believe in this system, thus streamlining Chinese education as a propaganda instrument.

For the Communist Party in China, propaganda has never been enough. They use the educational system to indoctrinate pupils and students into thinking that there is only one way. While all can agree that education in a totalitarian society can be used by the regime to sustain their power, some believe that modern educational methods in themselves may constitute a problem. As Thomas Hylland Eriksen explained: “The fact that people from all over the world have access to the same information is something we see as emancipating. Everybody agrees about the benefits of education. But unanimity is always a cause for concern,” he said. “Education should be about creating the ability to think for yourself, but all aspects of education are actually a process of strandardisation.”

Blind spots

And as to enabling free thought; “how many schools or universities actually encourage the student to criticize the education they offer?” he asked rhetorically. While UNESCO states that education is a fundamental human right, Munir Fasheh, leader of the Arab Education Forum at Harvard University, claims that education might be a threat to cultural diversity: “The problem is not what education offers, but what it hides and marginalizes, makes insignificant and imperceptible,” he has said, meaning that formal education displaces culture and life itself as our main source of learning. As Hylland Eriksen pointed out, the time when we learned our practical skills by sitting at the feet of the master is over. Nowadays, printed books dictate our worldview. Back at the book debate, Chenjerai Hove believes education is more than schools and books: “You can be educated and still be a fool. Formal education is only the beginning of learning.” Eivind Senneset is a freelance photojournalist based in Bergen, Norway.

According to Hylland Eriksen, there are three main aspects to education: learning skills, being taught a worldview, and enabling the student to think freely. However, he emphasized, only the last aspect is purely beneficial to the individual.

“The world is shaped for you through education, but that education also creates blind spots. History teaching systematically varies between countries. In the African colonial days education was based on teaching the worldview of the empire,” Hylland Eriksen pointed out in an obvious parallel to Wei Jingsheng’s talk on education in presentday China.



It could be a new beginning for science in the South. Publications providing free online access to research results are quickly gaining ground.

“The first two aspects have benefits for the state, and teaching a worldview can easily be a method of brain-washing,” he said.

“Even the teachings on the 1905 dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden vary significantly between Norwegian and Swedish schools,” said Hylland Eriksen to make the point even clearer for the Scandinavian students attending the debate.

And Access for All

Universities provide funding which enables scientists and scholars to carry out research and peer review the results; then journals may accept papers for publishing, claim copyright and sell subscriptions back to the universities at sky-high prices, which are sometimes so high that university libraries cannot afford to subscribe. According to a 2004 study at the University of Arizona, prices jumped more than 50 per cent from 1996 to 1999 and 32 per cent from 1999 to 2002. The most spectacular price tag is found on Brain Research, published by Reed Elsevier, which charges 21 000 USD for a subscription. Welcome to the world of scientific publishing.

STANDARDIZING/“All aspects of education are actually a process of standardisation,” says Norwegian professor of social anthropology Thomas Hylland Eriksen. Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng (centre) agrees.

However, times are changing. Thanks to the spread of the Internet, a world-wide “Open Access” movement of academics and librarians is about to revolutionise scientific publishing and knowledge dissemination. Open Access means that research material in principle

is accessible for everyone to share free of charge, without copyright restrictions putting limits on distribution.

Opening up “The basic idea of Open Access is that scientific knowledge is a common good, but this idea has been threatened by growing commercialisation where journals have become more and more expensive,” says Rune Nilsen, a professor of International Health, former Pro-Rector of the University of Bergen and long-time promoter of Open Access. At his home institution he initiated the Bergen Open Research Archive (BORA). BORA is Norway’s first digital repository of research output. One way to provide access is to post material directly to the web for others to see. For researchers hungry for citations, a more attractive alternative is provided by institutional open archives such as BORA. Here researchers are encouraged to publish their articles parallel to publishing in subscription journals. Renowned universities such as

The most spectacular price tag is found on Brain Research, published by Reed Elsevier, which charges 21 000 USD for a subscription. ACADEMIC PUBLISHING/11

Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and have paved the way in the building up of huge digital resources, connecting to a growing and increasingly global network of archives and repositories. Since 2002 MIT has been putting not only research material on the web, but original course materials for students as well.

The idea seems to be working. PLoS’ two journals, PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine (launched in 2003 and 2004 respectively), have already become attractive arenas for the presentation of science at the highest level. Three new journals from PLoS are due to be launched in 2005: PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics and PLoS Pathogens.

The basic idea of Open Access is that scientific knowledge is a common good, but this idea has been threatened by growing commercialisation where journals have become more and more expensive.

Secondly, in the UK, BioMed Central, an independent publishing house, has committed itself to providing immediate free access to more than 100 peer-reviewed biomedical research journals. BioMed Central now has 534 member organisations in 38 countries, and researchers from these institutions can publish articles in BioMedlisted journals for free.

In recent years, a new breed of research journals has also emerged. They are available online for free for everyone who wishes to read them. In order to finance peer-reviewing, many of these charge authors–not readers–a small fee upon publication. There are now almost 1600 journals listed in the world Directory of Open Access Journals, a service run by Uppsala University, that is five to ten percent of all journals in the world.

A Nobel cause But it is very difficult for open-access journals to achieve the high status attached to leading commercial titles, because authors want to publish in the most prestigious ones. Quite a few of them are owned by Reed Elsevier. The Anglo-Dutch giant publishes about 1700 titles, among them The Lancet, Tetrahedron and Cell. Eighteen of the 25 most expensive journals in the world are Reed Elsevier publications. Some pioneering and particularly powerful open access initiatives may well disrupt the balance of power. First, in the US the non-profit Public Library of Science (PLoS) was established five years ago, led by the Nobel Laureate Dr. Harold E. Varmus. Authors pay a relatively small sum to cover peer-review expenses, and there are no subscription fees. The idea is to make research findings and scientific writings in the field of medicine and life sciences freely available online while competing with the most important existing journals in the field, such as Science, Cell and Nature. INASP/Carol Priestley, Director of INASP 12/ACADEMIC PUBLISHING

Academic apartheid As with other goods and privileges, access to knowledge is unevenly distributed, increasing the divide between rich and poor. Will open access bridge the gap? “The open access movement has not come about because we want to be nice to developing countries,” says Professor Nilsen. “This is about fundamental principles surrounding knowledge production and distribution.” There is no doubt, he maintains, that the world has been practicing “academic apartheid”, where access to research material has largely been reserved for the wealthy. To be able to do research, to teach and to develop updated learning material you need to keep in touch with the latest scientific developments. So if you can’t afford it, you have lost it. “There is little use in having a PhD from Harvard if you are sitting in Kampala, Uganda, without access to the journals,” says Professor Nilsen. In a world in which economic performance is highly dependent on knowledge and knowledge production, open access has become a key factor for growth in developing countries. Lately, this has been clearly recognized by a growing number of institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Wellcome Trust, a major funder of biomedical research aimed at the developing world. From October 2005, all papers resulting from Wellcome Trust funding will have to be posted to the PubMed Central.

Negotiating access Another way of opening access is demonstrated by, the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), whose mission is to provide worldwide access to information and knowledge, with particular emphasis on the needs of developing and transitional countries. INASP’s method is not one of competi-

There is no doubt that the world has been practicing “academic apartheid”, where access to research material has largely been reserved for the wealthy.

tion, but cooperation. Through one of their activities, the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI), INASP works out deals with publishers, archives and learned societies for heavily discounted prices or free access to online information. “Our goal is affordable, sustainable access. We now have 128 countries who are eligible for support in the programme,” says director Carol Priestley. Established by the International Council for Science in 1992, today the organisation administers a global network of more than 4000 partners, including 900 support programmes and activities. At the moment the INASP catalogue includes 17 500 fulltext online journals and also journals from the regions themselves (usually in print format). Countries select the ones they need and then INASP works out deals with the publishers. When online access is limited, as it often is, INASP tries to provide paper versions, DVDs or CDs.

The Open Access movement is rolling much faster than anyone had expected. Most of the major scientific publishing companies are on the list. But Reed Elsevier is not. For its insistence on making huge profits the company is the target of continuous harsh criticism and even boycotts. Carol Priestley is careful when commenting on their position. “They are not against working with us, but their whole commercial ethos is rather different from ours and they are also kept very busy at the moment providing access to health information through WHO and agriculture with FAO,” she says. According to Reed Elsevier they need the money, among other reasons because they have invested for years in building up their advanced web-based services. “This is all about fundamental principles surrounding knowledge production and distribution,” says Professor Nilsen. “We have to fight to secure access of knowledge for everyone. With the establishment of open institutional archives we have won the first battle.”

Oxford and CERN There are no signs that coming battles will be lost. In May this year the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented a policy of open access to all research articles resulting from NIH funding. The NIH is the primary agency for conducting and supporting medical research in the United States. When an article is accepted for publication–whether in an open-access or subscription journal–the author is required to post an electronic version to the NIH’s open digital archive, PubMedCentral. A British version of PubMedCentral is also due to open this year. In recent months a number of influential European institutions have officially committed themselves to open access policies. Among them are Germany’s Max Planck Society and CERN (the European

Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory and the birthplace of the World Wide Web. In May 2005, Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press, decided to provide open access to research papers immediately on publication, applying the authorpays model similar to that of PLoS. BORA/Professor at the Univer-

It is also worth mentioning the ongo- sity of Bergen, Rune Nilsen. ing project of Google, the world’s largest Internet search engine. Their aim is to scan millions of titles from the world’s leading university libraries and make them freely available online within six years.

Open Pakistan In the meantime, ambitious countries in the South, especially in Asia, are rapidly exploring the new world of Open Access. In Pakistan the newly established Open Access programme is not only increasing access to the rest of the world. It is also helping Pakistani researchers who are setting an agenda in the other direction. “The Open Access programme will certainly increase opportunities for academics and scientists to have their publications projected internationally,” says Professor Atta-ur-Rahman, Federal Minister for Science and Technology and Chairman of the Higher Education Commission for the Government of Pakistan. However, Professor Atta-ur-Rahman warns against believing that open access will solve all problems. “The knowledge gap between North and South is not decreasing,” he says. “Expenditure on education in developing countries is still very low compared to the developed world. The investment in science and technology also remains very low. The gap therefore continues to widen.” To a large extent access to information for most developing countries is already there, according to Carol Priestley. However, the ability to utilize access to its full potential is now the challenge. More bandwidth and more computers will be needed–at affordable prices. “It’s going to take time,” she says, but remains optimistic: “Only two years ago things looked very different.” Professor Nilsen agrees: “The Open Access movement is rolling much faster than anyone had expected.” Njord V. Svendsen is a journalist based in Bergen, Norway. ACADEMIC PUBLISHING/13

LEADING ACTIVIST/Hei-Soo Shin was the English translator during the demonstration. She is a prominent activist in Korea, being involved in the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, and is also a member of the UN organisation CEDAW.

Sexual abuse on the agenda Hei-Soo Shin, former vice chairperson on the UN Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and a NGO activist, took part both academically and as an activist in the congress. She believes that it is imperative for activists and academics to cooperate. “I hope more people who work in NGOs will participate in this year’s congress, because usually in gatherings like these it is researchers or scholars who fill the seats. I think it is imperative that the Women’s World Congress (WW05), overall, should act as a meeting place for people who mainly work as activists as well as those who work as theorists. The point is to find solutions to limitations that people in each field or work experience. It would be best if more researchers and scholars could participate in campaigns,” she said to the organiser’s daily newspaper.

EVERY WEDNESDAY/The ten former “comfort women” demonstrate for compensation for and acknowledgement of what Japanese soldiers did to them during the Second World War. This particular Wednesday the elderly women were accompanied by demonstrators from the 9 th Interdisciplinary International Congress on Women in Seoul, Korea in June.

Connecting Academics with Activism TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTOS KOREA

A potpourri of academic sessions, demonstrations, documentary film, art and theatre: The 9th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women took place in Seoul, Korea, in June this year. The only contact that we managed to make with the Japanese Embassy (or rather, they with us) was via the surveillance camera on top of the impregnable building. The metal object with its staring black eye followed the demonstration across the street. It was noon, and on this particular Wednesday the ten former “comfort women” (they demonstrate in front of the Embassy every Wednesday at twelve) had received the company of about a hundred women and a few men attending “Women’s Worlds 2005”: the 9 th International Interdisciplinary Women’s Congress (WW05) in Seoul, Korea. 14/WOMEN’S WORLD 2005 IN KOREA

Demand acknowledgment “Punish, punish, punish!” we all shouted. Even though we were not many, TV, radio and newspapers had their reporters there. The police were also present, young men with shields and batons stood close to one another and next to them, three armoured buses, enough to cover the front of the Embassy. The ones we wanted to punish were Japanese war criminals who took 200 000 Korean young women and girls, and kept them as their sex slaves during the Second World War. Japan has never apologized, never paid any compensation, and Japanese children do not even hear about them in school. A young American congress delegate could not stop crying. She was married to a Japanese man, and knew many elderly men in Japan. “I did not know you existed,” she sobbed. “How can this be true? I promise you that I will do my best to make this story known in Japan,” she said to the old women, the survivors, sitting in front of the crowd. The organization Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan demands that Japan should apologise, punish the criminals, it build a war museum and memorial, compensate the few surviving women and include that their story in Japanese history books: in short, that their tragic fate should be publicly acknowledged.

intolerance, globalization, economics, poverty, feminism, health, the environment and women’s leadership were the topics discussed during the plenary sessions. Gertrude Mongella, who is President of the Pan-African Parliament and was Secretary General of the UN Women’s Conference ten years ago, gave the keynote speech at the congress. During her speech, she redefined the eight UN Millennium Development Goals through a feminist perspective. Mongella was given an honorary doctor’s degree in Women’s Studies by Ewha Womans University in Seoul for her deep commitment to human rights issues and development and justice for women. The first International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women was held in Israel in 1981. The theme of this ninth congress, “Embracing the Earth: East-West/North-South,” was influenced by how women’s lives are interwoven, as well as separated, by the increasing economical and political disparity between North and South, and the contesting images of East and West. The next congress will take place in Madrid, Spain in 2008.

The history of the comfort women was broadly covered at the conference. An exhibition, films, and several seminars were devoted to the women abused during the war, who have shared the destiny of millions of women across the world who are being sexually abused in conflicts, war, trafficking, prostitution or domestic violence. WW05 put this theme was put clearly on the agenda, both academically and in practice through art and activism. “Women’s World 2005” sought to establish a meeting place for academics and activists, and this may have been the most intriguing aspect for academics used to only discussing theory on congresses and conferences.

Feminist millennium goals Organised by the largest women’s university in the world, with more than 20 000 students, the congress hosted 2700 participants from more than 70 different countries. It was the first time the congress, which is arranged every third year, took place in Asia. Violence,

EMBRACE THE EARTH/During the closing ceremony of the Women’s Worlds 2005, participants, the large majority from Asia and North America, gathered on stage to express “Let’s cross borders together to change the world” in their mother tongues. The next congress will be held in Madrid, Spain in 2008.

Women’s Studies in Asia Most women’s studies programmes in Asia have predominantly used Western materials. Eight new textbooks on Asian women’s studies, written by Asians, were launched during the congress. The Asian Center for Women’s Studies (ACWS) at the Ewha Womans University launched eight new textbooks on women’s studies in English entitled “Women’s Studies in Asian Series: Women’s Studies Textbooks in Eight Countries”. ACWS has published the series as part of a broader cooperative project among women’s studies institutions and practitioners in eight Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. The textbooks for graduate students offer in many cases for the first

time in English, material on a wide range of topics, including family, work, sexuality, culture, law, women’s movement, religions, the body and health. Because of the lack of such material in English, there has been limited knowledge until recently of women’s issues and socio-political histories in an Asian context. The publication of textbooks will provide international readers with wider access to knowledge produced by, about and for Asian women. These textbooks will also serve as a foundation for the development of more context-related theories, drawing on the common and diverse experiences of Asian women, and open up possibilities for comparative and collaborative efforts, according to the congress newspaper.


Rejuvenation of the African University TERESA GRØTAN/TEXT AND PHOTO SOUTH AFRICA

“The commercialization of education is a threat, and we have to respond to it. If we do not, all universities will be Australian in the end,” says South African Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor in this interview with Global Knowledge.

“We need to rejuvenate the African university to teach and stimulate the production of students rooted in self knowledge and skilled in innovation and creativity. Graduates who are confident about Africa and manage to passage to development. (…) Attention to scholarship on and of Africa will create the possibility for enhancing the record and recognition of the African contribution to the world,” Naledi Pandor stated in a speech to the South African Council of Higher Education.

Focus on education Naledi Pandor has been South Africa’s Minister of Education since April 2004. She became the first female chancellor of a South African technikon (university of technology) in 2002 and is the granddaughter of Z. K. Matthews, the first black person to enrol in a South African university. Naledi Pandor has a Master’s degree in Education and Linguistics. The South African government has greatly increased expenditure on education over the past few years, and education received the largest part of the budget for the fiscal year 2005/2006. Overall expenditure on higher education has doubled since 1994. Funds have been earmarked for academic development initiatives designed to improve the success rate of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Even so, there is a decline in the emergence of young and aspiring academics, and the composition of academic staff has not changed much since 1994.

There is a decline in the emergence of young and aspiring academics, and the composition of academic staff has not changed much since 1994.

education and increased international cooperation? Global Knowledge met the Minister in Cape Town.

Higher education and freedom What should be the role of higher education and research in society? Naledi Pandor (NP): Higher education has the dual responsibilities of direct development in society and intellectual development and freedom in general. Higher education and research should play a role in poverty alleviation and I expect the sector to be a partner to the government, for example in such fields as health, housing and the environment – in an array of areas. We should have a stronger relationship between the government and the institutions. Traditionally, there was no such relationship. Higher education is an important social responsibility, and we must fund higher education properly. It is also important to allow for innovation in research to enable us to play a role throughout our continent, which is vitally important.

If we are to be part of a globalised world we must prioritize higher education. How do you regard the importance of higher education in relation to primary education? The focus for the Norwegian government, for example, has been “Education for all” which means primary education. The World Bank has also focused very much on primary education the last years. What is your opinion on this issue?

Another challenge is the variety in the quality of education offered by different institutions. In January 2004 a major reform was introduced. The number of public institutions of higher education is being reduced, with some institutions merging to form new institutions with new names. Part of the plan involves merging some of the previously disadvantaged universities with formerly privileged ones.

NP: The focus has been on everybody going to school. And what happened? A decline in African higher education. Now the researchers all go to Europe and to America. We do not have our own pool of research and innovation on the continent. So it is vitally important that primary and higher education are not seen as competing elements. If we only have primary education, we become irrelevant. The World Bank has focused only on primary education, but they realize now the importance of higher education. If we are to be part of a globalised world we must prioritize higher education.

How will the Minister of Education address the challenges facing South African institutions of higher education? And how will she respond to international issues such as the commercialization of

The huge differences in South Africa can also be seen in the institutions of higher education – you yourself have pointed out the poor


Merging institutions

THE MINISTER/Naledi Pandor is South Africa’s Minister of Education.

situation of some of the formerly disadvantaged institutions of higher education. At the same time, South Africa has institutions of world class. How will you address this issue? NP: We should not be so focused on equity that the strength of the world class institutions we have “lose out”. I am committed to seeing the University of Cape Town as a world class institution. But I also want to develop the University of Zululand as it seeks support from the outside. At the same time, the best PhDs we have in agriculture come from the University of Fort Hare, the best in tropical disease are at the University of the North, in Animal Husbandry at Medunsa – we have these niches of excellence at the formerly disadvantaged universities. The mergers of the former disadvantaged universities with the advantaged ones have made them share infrastructure, for example. New academic programmes have been developed through this process. The institutional culture must change. We need the development of a system of higher education, not individual institutions. How important do you regard international cooperation for South African institutions of higher education? NP: We have more international students now, which is very good. I am also very pleased with the support for South African institutions from Norway, which has also helped to create links between the historically black and white universities. Also, as a part of this, the new SouthSouth collaborations are very important. Africa must work together. But if international cooperation only takes place between individual Norwegian and South African universities, it makes it difficult for the sector as a whole to develop. We should rather seek support for the entire sector. We need government-to-government education and research programmes, not just university to university collaborations.

A public good? Should higher education be a public good? How do you view the growing number of private institutions all over the world, not least in Africa? How does South Africa respond to this issue? What is South Africa’s view on GATS and the commercialization of higher education? NP: We cannot pretend GATS does not exist. I am not against an international presence in South Africa, but it must be on our terms. Universities have the space to be critical voices. As a government we are obliged to permit academic freedom and encourage partnerships throughout Africa. The African Association of Universities (AAU) is an example of a continent-wide institution and think-tank, but it does not have sufficient structural support. We must give it to them. You were the first female chancellor of a South African technikon. What is the situation like for women in academia in South Africa today? Only 17 percent of professors are women, while 56 per cent of all university qualifications are awarded to women. Is this an important issue for you? NP: The gender issue requires attention. We must try to make sure that more women remain in academia. I am also concerned with the stereotyped gender roles presented in our school-books. The mother is always in the kitchen – there are no women role models! Another concerning issue is the degree of sexual violence suffered by women on campus. We need to continuously challenge the institutions on this issue. A third issue which is worrying is that only three out of 21 institutions offer gender studies. We have a good framework for gender equity in South Africa, but it does not always work in the real world.

We need government-to-government education and research programmes, not just university to university collaborations. INTERVIEW WITH NALEDI PANDOR/17

The Environment

OLD WOOD/Hwozna Reservation in Bialowieza, Poland, is Europe’s last virgin forest. 18/ARTIKKEL NAVN



Via Baltica, the new highway of Eastern Europe, which is being built secretly under the pretext of road construction, will split one of the last major populations of large carnivores in Europe. Every 15 seconds another truck rushes along a narrow, curved asphalt road that cuts through 90 kilometres of fields and forests in north-east Poland, between Augustów and Bialystok. The trucks are partly local, but come also from Baltic countries to the north and Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria to the south. New construction is hurriedly going on. “You don’t know?” responds to my question a sunburned, moustached worker. “We are building the road all the way up to Przemysl, to the border. Via Baltica!” “Of course it is the Via Baltica” confirms WWF activist, Malgorzata Znaniecka from Bialystok. “But they do it secretly, under the pretext of road repair, because the final route of Via Baltica has not been decided yet.” She has a point: the long awaited north-south expressway of Eastern Europe divides not only the last populations of large carnivores on eastern border of Poland, but also human beings into these who understand nature and those who think only in terms of short-term economic interests.

Human-animal interaction “We are not against roads construction in itself,” declares Professor Wlodzimierz Jedrzejewski of the Mammal Research Institute in Bialowieza, situated about 150 kilometres further south, in the heart of the Bialowieski National Park forest. In a spacious, brandnew room, his computer screen presents the results of the 2002 wolf population count in north-east Poland. The circles and ellipses representing the areas of wolf packs are drawn along the border with Belarus, in the Biebrza National Park forests, but also in some places further to the west and south.

ern Europe” explains Professor Jedrzejewski. “This means that only via the Polish forests can wolves, lynx, elks and other wild animals repopulate forests in Western Europe. But we have to keep the ecological corridors open, so that lynx and wolves can spread to western Poland and further, to the European countries that have been repopulated by carnivores during the past decade” stresses Dr Krzysztof Schmidt, another scientist from the institute in Bialowie Za. After many years lynx were recently re-introduced in the forests of southern Germany and Switzerland. Wolves have been in the forest on the Polish-German border, in the east of France and northern Italy for a long time, but their numbers have not been growing.

Reversed process Unfortunately, intensive new road construction is reversing this process. “If Via Baltica goes straight down from the north border with Lithuania and reaches Bialystok before going south to the Polish-Slovakian border, this will cut the large carnivore population into two separate parts” explains Professor Jedrzejewski. The professor goes often to the construction sites, takes photos, writes memos for the authorities and warns nature conservation groups. In 2004, together with four other scientists he published a study called “Animals and Roads”, supported by the German EURONATUR fund and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. In the preface the authors stress that Polish accession to European Union will mean a great deal of essential road construction: Plans are in place to modernize 1700 kilometres of roads and construct 1500 kilometres of highways and 1600 kilometres of expressways by 2013. The road construction going on between Augustów and Bialystok may close one of the important migration corridors for large carnivores forever. “This would be disastrous for the environment,”

Via Baltica near Bialystok means not only future businesses mushrooming along the road, but also more immediate profits for road developers. Nobody would say so officially, but the road construction projects, like that going on in spring 2005 near Cisów, suggest the real strategy: before the final decision is being made the construction of the ecologically wrong route must be so far advanced that the cost of the alternative will be far too high.

Changing attitudes “Human attitudes toward large predators have changed significantly in last few decades,” explains Dr. Schmidt, who has been fascinated by wild cats since his childhood. He runs the international project together with Professor Jedrzejewski. “Originally all of them were treated as enemies; people were terrified by all these stories about little children being eaten aliveby wolf-packs,” explains Schmidt on a walk in the totally protected forests of the Hwozna Reservation. The forest is being left in peace without any human intervention, as it was hundreds years ago, when it belonged to the Polish kings, then the Russian tsars, as their favourite hunting area. For centuries large carnivores were hunted and eventually completely exterminated in the forests of Western Europe. In the eastern part of the continent the attitude was the same, but fortunately less effective. In Poland after the Second World War the wolves were still hunted, but since 1998 they have been granted full protection as an endangered species. Nowadays, if any damage is done by wolves or lynx, the state has to pay compensation, but there is no central compensation register similar to the Rovbasen database in Norway.

But not everywhere. “In Teremiski the local children are used to wolves, because men and animals have been living together here for generations,” says Adam Wajrak, the 33-year-old environmental correspondent of “Gazeta Wyborcza”, who lives in the heart of the Bialowieza Forest.

Wolves for the future “Lynx fear road traffic and the fragmentation of forests even more than wolves” says Krzysztof Schmidt, showing the statistics, which have been meticulously kept since 1865. In Bialowieza forests there are now about 20 lynx. In all of the Bialowieza forest (the other part is in Belarus) there are no more than 50 altogether. Forests along the east Polish border are at the limits of the lynx populations in the Eurasian continent. “If Via Baltica goes near Bialystok and cuts the ecological links, then in few dozen years from now all predators may cease to exist in Polish forests too. I think we have a duty to save them for future generations,” stresses Schmidt. The EU habitat directive says the same, but its influence in Poland in its first year of membership has not been significant, according to the scientists. However, if their protests against the Via Baltica route do produce any changes, their judgment may be wrong. And they will be happy to confirm that.

Democracy Bites

This census of wolves, lynx and other large carnivores is a part of a larger project which is being run here for the third year together with the Norwegian Institute for Natural Research (NINA) and scientists from the Baltic countries–Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The main goal of the project which is funded by the Research Council of Norway, is to produce up-to-date distribution maps for three large carnivores in these four countries, to raise awareness of possible human-animal conflicts and the ways to avoid them, but first of all, to stop further damage to the environment, which will prevent in the future a slow recovery of wolf and lynx populations in Eastern-Central Europe.


exclaims Professor Jedrzejewski. “But another solution is still possible: an alternative Via Baltica route, which does not cut through the Biebrza swamps. Of course, it should be constructed with under- and overpasses for animals. It may be more expensive, but it would definitely be more environmentally friendly. As a member of the European Union Poland should respect the needs of the environment, shouldn’t it?”

There are about 650-700 wolves now in Poland and their number is slowly growing, as is the area they inhabit. This also makes for growing fears of wolves when they show up in new neighbourhoods.

As a member of the European Union Poland should respect the needs of the environment, shouldn’t it?

“In Poland we still have sizable populations of animals that are no longer present in large numbers in the natural environment of West-

BUILDING A ROAD/Though the final route of Via Baltica has yet to be decided, construction has started under the cover of road repairs.


Hysterical fear in Norway, embittered hunters in the Baltics, multi-lane highways in Poland. Is democracy a threat to Europe’s large carnivores?

RADIOTELEMETRY/Krzysztof Schmidt, a scientist at the Mammal Research Institute in Bialowieza, Poland, traces lynx, controlling the numbers and movements of these large carnivores.

“Because they kill people,” the five-year-old Norwegian girl answered on national TV. The question was why she feared wolves. Not one single person has been killed, injured or even attacked by wolves in Norway during the past 200 years.

Fear is a cultural thing. Thirty years ago, the only good large carnivore was a dead one, but nowadays, management policies have turned from extermination to conservation. Through improved management regimes, natural recovery and active reintroduction, large carnivore populations have begun to recover in North America and in Europe. But because large animals need large areas, they cannot really maintain the distance from man that both man and animal would prefer.


Because of the large area requirements, conservation must take place in human-dominated multi-use landscapes. And that is something that not everybody is too happy about.

(NINA). Each year 30,000 sheep are killed by carnivores in Norway, around 2,000 of which are taken by wolves. In comparison, Latvia only registered 33 attacks on livestock by wolves in 2003.

Fear and loathing

“Norway’s main problem with conservation is that we don’t tolerate the presence of large carnivores. In fact, I’d say that when it comes to conservation, Norway has the largest problems of all the countries in the project,” says Linnell.

Wolves have only recently recolonized parts of Norway after being virtually extinct since the late 1960s through bounty hunting. In Poland, man and wolf have lived side by side for as long as anybody can remember. The sometimes hysterical fear of the large carnivores of Europe is a product of separation. When man and beast are reintroduced to each other after having been separated for some time, man loathes the beast. After the Second World War, you could see the same tendencies in some small communities in Poland. Only in these places, it was not the wolves which recolonized these communities after almost becoming extinct. Of course, it is more than separation that makes the wolf such a hated creature in Norway’s rural areas. “Because of Norway’s geography and mountainous landscape, and the extensive grazing of sheep, we have a much larger problem with livestock predation than any of the other countries participating in the project,” says project leader John Linnell of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research

Dislike of democracy When it comes to conflicts between carnivores and livestock in Europe, Norway is on top of the list, along with France and Switzerland. And it is not just a coincidence that these countries also are among Europe’s richest. “It’s a common joke that predators thrive best under totalitarian regimes: the more democracy, the fewer large carnivores,” John Linnell says with a laugh. But the joke is not without a basis of truth. “It has been shown that countries with strong local democracies are more strongly opposed to the presence of predators than countries where power is more centralized. And that is really not so strange. A local government in a place where, say, a bear or wolf has been preying on the local livestock has a lot less interest in protecting the predator than a central government,” Linnell says.

It’s a common joke that predators thrive best under totalitarian regimes: the more democracy, the fewer large carnivores. So how do the recently acquired EU memberships of Poland and the Baltic States affect the four-legged creatures which didn’t vote to join? This goes both ways. Changes in hunting legislation offer more protection for these countries’ large carnivores. But at the same time, large sums of EU money that finance new infrastructure are dividing up their habitats.

A fauna divided Though deforestation and overhunting on some of the predators natural prey causes wolves to move out of their range creating conflicts with farmers and livestock, it is the fragmentation of habitats that is regarded as the gravest threat to Poland’s large carnivores. Scientists in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania however, see EU membership as mostly beneficial. “The situation for large carnivores is actually quite good in the Baltic States,” says Zanete Andersone-Lilley, a mammalogist specialising in large carnivore ecology and the coordinator of the Latvian part of the project. “While numbers were a lot lower earlier in the 20th century, they are good today bacause of natural recolonialization from the east,” Andersone-Lilley says. She believes that at least in the Baltic States EU membership is beneficial to carnivore conservation because of changed hunting legislation. EUROPEAN WOLF/A stuffed wolf under the EU flag. Poland’s membership of the European Union may indirectly pose a threat to the large carnivores of the northern landscapes.

HEAVY DUTY/Trucks en route between Warsaw in Poland and the Baltic States pass every 15 seconds through the important wildlife migration corridor in eastern Poland.

Wolves are still hunted today in all three Baltic countries, even though the EU wildlife directive wants a total ban on hunting. Hunting was allowed however, as the countries proved to the EU that the populations were large enough to sustain such activity. But that has not always been the case. In Latvia populations were at an extreme low in both the 1940s and the 1960s because of extensive hunting. The hunting was regulated then as well, but through an anti-carnivore policy. “Regulated hunting with the aim of sustaining a viable population does not pose a threat today,” says Andersone-Lilley. Neither do deforestation or new infrastructure. Agriculture is still less profitable than forestry, and no habitats are threatened by fragmentation. Apart from providing more sustainable hunting quotas, she doubts that the EU membership will bring much change in attitudes towards large carnivores in the Baltic States. “Certain hunters will always hate the large carnivores because they see them as competitors for the same prey, and some of them may become bitter because of the legislation. But the general public doesn’t know or care much in the first place. I doubt that EU membership can change that,” she says.

Know no borders In an attempt to find out what the Latvian people have to say about predators, scientists are planning a large-scale opinion poll based on a Norwegian questionnaire. The conservation of large carnivores requires research that focuses as much on sociological aspects as on ecology. And because of the major problems of the human-carnivore relationship in Norway, large amounts of funding have been spent on such research during the past ten years, providing a solid background for the Norwegian political discussion.

On a European scale, the populations of large carnivores found in the Baltic States and Poland are of great importance because of their potential to connect European populations with those in Russia and Belarus. Unfortunately, the knowledge on which their conservation has been based has been generally poor in the Baltic States, according to the project paper. For this reason, one of the main aims of the project has been to transfer some of the considerable research experience of Norway and Poland to the Baltic States and to develop scientific cooperation and local capacity. “We have learnt that when it comes to large carnivores, we have to think about ecology in a social context,” says John Linnell.

When it comes to conservation, Norway has the largest problems of all the countries in the project. So how do the carnivores do? The short answer is: Not too bad. All species are present in all the countries in the project, except for Lithuania, where bears are believed to be extinct. Lynx do fairly well, and wolf populations are sustainable. At the moment, that is. What will happen in the long run, in view of the changes that EU membership will bring to socio-economics and land use, is unclear. John Linnell thinks that scientists need to learn a few things from the wolves: “We should start seeing the northern landscape as a single landscape. Large predators know no borders. Neither should their conservation.” Andrzej Krajewski is a freelance journalist based in Warsaw, Poland Eivind Senneset is a freelance photojournalist based in Bergen, Norway


MORE THAN A POND/The surface of this albarrada in coastal Ecuador covers a complex multilayered water harvesting system, supplying local communities with sufficient clean water. Photo/Cesar Franco


During the 1970s–80s the Andes region in Latin-America was dominated by giant water projects led by government agencies and NGOs. During the neo-liberal period that followed, water resources were privatized and often sold to international companies. The more “development”, the stronger was the local commitment to the water-harvesting systems that indigenous populations had controlled for thousands of years. Now researchers from South-America and Europe are looking into the technical, ecological and social aspects of these water systems. There is a growing international interest in fresh water issues in such sectors as politics, business, aid and research. Access to clean water and control over scarce water resources have often contributed to accelerating and provoking conflicts all around the world. “Local knowledge and natural resource management in the Andes” is a project involving archaeologists, geographers, anthropologists, biologists and paleobiologists in Bolivia, Ecuador, the UK, Spain and Norway. The research focus is mainly on management of small water harvest systems in the Andes region, but more than water has been studied. The researchers involved in the project have found it necessary to question the traditional division between local and expert knowledge. “We find that in this particular setting, academics and locals have lots in common. The challenge for us is to find common terms and find a way to cooperate and work together in order to develop terms across ‘knowledge universes,” says Assistant Professor Frode Fadnes Jacobsen at the Centre for Studies of Environment and Resources, University of Bergen (UIB).

ing interdisciplinary cooperation that had been going on for years, in which academics worked alongside the local population. Biologists, ecologists, anthropologists and archaeologists had worked over a long period of time on the same problems and research questions, focusing on the albarrada system in coastal Ecuador. Not long after getting to know the research environment in Ecuador, we made contact with Bolivian academics who were doing research on popular knowledge of natural resources management,” Jacobsen says. “NGOs in Bolivia have several times tried to establish water harvesting systems, but these projects have failed both technologically, socially and for organisational reasons. The emphasis of the Bolivian researchers has been on learning from the technology of rural societies, and to cooperate with them, at the same time as they transfer knowledge to the researchers at national and international level.”

The complex water terrace systems developed by the Inca society are much better known than the smaller ones that probably existed simultaneously with the Inca systems, and that still function today. One of the biggest challenges facing academics in the Andes region is obtaining funds for research. In 2004, through the Research Council of Norway, Jacobsen and his colleagues obtained network funding, so that the research could continue in a longer time perspective. Most of the funds are used to support the institutions in the South, financing pilot research and publications; the rest is used to cover travel costs for southern and northern partners.

From neighbourhoods to networks “The water systems not only represent highly sophisticated technological methods, but also involve extensive social networks that greatly extend the borders of local communities,” Jacobsen says.

Complexity under the surface “There is one thing that we notice again and again,” Jacobsen continues. “We have focused on small, non-complex water harvest systems. But even something that looks, for example, like a small natural pond untouched by human hands, can turn out to be a very complex system created by human beings. Last time I was in Bolivia, we visited something that appeared to be dried out river banks. With the assistance of the local population, we found a network of complex, structured channels underneath, that was actually a very well planned and tremendously complex system!” The complex water terrace systems developed by the Inca society are much better known than the smaller ones that probably existed simultaneously with the Inca systems, and that still function today. Jacobsen got involved in the project after visiting the region with a group of students on a field trip. “At the time I had no plans to start a project, but being a social anthropologist, I always look around when I travel,” he laughs. “In Ecuador, I observed some really excit-

SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGIST/Assistant Professor Frode Fadnes Jacobsen at the Centre for Studies of Environment and Resources, University of Bergen (UIB), Norway. Photo/Ragnhild Solvi Berg WATER POLITICS/25

FIGHTING OVER VITAL RESOURCES/In 1999, the Bolivian government sold Cochabamba’s public water system to the British company Aguas del Tunari. The whole population took part in marches against steeply increased water prices. Photo/Thomas Kruse

There is a parallel situation today, with the French company Suez, which represents itself as a NGO with support from the World Bank, privatising water resources in Bolivia and Argentina, as well as in other countries. In one of the poorest districts of El Alto, Bolivia, the company have won exclusive rights over the largest water source. Each household is being charged USD 300 for access to the water, which is more than most families can afford. In addition, each family has to dig the ditch in order to bring the water-pipes to its own house. Two anthropologists who are taking part in the water research project report serious health problems due to polluted water.

To exemplify the hidden complexity and the need to extend the research beyond the limits of local communities, Jacobsen points to the research done on the water channel systems in Potosí in Bolivia. “In Potosí, we were looking at systems for collecting limited amounts of groundwater through channels. We discovered that the channels leak, and in consequence, the surrounding vegetation makes good pastures for the neighbouring farmers. We asked ourselves if the leakage of the channels might just be a planned and conscious cooperation between neighbours–and whether such aspects are taken into consideration when systems are being established in new areas. This idea came from two local researchers at a university in Bolivia.” “Neighbourhood studies have been very popular in our discipline, but we are concerned with the idea that in order to understand what is going on, we need rather to examine the networks of people between rural and urban areas.” Jacobsen refers to a personal example from the Santa Elena peninsula in Ecuador. “The village headmen often work in Guayaquil as lawyers, businessmen, in small-scale trade and so forth. Even when they move out, they still have a strong commitment to the land, which still is community-owned. During the sawing or harvesting periods, the villagers come back to the village to help. There are whole areas of Guayaquil that are village-based. The social networks in the villages are very complex ones, despite what one might expect of a small-scale society. In historical terms, there have been enormous networks spreading up and down the coast, from the USA to Chile, and also towards inland regions, so it is hardly surprising that complex networks still exist today. Even though the villages seem very ‘locally based’, the research we want to do on local knowledge can not be limited by locality.”

“We are aware of the dramatic political situation related to water resources,” Jacobsen continues. “We believe that control over natural resources underlies the conflicts in the area. Research on this area is like walking through a minefield. Cooperation with the local population makes it necessary to take into consideration the political circumstances, not only small organisational frames, but also bigger issues.”

Research on this area is like walking through a minefield. “The privatization of water represents a huge threat to peoples own water-collecting systems,” says Jacobsen. “There is a growing awareness of the value of preserving local knowledge. In Bolivia we are also seeing the growth of alliances between indigenous organisations and labour unions. It looks as though both parties are putting standardised ideologies aside and establishing new alliances.” The relationship between the researchers and the more neo-liberalistic representatives of the government, the NGO sector and academia has not been easy, according to Jacobsen. “Jorge Marcos, a professor of archaeology and coordinator of the project in Ecuador,


Across knowledge universes The Andes project not only involves researchers from different institutions in different parts of the world, but also represents research disciplines that one would think were too different to even understand each other’s importance. “Actually, even though you would expect frictions between the disciplines, there are almost none–at least so far. Our partners have excellent theoretical skills, at the same time as they take a very practical approach to their research. What they perceive as exciting knowledge is knowledge that works. They find down-to-earth common ground, despite their different points of departure.”

Researchers involved in the network have produced several publications, as well as seminars and conferences. Although it is early to draw conclusions, since much of the research projects are in their early stages, the project is exploring the possibilities of transferring knowledge about water harvesting systems, on the technical, organisational and ecological levels, from one area to another. Ragnhild Solvi Berg is a higher executive officer at SIU.


While government’s water collection systems broke down during the weather phenomenon “El Niño”, the water harvesting systems used by the population along the coast of Ecuador since pre-Columbian times resisted the heavy rains. Archaeologist and anthropologist Professor Jorge Marcos at the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in Guayaquil, Ecuador, has been studying the albarrada systems for more than 20 years.

Jorge Marcos (JM): Albarradas or jagüeyes are water retention ponds of various sizes that were built by Amerindians in pre-Columbian times. They were built to contain the runoff of rainwater, prevent the topsoil from eroding into the sea and to recharge the sub-surface aquifer. Albarradas is the term most often used in coastal Ecuador since the beginning of the twentieth century; Jagüeyes is generally used in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Which are the main benefits of albarradas systems for local communities?

“THE WATER BELONGS TO US, DAMNIT!”/This photo from 2000 shows people protesting over the water issue. In 2005 in the city of El Alto, the French company Suez is claiming USD 300 from each household for access to clean water. Most poor families cannot afford this, and have to rely on polluted water sources. Photo/Thomas Kruse

This down-to-earth approach also makes cooperation between local experts and academics easier. The need to dissolve the dialectical opposing categories of local and expert knowledge is one of the most important findings of the project, according to Jacobsen, who dreams of involving more non-academic experts in the project. “We are in the early stages of the process, but we want to contribute to the continuation of local initiatives, not only with knowledge, but also in the evaluation of new land areas, where new water harvesting systems can be developed. Our dream is to involve non-academics who can evaluate soil and rock, local farmers and leaders as well as specialists in public administration.”

Water Forever

What are albarradas or jagüeyes? Who made them and why?

Water war In April 2000, peasants in the Bolivian town Cochabamba raised their voices against the national government, in what later was to be known as the water war. The government sold the national water company to Agua Tunari, a British water company. Not only did the company raise water charges, they also banned people from using their own methods of water harvesting, like collecting rainwater. “The sale of the water company represented a huge threat to the people’s own systems,” Jacobsen says. The massive protests against the globalisation of the water forced the international company to redraw from Bolivia. Control over water resources was allocated to local interests.

has invited them to his workshops, but they have never shown up. I was once on a guided tour with representatives from a local NGO, and they basically had two messages; First that the local population are lazy, and the second that their forefathers did have a lot to contribute, but that now we have to teach them how to manage their resources. Marcos takes the opposite attitude; he has devoted his life to participating with the local population and learning from their knowledge.”

JM: Today, the albarradas systems contribute to the sustainability of biodiversity and fresh water resources for the population, especially for the more vulnerable sectors of local society. Information gathered from excavations and subsequent archaeobotanical and botanical analysis will serve as a guideline for new water management constructions and investments that may be built in the future.

All the communities that directly or indirectly benefit from the albarradas system have implemented various mechanisms to maintain, restore and manage their albarradas. In the twentieth century they combined modern technology such as machinery with traditional collective community work. Before the rains begin, several tasks have to be carried out: Restoring walls, cleaning the overflow, weeding the basin and the lower wall, refurbishing the staked water wells associated with the system, introducing beneficial water-plants and fish that help maintain water quality, repairing and building of complementary facilities such as laundry facilities, drinking troughs for animals, small quays reaching into the albarradas basin to replenish water tanks for home use, building fences, and so forth.

Beat modern technologies In comparison with western modern technologies, do the technologies based on traditional knowledge have any advantages? JM: Archaeological excavations showed differences between ancient and modern albarradas structures, changes in form and retaining wall size, as well as changes in construction techniques, explaining why albarradas built according to traditional and ancient construction techniques best resist the impact of heavy rains. A comparative study of the albarradas’ traditional layered construction technology and modern road building machine soil/piling methods used to build modern “albarradas” and river dams, shows that traditional technology is more efficient with respect to retaining wall durability, not only in the face of “El Niño” flashfloods, but also in resisting pervasive wind and rain erosion. While 77 per cent of albar-

While 77 per cent of albarradas are still functional, only 25.8 per cent of the small dams built with government funds resisted the “El Niño” events of 1982-83 and 1997-98. WATER POLITICS/27

MANANG GLACIER/The Gangapurna glacier (7457 metres) is situated close to the village of Manang and is a popular area for trekking tourists. Photo/ Ram Chaudhary

Snow and Ice also says that this will lead to severe water shortage in northern part of the Indian subcontinent as soon as in thirty years time. The melt is thought to be triggered by rising temperatures and other climatic changes caused by greenhouse gases and ozone depletion.

Large-scale changes Dr. Ram P Chaudhary (RP), Professor of Botany at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu and Professor of Geography at the University of Bergen in Norway,Thor H. Aase (TAA), are looking at the local effects of large-scale global changes on a community in Manang, Nepal. The Norwegian team includes two other scientists from the Faculties of Biology and Geography. Additional support for the NUFU-funded project has been received by researchers and students from the PhD and Master’s programmes in Bergen and Nepal.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES/Dr. Jorge Marcos is an archaeologist and anthropologist at the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Photo/Cesar Franco

radas are still functional, only 25.8 per cent of the small dams built with government funds resisted the El Niño events of 1982-83 and 1997-98. In the course of the past 50 years, much ancestral knowledge concerning the albarradas has been lost. This, together with inappropriate use of heavy road-building equipment for rebuilding and maintenance, shows the need for a more aggressive programme of dissemination of recovered knowledge amongst albarradas stakeholders. What are the effects of regional development projects? How does this situation affect the albarradas systems? JM: Regional development projects have reawakened interest in native peoples’ territories. This situation has resulted in a weakening of the traditional communal form of territorial possession in the face of land-grabs, illicit land sales and pre-urban subdivisions. This situation directly affects some of the albarradas systems, since some of them are located in territories in conflict; as well as indirectly, because it leads to a weakening of communal management of natural resources and limits the collective capacity to manage the technology of the albarradas. The development concepts and logic invoked by certain external social actors are foreign to local history and culture, ignoring and undervaluing the albarradas system as an appropriate and sustainable water resource.

Adaptations throughout history According to this perspective, will the albarradas systems be able to survive? JM: Throughout history the albarradas systems have developed in accordance with social, political and economic modernizations. Information provided by present users of the system show that the albarradas system hinges on new needs and aspirations that relate to present ways of living. Potential modern uses include ecological parks, fish-farming, brick-works, small-scale agriculture, et cetera. How has the legal system influenced the management and conservation of the albarradas systems?


JM: The sustainability of the albarradas system, when we take into account the socioeconomic and ecological dimensions and the dangers and conflicts that endanger them, is guaranteed by the long-term management of the territory by the native communities that own them. However, there is a need to generate strategic alliances among different social actors on the basis of shared objectives, to take advantage of financial efforts, time, and human resources in order to reduce the risks that could affect the sustainability of the system.

TAA: We are a group of seven scientists who are working closely together in order to learn more about this particular community in Manang. The aim is to collect all the work into a monograph about Manang. What’s special about Manang? RC: Manang is a high-altitude, geographically isolated community with a very small population. A large number of Himalayan glaciers – more than 50, large and small – are found in the Manang district.

How has this project contributed to develop knowledge for local communities?

The albarradas system hinges on new needs and aspirations that relate to present ways of living. Potential modern uses include ecological parks, fish-farming, brick-works and small-scale agriculture. JM: We have arranged workshops for the stakeholders such as native communities and local or national organizations active in the study area. The results have been strategic alliances with organizations that lead programmes or projects in the area, local or national government and NGOs, and with users of the albarradas system. We have also recorded the experiences, both positive and negative, of other relevant projects that have been carried out in the area. Are there any other similar hydrological management projects in America or elsewhere in the world? JM: Current developments in retention-pond technology, and hydrological studies by several Brazilian, US and European research teams, working on aquifer recharging systems have developed models similar to traditional albarradas. This strengthens replication operations not only in coastal Ecuador but also in arid and semiarid regions all over the world. Juan Carlos Gonzalez Guzman is a social comunicator for the “Museo del Banco Central” in Guayaquil, Ecuador.


TAA: The Manangis are a fascinating group of people. Historically they are farmers living a secluded life in the foothills of the Himalayas. Being self-sufficient for only eight months of the year, they had to start travelling for some of the year in order to provide food. They started off by selling herbs for medicinal use a couple of hundred years ago. Today the Manangis are one of the most developed and wealthiest peoples in the whole of Nepal.

Glaciers for irrigation In what way are the Manangis dependent on the glaciers?

After the two polar ice-caps, the Himalayan glaciers are third in line as the fastest melting bodies of ice in the world. So say researchers from a host of respected international organizations, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Integrated Center for Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the International Commission for Snow and Ice.

TAA: The farmers who live in Manang depend on glaciers to irrigate their land. Over the past fifty years the glaciers have retreated significantly due to global warming. However, I don’t think that this is the most important reason for the changes in Manang lifestyle. At the moment we cannot say that this has caused problems for the Manangis. All the same, some of the glaciers at lower altitudes (around 6000 meters) have melted significantly, and we can see that they are continuing to retreat. These low-lying glaciers are the ones that feed the irrigation systems with water, so it would be a disaster if they were to disappear completely. But there is still plenty of water to irrigate the farmland in Manang. At the moment the biggest threat to the harvest is the lack of manpower to maintain the water channels. When the men go off on business trips, there is hardly enough labour left to keep up the work. This is beginning to adversely affect

ICIMOD has predicted that glacial dams will burst, triggering largescale floods that will affect large populations. The Commission for

A large number of Himalayan glaciers–more than 50, large and small–are found in the Manang district.

The glaciers of the Himalayas are receding faster than any others in the world. The small community Manang in Nepal has been hard hit by both the impacts of global climatic changes and the flow of globalization.


farming in the valley. After Manang was opened to foreigners in the 1980s many Manangis also took advantage of the influx of visitors, and started running hotels rather than farming. Has the agricultural pattern changed since the glaciers started to melt? RC: The southern glaciers are melting faster than the northern glaciers, according to some colleagues of ours who came and looked at the way the sun was hitting the surface of the glaciers. We are now keeping track of climate change with a ”Climate Logger”, which is installed on both the north and south slopes of the Manang glaciers. Most of the fields are in the south. Because the glaciers are melting, this will clear more land for agriculture. But land is not a problem in Manang, where there is already plenty of land available for agriculture. Irrigation is more of a problem. Sources of water are moving further away from the fields. As a result, more labour is required to repair and maintain canals every year. Because there is a sever shortage of labour in Manang, repairing canals is becoming difficult.

Hardly any tourists Is there a lot of tourism in Manang? How has tourism affected the local population and lifestyle? RC: Until 2001, there was a dramatic increase in tourists. Around 40 000 people would visit Manang every year. The local people were happy with their foreign earnings. But since 2002, when a State of Emergency was declared in Nepal, there have hardly been any tourists.

are planting more wheat now than they used to. Usually wheat is planted further down because of the milder climate. Traditionally barley has been the most important staple crop in Manang. We felt sure that this change had to do with global warming. But when we started looking into it, it turned out that the actual reason has to do with social changes. Many of the effects that we thought were caused by global warming can actually be directly attributed to social changes. I think this is very interesting because there seems to be a tendency to blame everything on global warming. In this case, the substitution of barley for wheat is not related to that particular environmental issue. We have also been working on a special project on biodiversity and climate change. After studying various types of landscapes, both farmed and unfarmed, our biologists have hypothesised that land that has been left unmanaged seems to develop less biodiversity than lightly cultivated landscapes. We now need to determine what level of cultivation is required to ensure a rich biodiversity. We will also extend our field work to see if this applies to other parts of the Himalayas.

Biology and social science Would you say that the interdisciplinary nature of the work has added value to this project? TAA: Absolutely. For example, the biologists were the ones who established that the Manangis had started substituting barley for

The findings about biodiversity are probably transferable and quite interesting in reference to the discussion about how we can best maintain our cultural landscape here in Norway. Tourism led to economic empowerment, health care and social equity. But it also had negative impacts. The tourists came from April-May to September-October–which were also the planting and harvesting seasons. So the tourist industry took labour away from agriculture, and it was difficult to find enough people to repair irrigation canals. This led to seasonal labourers from Gorkha and Lamjung and other parts of Nepal working in Manang to satisfy needs for labour.

RC: Emigration has increased. There are many reasons for this–there is a lack of tourists and other opportunities in Manang, as well as the water shortages caused by the glaciers melting. Because the young people leave, a lot of the traditional knowledge about herbs and healings is no longer being transmitted by the amchis (healers).


Can we transfer some of your findings in Manang to a Norwegian environment? TAA: The findings about biodiversity are probably transferable and quite interesting in reference to the discussion about how we can best maintain our cultural landscape here in Norway. Sushma Joshi is a journalist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Janne-Beate Buanes Duke is a higher executive officer at SIU.

How have you organized the work between you?

Blame global warming TAA: At this point we have a couple of interesting and rather surprising results, I would say. For example, we have noticed that farmers

wheat in the higher altitudes. From their point of view the finding could have been explained by climate change, but when the social scientists started looking at the same information we discovered that in this particular case it had to do with social changes. Another example concerns how wood is used. The biologists are taking samples of the trees and looking into how much firewood the Manangis seem to use in their households. In addition to this information, the geographers found that firewood is also a symbol of social status. In Norway we have such things as Mercedes as a symbol of status. In Manang we have found that firewood is a signal of where you stand in the local hierarchy. Large piles of firewood are a demonstration of wealth. Thus consumption has a communicative side as well as a practical basis.

Many of the effects that we thought were caused by global warming can actually be directly attributed to social changes. I think this is very interesting because there seems to be a tendency to blame everything on global warming.

Has there been a lot of emigration of Manangi people? Why?

What are the findings you have made so far?

MANANG MONASTERY/A small monastery located above the village. Photo/Ram Chaudhary

MANANG RESEARCH/Professor Thor H. Aase of the University of Bergen and Professor Ram Chaudhary of Tribhuvan University are studying the effects of globalization on the small community of Manang in Nepal. Photo/ Paul Sigve Amundsen

TAA: We try to do all the field-work together. And this is a vital point: the work that we do on these trips is the basis of this whole project. I find it very exciting to spend time together with scientists from different countries and disciplines when I do my research. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities when we study our findings. We have a lot of interesting discussions when we sit down in the evenings and talk about what we have seen in the field.

MANANG WHEAT/Traditionally barley has been the most common staple crop in Manang, but during the past few years farmers have been planting more wheat. This is not due to global warming, as the researchers first thought, but to social changes. Photo/Ram Chaudhary GLACIERS AND GLOBALIZATION/31


National land laws have not changed patriarchal tradition in Namaqualand. Only a deceased husband can give a woman ownership of the land she farms. Seven hundred private farms, almost exclusively owned by whites, cover 52 per cent of Namaqualand. Some 70 000 people inhabit the area, situated in the Northern Province, which is the poorest province in South Africa. The land is arid and semi-arid. The soil is red and thirsty. Where there once used to be a dam, the dirt is cracked into patterns that are beautiful to look at, but not much use to either humans or animals. Researcher Karin Kleinbooi has driven the road from Cape Town to Namaqualand several times this year. She is researching the situation of women in relation to the land reform in South Africa. Has gender equity been implemented? Do the women have more to say than before? Do they have access to land? The answer to all questions is no. Only when a man dies may the land-use rights be transferred to the widow, but there is no guarantee. The land may go to the youngest son, or even to the husband’s brother or husband’s brother’s son.

A life of acceptance Still, it is the women who work the land. Their backs bend, the sun wrinkles their faces and their eyes are narrowed and watery. It is the women who look after the land and the livestock. The landholding system is communal, which means people can gain the right to use land for grazing and irrigation. The herd is the family’s “bank account” – if the husband loses his job, if the children need money for schooling, the family slaughter a goat or two, and the family economy may stabilize. The men have often worked in the mines, but during the past years most mines have shut down. Today they must travel far to find work.

THE MAN AND THE LAND/Traditions and culture take precedence over national law in Namaqualand in South Africa. The man owns the land-use rights and the livestock, even though he usually is working for a wage elsewhere. The wives do the job, but may only get the land in their own name if their husband dies, and very often, not even then. Here, Petrus Beukes from Rooifontein. 32/ARTIKKEL NAVN

“As far as I have observed, there have been few changes for women after the land reform was initiated. Land was supposed to be transferred to the poor, to women, to the disabled, but this system has not worked in Namaqualand,” says Kleinbooi. “In an area of high unemployment and poverty the land is a valuable asset. We have gender policies in this country. Still, women fall between the cracks when it comes to these issues. The women are so indescribably dependent on their husbands. They do not think they can apply for land-use rights in their own name through the reform. Most of them live subordinate lives of acceptance. They do not want to challenge the system and the traditions. If they do challenge it, they are regarded as disrespectful.” LAND REFORM IN SOUTH AFRICA/33

FARM HUT/Mary Jane Adams is a widow and the only woman interviewed by Karin Kleinbooi with legal rights to her land. She sits in the hut that is normally used during stays at the farm. Now it is placed in the yard for the children to play in.

“It is the same here as in the former homelands,” she continues. “The traditional authorities have the decision-making powers. The difference in Namaqualand is that land rights are passed via the head of the household, which in most cases are men. This informal traditional system marginalises women. It is very patriarchal, very sexist.” Kleinbooi’s research is part of a larger cooperative research project between the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of Western Cape, and the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences focused on the dynamics of poverty and land reform in Namaqualand. This project is part of a cooperation between the two institutions which started in 2000.

“Women’s weakness lies in that they generally do not have a wage income. You need to pay a levy for the land, and often they do not have that money. I interviewed a young woman, the only one in the family interested in farming. But after discussions in the family it was decided to give it to her brother, the one with his father’s surname. They claim that women will take the rights to use the land out of the family.” It is not always easy to separate the role of the objective researcher with advocacy for women’s rights. Kleibooi says she does not believe in objectivity, in the sense that it is impossible not to have an opinion in a field of study like this. But she tries not to mix the

Indigenous and colonial heritage

Karin drives into the little town of Leliefontein on a slow Monday afternoon, while the sun is setting over the red-hot landscape. The four-wheel drive is a noisy intrusion in the silence. She stops to pick up an old, ragged man by the roadside: “Oupa, do you need a lift?” He limps to the car. There used to be minibuses here, he says, but nowadays there is no public transport. Karin asks him about Auntie Molie, the name of the only contact person she has. Oh yes, he knows, he will take her to her house. Karin is a little nervous about this trip, because normally she has a few pre-arranged interviews. Now she can only hope that she will meet people willing to talk to her, to tell her about their lives, whether they have access to land, who is in charge of the household, how they make a living, about division of farming labour, about the children and so on. Sometimes these issues are quite emotional for the women since the men’s authority and tradition are not to be questioned.


roles. “I try not to interfere in what they are saying. But I inform them about land issues and their rights if they ask me to.”

The people who live here, so-called “coloureds”, are descendants of the indigenous Khoisan people and settlers of mainly German, Irish, French, Scandinavian and Dutch origin. Massive land dispossession took place under colonial rule and during apartheid. Between 1960 and 1983 more than 3.5 million people lost land and homes in South Africa through forced removals. Land was allocated to white farmers in and around Namaqualand, and coloureds were confined to reserves to serve as cheap labour and in order to prevent the “spread” of indigenous people. This means the people of small towns like Leliefontein and Rooifontein have to travel quite far to reach new farms recently purchased under the land reform process.

Emotional issue

National laws and efforts do not filter down to community-level.

GOOSE PROJECT/Gertruida Brand, Sarah Magdelena Beukes and Johanna Cloete take part in a goose-raising project, a new way of trying to make an income in Rooifontein.

The white farmers are unwilling to sell their land. There is the Expropriation Act, but the government is not enforcing it for land reform purposes. Instead, sales are based on a “willing buyer – willing seller” principle, which does not work well. MATCHBOX HOUSE/State-funded house in Rooifontein, Namaqualand. These houses, although better than what was there previously, are called “matchbox houses” because of their small size.

Women do not think they can apply for land-use rights in their own name through the reform. Most of them live subordinate lives of acceptance.

“The Land Redistribution and Agricultural Development Grant Act says that if you put in 5000 rands, you get four times the amount back from the state to buy the land. The problem is that women do not have 5000 rands. The second problem is that you cannot get a viable piece of grazing land for 20 000 rands. The third problem is buying itself. You are required to go to the land and identify what you are interested in buying. You need to go to the farmer and ask. For a black woman to go to a white male farmer and say you want to buy his land… In some areas farmers have already said that they will never sell their land to a black person. And on top of this if you do not have any negotiating skills, and you have to discuss with a person who has been living on the land for generations, you are doomed to failure.”

Widow and owner The first interview takes place early the next morning. Mary Jane Adams is a 73-year-old widow who still works on the land. Her children want her to quit, she says, because she is too old. But she wants to continue. This is her life. She talks in a lively voice, underlining her opinion with exaggerated arm movements, clapping her chest saying “ooooh!” On the wall there is a painting of a young man, a picture of the police academy, a yellow glass mug, a porcelain dog and a calendar with the inscription Suid-Afrikaanse Volksvereniging (South African People’s Party). LAND REFORM IN SOUTH AFRICA/35

Between 1960 and 1983 more than 3.5 million people lost land and homes in South Africa through forced removals. feet, there is a high prevalence of tuberculosis, and many have rashes that they cannot get rid of, according to another interviewee from Rooifontein. The inhabitants believe the problems are related to the nuclear waste site located only 40 kilometres away. “There is no reason to be here,” says the woman from Rooifontein. “None of my children live here anymore and my husband left me. Or I left him, I do not know. We should just close down the house and leave this place.”

DRY DAM/Namaqualand is famous for its bounty blossom. Flowers in all colours pop up from the ground and transform the landscape from dusty red to green, yellow, pink, violet… But the drought of the past two years has reduced the floral beauty. The dam has dried up, and the livestock have problems finding drinking water.

In the community hall there is a poster of the heads of the judiciary, legislative and executive branches in the Northern Province. All are women. It looks like Kleinbooi is right: national laws and efforts do not filter down to community-level.

Adams fits well into Kleinbooi’s interview scheme: one widow, one married woman, one young woman, and of these, one with land use rights. Karin does the necessary chit-chat and tells Adams about the project before starting the tape recorder. The conversation is in Afrikaans, but a few words are similar to English: rainfall, municipality. “The men feel more powerful when the land is in their name,” Adams says. She is the only woman whom Karin meets in Leliefontein with legal rights to use land for grazing livestock.

So says the Freedom Charter, adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown on 26 June 1955. Forty-one years later, in 1996, the right to own land was included in the South African Constitution. The goal of the South African government is to redistribute 30 per cent of the land by 2015, but between 1994 and 2004 only 4.2 per cent had been redistributed. The restitution process, the right to get back land taken during colonial and apartheid rule, is going better: Approximately 80 per cent of all claims have been settled. The tenure reform, which is supposed to secure the rights of people living on farms under insecure arrangements, to some extent has had the opposite effect: farm workers are evicted from farms because the owners fear that they will have to comply with the new regulations.

The violent farm occupations of the past few years in Zimbabwe have made the world focus more on land right issues, and the unfair distribution of land all around the world has made it into the news headlines. Several political parties in South Africa claim that an unresolved land question is a political bomb, and many critics insist the land-reform process is too slow.

The dynamics of poverty The Norwegian researchers from Noragric and their South African partners from PLAAS are collaborating in order to identify the effects of the land reform in Namaqualand. The multidisciplinary project entitled “The dynamics of poverty and land reform in Namaqualand” is looking at several different aspects of the land reform: human and legal rights, the relation between land reform and the protection of the environment, sustainability and ecology.

Matchbox homes

According to Associate Professors Tor Arve Benjaminsen and Espen Sjaastad, the land reform has been more successful in Namaqualand than in other parts of South Africa. Among other issues such as the formalisation of rights, communal livelihoods, and people-park conflicts, Benjaminsen and Sjaastad are focusing on the concept of “carrying capacity”. Carrying capacity defines the maximum livestock population that an ecosystem can support on a sustainable basis. The South African government has set the carrying capacity standard according to the rangeland the white commercial farmers

The dusty little town of Leliefontein consists mainly of “matchbox houses”, government-built houses for people in need. For the most part, they are better than the houses people used to have, but are still very tiny, therefore the nickname. The area got electricity in 1994, the same year as the country got democracy. Leliefontein is a quiet place. A few men sit under a tree. You hardly find anyone between 15 and 50 here. Young people leave and they do not return.


“Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided among those who work it, to banish famine and hunger.”

The goal of the South African government is to redistribute 30 per cent of the land by 2015, but between 1994 and 2004 only 4.2 per cent had been redistributed.

The next interviewee is Katarina E Rooi. She goes to her land almost every day. She also sits on the local board, representing her community Leliefontein. The land and the livestock are owned by her husband, who lives away from home. “It is the tradition, so who am I to break it? He is the one who has work which is needed to farm,” she says. “Farming is not regarded as work,” Kleinbooi explains. “Only wage labour is recognized as work. That is why it is the men who make decisions like when to sell livestock.”

The water around here is too salty. Sheep and goats are dying. Children are born with deformed

“The land shall be shared by those who work it”

INTERVIEW/Researcher Karin Kleinbooi from the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of Western Cape interviews Mary-Ann Basson in her home.

use, but amongst the “coloureds” the number of animals far exceeds these limits. Sjaastad and Benjaminsen believe this does not pose a threat to the environment, based on data that show that the number of animals has always has been much higher than recommended, and that there is no long-term reduction in stock numbers. “While policy-makers usually see carrying capacity as a technical issue, we put this term in the context of resilient rangelands, vulnerable livelihoods and past injustices. In our opinion, the notion of carrying capacity links environmental issues to economic constraints, land rights and social justice,” say Benjaminsen and Sjaastad.

Norwegian practices The South African partners have also been to Norway to learn about Norwegian practices and policies concerning land. “We have visited communal land areas in the County of Oppland, we have looked at fisheries management and visited the Finnmarksvidda,” Benjaminsen says. “For the South Africans it was interesting to see how the communal land principle operates in Norway. It is not something that exists only in poor countries, as many people believe. Norway has had communal lands for a thousand years, and it works well. Our South African guests found it disconcerting that Norway has discussed access to resources in Finnmark based on ethnicity, which reminded them of apartheid policies.” The funds for the project are allocated by the Norwegian embassy in South Africa. Benjaminsen and Sjaastad hope for further funding to continue the fruitful cooperation. “PLAAS has a great deal of expertise in this area, and is very updated on the empirical side as well as theoretically, so it is a challenge to work with them. It is also very exciting because they are so active and involved in the political processes in South Africa,” Benjaminsen says. “PLAAS is very policyoriented. I am more of the old school, in which researchers stick to research,” says Sjaastad. Benjaminsen is only partly in agreement: “If you have data that indicate a clear tendency, you should make society aware of it. It is important to provide information about the consequences of political decisions.” For a thorough insight into the PLAAS-Noragric research project, read the academic essay “The Politics of Land and Livestock” on page 52.

CARRYING CAPACITY/Espen Sjaastad and Tor Arve Benjaminsen, associate professors at Noragric at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, cooperate with PLAAS at the University of the Western Cape on the land reform process in South Africa. LAND REFORM IN SOUTH AFRICA/37

Life under the Ice

COLLECTING MUD/Crew members of the research vessel bring up mud from the bottom of the sea. Forty-nine stations were visited during the field trip. At each station benthic samples were collected, water samples were taken and conductivity, temperature and depth profiles recorded. At certain priority stations plankton samples were also collected. Photo/ BASICC


Sea ice is the defining feature that sets the Polar seas apart from all other areas of the world’s oceans. Traditionally, sea ice was thought to be generally hostile to marine life. In recent times, however, this view has changed dramatically as entire ecosystems are found to be associated with sea ice. In the Zoological Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg glass bottles in all colours, sizes and shapes represent more than 100 years of biological collecting from the Barents Sea. Several rooms on the 5th floor are stacked from top to bottom with cabinets containing samples collected during expeditions to the harsh northern shores of Norway and Russia. Some of the material dates back to the 19th century, when Alexander III was still the Tsar of Russia. When Tsar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg in 1703 it was his intention to make the city Russia’s “window to the West”, and at the beginning of the 1990s that window was opened once again. Senior researcher Stanislav G. Denisenko at the Zoological Institute has worked in marine biology for almost thirty years. Before phrases like “glasnost” and “perestroika” became household words in the late 1980s Russians enjoyed no close professional contact with Western scientists. “During the Soviet-period we had very little, if any, contact with fellow researchers in the West,” he says. Cooperative projects with foreigners in the strategically sensitive Barents Sea were impossible. Some areas in the region were off limits even for Russian researchers. “It was not until 1989, during glasnost, that I

was allowed to go ashore on the islands of Novaya Zemlja for the first time,” Denisenko recalls. “Access to the islands and their waters was heavily restricted due to military activity.” But Denisenko also remembers the period of the Soviet Union as a favourable time for his profession, when abundant government funding was available to support demanding long-term research projects. “If we needed a vessel for a three-month expedition to the Barents Sea we could without any bureaucracy contact the expedition department of the Academy of Sciences and get money for a research vessel belonging to our Institute, or for the use of the facilities of other organisations,” he says. “Now we are lucky to get it for a week after months of paper shuffling between various offices.”

Two schools of science “Benthic communities at the Barents Sea ice edge in a changing climate (BASICC)” is a Russian-Norwegian cooperative project between Akvaplan-niva AS in Tromsø Norway, and the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. BASICC is funded by the Cooperation programme with Russia and runs from 2003 until the end of 2005. The aim of the project is to explain the phenomenon of greater benthic biomass at the ice edge in the Barents Sea. The Zoological Institute has been involved in research cooperation with Akvaplan-niva for almost ten years. However, when cooperation first started it revealed differences in both project administration and scientific approaches between Norway and Russia – decades of isolation from each other had led to two different schools of scientific research. “First of all, we were not used to a lengthy and complicated process of writing applications for research funding,” says Denisenko, “and we received valuable assistance from our colleagues at Akvaplan for this.” The cooperation between the Zoological Institute and Akvaplan-niva has also led to the Russians being exposed to new technology. “During our cooperation we have learned to make use of Western types of sampling equipment and apply these in computer-generated statistics,” Denisenko explains. “I think we have learned important things from each other and that research quality has also benefited from this.” RESEARCH VESSEL/Researchers from Russia, Norway, India and Britain involved in the BASICC project went on a three weeks field trip on the R/V Ivan Petrov to the Barents Sea in August 2003. The benthic fauna they collected on this expedition are being analysed in the BASICC project. Concentrations of animal life and plankton are particularly high around and under the ice edge in the Barents Sea. Photo/BASICC


evidence has yet been presented to support this theory. But Denisenko points out that precisely this uncertainty as to what causes the changes makes it even more important to study the benthic fauna beneath the ice edge. “This way we can obtain a better idea about what will happen in let’s say, ten years, if the current trend continues. We must study and monitor the ice edges more carefully than ordinary marine ecosystems, especially in conditions of coming global warming.”

Denisenko explains what he thinks his Norwegian counterparts have gained from the cooperation: “We have had a long tradition in Russia of systematically counting biomass from the ocean floor. This enables us over time to document the total input of animals into the bioproductive and biodestructive processes of specific areas of the Barents Sea. I believe this method, at least in a systematic manner, was practically unused by Norwegian researchers,” Denisenko says.

Sustained climatic warming in the Barents Sea, which would create a northwards shift in the ice edge, could lead to the spring bloom largely taking place over deeper water. The result would be a decoupling of the benthic and pelagic components, causing a loss of much of the organic production from the system. This scenario has dramatic cascading effects on higher-order predators, with far-reaching implications for both fisheries and the management of marine mammals in the Barents Sea.

What’s down there? According to Denisenko, doing research on the Barents Sea benthic fauna in relation to the Arctic ice edge is important for several reasons. “The research has shown that the concentration of animal life and plankton is particularly high around and under the ice edge. If we learn more about this ecosystem we can better understand the impact of changes caused by humans or by natural fluctuations,” he says.

The Arctic ice edge is currently receding by an average of one to two per cent every year. By looking at the bottom communities over time one can identify their normal or faulty development. The Barents Sea zoobenthos (animals living on or in the bottom of the sea) is being seriously affected by demersal fish trawling. Denisenko points out that the negative situation is being worsened due to overfishing of the pelagic fish. “An example of this was when the North-Atlantic cod started to feed on bottom animals and their own juveniles when one of their main natural prey species, the capelin, dramatically decreased in numbers due to overfishing. This led to an imbalance in the benthic fauna in certain areas as the natural food chain was disrupted. The cod basically ate the food normally consumed by the regular bottom feeders.” The latest results obtained by the project partners show that bottom sediments of the northern region of the Barents Sea are rich in fresh chlorophyll. This explains the high values of zoobenthos biomass in these areas and confirms the main hypothesis of the current BASICC project: ice edge areas and seasonal ice areas are very productive in the Arctic seas all the way from the surface to the bottom. The Arctic ice edge is currently receding by an average of one to two per cent every year. Global warming is believed to be one of the reasons for this development, although no bullet-proof scientific

THE RUSSIAN WAY/Decades of isolation led to two different scientific approaches in the West and Russia. Senior researcher Stanislav G. Denisenko believes that both Russian and Norwegian partners benefit from research cooperation. Photo/ Larissa Sosnovskaia THE BARENTS SEA/39

Clean waters

Managing Africa’s Forestry

With both Russia and Norway considering exploring the vast oil and gas resources believed to be present under the Barents Sea, it also becomes more important to fully understand the potential impact of such activity. “In warmer waters there are more bacteria that can ‘eat’ oil in the event of an oil spill,” Denisenko explains. “In that respect, the Barents Sea is more sensitive to pollution than other areas with oil-drilling activity.”


The Barents Sea is still one of the cleanest areas in the world and Denisenko confirms that local activity is yet not an important contributor to the existing pollution. “Most of the pollution in the Barents Sea consists of heavy metals, pesticides and hydrocarbons transported from the south by the Gulf Stream. The concentration of radioactive material is still at normal levels. The exceptions are the waters around the Kola peninsula and Arkhangelsk, where there are local areas with high levels of toxins.” The research carried out on the Barents seabed is not all about preservation and monitoring, but also concerns exploring the possibilities of exploiting seafood resources that are yet to be identified. “There are many types of living organisms down there that we still don’t fully understand,” Denisenko says, “and some of them may well represent untapped valuable resources.”

Poverty is the greatest threat to sustainable management of natural resources. The first Norad Fellows Network (NFN) conference took place in Uganda, February 2005. Almost 80 former Norad students in Norway met to discuss challenges in an African context. USA-NORWAY-RUSSIA/BASICC project leader and climate research coordinator Michael Carroll and environmental research manager JoLynn Carroll at Akvaplan-niva have been cooperating with Russian scientists for more than a decade. “Russia is still very protective of its areas in the Barents sea – which are huge – to the extent that it is very difficult to work in these areas. The Russians know a lot about the Arctic areas that has never been published. Bringing Russian and western researchers and scientific methods together has taught us a lot,” says Michael Carroll. Photo/Teresa Grøtan

Lars Ove Breivik is SIU’s web editor


Research across academic boundaries Global Knowledge is an interdisciplinary magazine about international cooperation in research and higher education, and is aimed at academics, students, administrators and policymakers. Global Knowledge focuses on cooperation where partners have different points of departure in the following areas: political history, economics, geography and/or cultural and religious understanding. The magazine offers stories on political questions with global implications in research and higher education and provides an international arena for debate. The interviews, feature articles and news items are produces by journalists and photographers from all over the world. At least one academic essay will appear in each issue. READ IN THE NEXT ISSUE: • The centre of the world: Can philosophy play a role in stabilizing a country like Uzbekistan? • Reversed anthropology: Ugandan professor studies African dance in Norway. • Drama, health and the environment: An interdisciplinary approach to poverty reduction in Malawi. NEXT THEME: Children READ ALSO: • Academia and religion • The poor and the law • A world of languages

Global Knowledge is distributed free of charge all over the world. Would you like to sign up for a free subscription to Global Knowledge? Please write to Are you involved in interesing cooperation others should know about? Are you an experienced journalist/photographer interested in working for Global Knowledge? Please contact editor Teresa Grøtan:, +47 55 30 88 22

According to a recent World Bank report, more than one billion people depend to various degrees on forests for their livelihoods. About 60 million indigenous people are almost wholly dependent on forests. Biodiversity conservation and management have attracted growing public attention during the last decades. Forest acreage per person has been cut in half since 1960. Fifteen per cent of all mammals are regarded as threatened by World Watch Institute (2001). The area of the world covered by forest is now down to 30 per cent of the total land area. Increased pollution of water, soils and air has also contributed to irreversible losses of genetic materials. Dealing with the theme of “The Role and Management of Natural Resources in Local Environments: Theoretical Perspectives Meet Empirical Reality,” the Norad-funded NFN conference was arranged by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU), the University of Bergen (UIB), and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB). The conference was attended by close to 60 former Norad fellows from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Ethiopia. The conference dealt with the challenge of how to scale up successful rural natural resource management systems in Africa. How should Africa enhance the livelihood of the poor and the markets that play a very important role in natural resource management? How collaborative resource management between the direct beneficiaries and development agencies be improved? And what should be done about corruption that is eating up all the good ideas?

tion of access and withdrawal of resources can have serious impacts on rural livelihood,” the study warns. In one of the papers presented at the conference, Professor Paul Vedeld from UMB stressed that incomes must be put into context and understood within the overall strategies of households and communities. “Forest income is often illegally derived from protected areas . The number and size of protected areas in the world is likely to increase in the future following international agreements and conventions,” he warned, adding that conflicts over access and use rights will thereby also escalate. In many countries, donors and international NGOs try convert forest reserves to which local people have traditionally had access into national parks and other types of legal status when biodiversity control is stricter and where local people tend to be deprived of access, Professor Vedeld said. “Good, working models to secure rights and resources access for poor people are much needed in order to cater for these changes. Decentralization may also result in local elites rather than poor people benefitting,” he observed.

Include environmental values A new World Bank study shows that in most national accounts and even poverty assessments, forest environmental values and incomes are omitted or underreported. The study found that forest environmental incomes make up about one fifth of total household incomes, and therefore strongly recommends identifying ways to include environmental values in national accounts. It also suggests that there is a need for specific policies to secure poor people’s rights of access to and withdrawal of resources directly. “DeprivaFIRST NFN-CONFERENCE/The first conference for former Norad fellows was arranged in Kampala, Uganda, February 2005. Close to 60 former students participated in the conference focussed on the management of natural resources. Photo Jab Film NFN CONFERENCE/41

“Conserving biodiversity resources is often difficult to reconcile with local participation. We need revised approaches to combining the ambition of conservation of biodiversity with rural developments, value generation and distribution concerns. There are no blueprint models in this respect.”

Find indigenous solutions The Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at Makerere University, Professor John R.S. Kaboggoza said the Ugandan forestry policy formulated in 2001 provides new approaches and political directions for sustainable development of the poor. “It is sensitive to the livelihood needs of poor people and their participation in forestry resources management; contrary to the previous one that emphasized resource conservation,” Professor Kaboggoza said.

More than fifteen per cent of Uganda’s population live in parishes that neighbour forest reserves. “Current levels of timber consumption exceed sustainable supplies and demand is only being met by forest clearance and over-cutting,” he added. Professor Ragnar Øygard of UMB said that the environmental problem will not go away, but there are possibilities if we start to think differently: “There are few easy win-win solutions, but there may be room for indigenous local solutions,” he suggested, and challenged the Norad fellows to find these local solutions.

Commenting on the topic of the conference, former Norad fellow Doris Kakuru Muhwezi, a lecturer at the Makerere University, said that first, poverty in Africa must be eradicated.

Muhwezi’s wish is to have all the facilities in Norway in Uganda so it would be possible to study in the home setting, eat the local food, and be around the family: “I wish that we had what they call centres of excellence based in the different regions of Africa and could have our people study here.”

“Unfortunately, we may not have the capacity to eradicate poverty, because development programmes implemented in Africa are often not determined by us. There is no way you are going to preserve your resources if you have to depend on agriculture for food, shelter, health and school fees. If you don’t have enough land, you have to encroach on the swamp, and if you don’t have alternative sources of fuel, you to have to cut down trees. Today’s survival is more important than tomorrow’s. So the blame should be put on government or the people responsible for poverty eradication and development.”

The Norad Fellowship Programme began in 1962 as a training programme for students from developing countries. Today it is a fullyfledged Master’s-level programme focused on enhancing the capacity of institutions in the South. Some 3000 students have benefited from the programme so far. Most Norad fellows have experienced career advancement on returning to to their home countries. They note, however, that they are faced with the challenge of applying their new skills in local settings at home without “capacity, tools or resources.” Bamuturaki Musinguzi is a journalist based in Kampala, Uganda.

Muhwezi argued that it is very difficult to transfer best practices from one part of Africa to another because of differences in culture. “Look at the Uganda HIV/AIDS success story. There may have been something that we were not aware of that led to this success. It could be the political environment, local conditions, or culture that is unique to Uganda. It cannot necessarily be exported to any other part of the world. You can try it out, but it may not turn out the same,” Muhwezi said. Muhwezi obtained her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen in 2000. She was particularly satisfied with Norwegian teaching methods, because they encourage interactive teaching. “It breaks the monotony. In Uganda the lecturer gives everything and students take notes. In the end you have a graduate who cannot analyse issues, who cannot sustain a debate. We produce graduates who are unable to stand before an audience, because they have not been exposed to that sort of system. In Norway I learnt to give people a chance in a learning environment through interaction and to develop their skills as learners. You learn to read and interpret; not just to read and store.” 42/NFN CONFERENCE


For the first time in Europe, a model contract for intellectual property rights (IPR) has been drawn up specifically to address the needs of cooperating research institutions in the North and the South. Intellectual property rights regulate the legal ownership to intellectual work, such as music, texts and research results. In research projects that involve more than one researcher or institution, the question of rights to exploit or commercialise the research findings is important.

Poverty First

We may not have the capacity to eradicate poverty, because development programmes implemented in Africa are often not determined by us.

Defining Ownership

Morten Øien, Senior Legal Adviser at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is a specialist in the field of AngloAmerican Contract Law and has substantial practical experience in the handling of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the higher education sector. For the past year, he has been engaged as the leader of a project group that has drawn up a model document and guidelines for regulating intellectual property rights for the NUFU programme.

Contractual freedom “What characterises intellectual property right regulations in general is that they are flexible and encompass a large degree of contractual freedom,” says Øien. “The partners can largely extent define the content of the agreement. The purpose of developing the NUFU model document was to provide a practical tool for the institutions involved. What has been produced? What are the results? Different kinds of rights are involved in different cases. When researchers produce reports, their institutions already have well-established publishing practices. Today, the use of technology like the World Wide Web makes questions of IPR much more pressing. For instance, if developing a database is part of the project, who should have the legal right to make a profit from it? The NUFU model document leaves a great deal of freedom for the partners to agree on specific terms, depending on the nature of the project and the results produced as a result of it.” The guidelines and model document are designed to be tools for cooperating institutions within the programme. The aim is not to create a set of rules, but to support the development of agreements between collaborating institutions. These agreements should respect IPR regulations in the institutions as well as national and international IPR legislation. The documents address a number of areas that can involve conflicts of IPR, including ownership, access rights, protection of results and the rights of researchers and other contributors during the project and after its termination. The language and form of the model document has largely been inspired by existing model consortium agreements used in the EU Commission’s 6th Framework Programme–because this system and its terms are already familiar to many researchers and institutions.

UNIVERSITY LECTURER/Former Norad fellow Doris Kakuru Muhwezi is a lecturer at the Makerere University. Photo/private

Priority to South institutions “Where two or more institutions from different nations are involved, as is the case for projects in the NUFU programme, some particularly difficult areas of the negotiations need to be agreed upon before signing a contract, such as which national law should apply or where arbitration will take place in the case of conflicts,” Øien says. “When it comes to the question of disagreements, we have deliberately not made any model ‘rules’. Conflicts should be solved through negotiations between the partner institutions.”

The purpose of developing the NUFU model document was to provide a practical tool for the institutions involved. What has been produced? What are the results? Different kinds of rights are involved in different cases. The access rights in a research project usually give all participants equal and free access to what the other parties have produced in the course of the project, both during and after the project period. The aim of the NUFU programme–to contribute to the strengthening and transfer of technology production, competence and knowledge in the South–acts as an overarching guideline, and will be an important element in the interpretation of the agreements. Thus, the agreement is intended to support projects in giving priority to institutions in the South. “In Great Britain and the United States, there is a tradition for ‘entire contracts’ in which every possible case has a solution outlined,” he continues. “In the Nordic countries, we have a different tradition for contracts. They are interpreted in relation to the general situation and the particular circumstances, and are not as stringent as American contracts.” “As its title indicates, the NUFU model document is just that, a model to be used as a starting point when concrete collaboration agreements are being negotiated. In all such cases, the rights regime will have to strike the proper balance between private ownership and public use considerations,” concludes Øien. The NUFU model document and guidelines will be available from the next programme period, which starts in 2006.

IPR/Morten Øien is Senior Legal Adviser at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He leads the project group responsible for developing guidelines for intellectual property rights (IPR) in the NUFU programme. Photo/private IPR/43

TREE CLIMBING/The indigenous people of the Great Andanamese tribe knew exactly which trees would not be swept away and it was precisely those trees alone that stood their ground after the tsunami. (Picture taken at the Andaman Islands before the tsunami) Photo/Yves Cadour

Vanishing Voices


The indigenous people of the Andaman Islands knew just what to do when the tsunami washed over the islands. Professor of linguistics Anvita Abbi at the Jawaharlal Nehru University has been studying the languages of the islands for several years, and she spoke to the inhabitants about the terrifying day.

afloat for about two hours till the water receded and then we all moved onto higher land.” What is rather interesting in this survival story is that he knew exactly which tree would not be swept away and it was precisely that tree alone that stood its ground after the tsunami. He also knew that if he climbed the tree, the tree would not sustain the load. All other trees along the sea coast were uprooted by the ferocious currents but for the one on which he put the children. Some people who were at an escapable distance from the sea simply ran away from it.

Where are the Andaman islands and who are their inhabitants? Anvita Abbi (AA): The Andaman Islands consist of 257 islets running from north-west to south-east, south-east of the Indian subcontinent in the Bay of Bengal. The population of the Andaman Islands is approximately 200 000. Port Blair is the capital of this Union Territory of India, which lies about 1255 kilometres from Kolkata (Calcutta). Also known as the tail of India, these islands present a conundrum of nature’s surprises. They are a sociologist’s dream, an adventure tourist’s haven, a linguist’s challenge, a region of heavenly isolation and logistical nightmare. The indigenous population of the Andaman Islands is of Negrito origin, which represents perhaps the earliest settlements of modern humans. Surviving Andamanese tribes can be grouped into four major groups: the Great Andamanese, the Jarawa, the Onge and the Sentinelese. There are good genetic evidence and epigenetic data to suggest that these tribes have been isolated from other human groups until very recently, so much so that the Sentinelese has yet to come into contact with modern civilization. These tribes live in different islands or parts of the Andaman Islands. All of these ancient people face a serious threat of extinction as today they are only about 500 in number, the smallest being the Great Andamanese with a total population of 49.

Survived in the trees What did the population do to survive the tsunami? AA: Known as the so-called missing link between Africa and Australia, the Andamanese tribes survived the calamity, as they have presumably survived others for the past 75 000 years or so. But this time round we know how actually they did this. These hunters and gatherers were not very far from the sea that eventful 26th December morning. “I was on the sea side with about ten children. When I saw the first waves of water coming, I knew it was different. I made the children climb a tree nearby and as I was doing this I was caught by the water, and I soon realised that I had little choice but to keep swimming. I did so until the water receded as I myself could have gone to the higher land, but to do that I would have had to leave the children behind on the tree,” narrates Nao Junior, a senior member of the Great Andamanese tribe. “I kept myself 44/ANDAMAN ISLANDS

Peje, another elder member of the tribe, who would normally already have been in the jungle at that time, had stayed on to have his breakfast. “When I heard the vicious sound and felt the island moving, I could hardly stand up. I then saw the abnormally rising waves. I had never seen such a thing before. I asked everybody to move and we ran to the higher parts of the island,” he says of the unforgettable experience.

The indigenous population of the Andaman Islands is of Negrito origin, which represents perhaps the earliest settlements of modern humans. Some of the younger members of the tribe had gone to the other side of the Strait Island for a picnic the previous night, and when the earthquake struck they were baking turtle bones. They immediately ran to high ground and started looking around for others. Another of the tribes, the Jarawas, instantly knew that something completely new was about to happen and they ran away in good time and with such dexterity that most of them even carried their sparse belongings along to the safety of higher land. When the Earth shook, they believed that ghosts were shaking the trees, which was why the earth was shaking. This is actually their age-old understanding of earthquakes. Stories abound about how they survived the tsunami unscathed. One says the birds told them that the tsunami was coming. So they fired some arrows into the soil and escaped to higher ground. It may wither be a miracle or due to their natural resilience that all of them survived the destruction of tsunami. Most of them are reported to have either fled from the sea at the very outset of the first high waves, while those who could not make it to higher land kept swimming in the floodwater for hours or climbed trees till the water receded.

No material wealth What were the material damages on this area because of the tsunami? AA: When the tsunami hit the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal late last year, we scarcely noticed that the very roots of one of the

earliest human settlements, dating back to the pre-Neolithic age, and already facing a critical threat of extinction, were narrowly saved from what could have been a sudden wipe-out. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported from any of the tribes in the Andamans. Since all of these tribes of the Andaman Islands, in particular the Sentenelese, the Jarawa and the Onge, live close to nature and with minimum or no worldly goods, they did not have much to lose, in material terms, when the tsunami hit their habitats. Most badly affected, however, was Strait Island where most of the houses of the Great Andamanese were damaged by the earthquake and then flooded by the rising sea. All of their belongings, such as clothes, utensils, and some modern gadgets provided to them by the government, etc., were swept away. They were all brought to Port Blair on the December 30, where they have since been living in the official guesthouse for the tribes, Adi Basera. How can their survival be related to inherited “indigenous knowledge”? AA: Different tribes were in different parts of the island and have different stories. What all of these stories have in common is their intimate knowledge of nature, which came handy in helping them to survive the disaster. As reported above, most of them knew which tree would survive, so they climbed that particular tree, with even some elderly women having to do this (imagine an 80-year-old Great Andamanese woman, Boa Sr., climbing a tree). And it was exactly that tree alone that stood its ground during the tsunami. Those who happened to be at a safer distance from the sea could also predict about the likelihood of disturbances and upheavals in the sea at the very first stroke of the tremors which preceded the tsunami. This can only be attributed to an exclusive indigenous knowledge which these tribes seem to possess either subconsciously or on the basis of experience.

Stories abound about how they survived the tsunami unscathed. One says the birds told them that the tsunami was coming. So they fired some arrows into the soil and escaped to higher ground.

How is this kind of knowledge transferred from one generation to the next? Would you describe it as a tacit, kind of inhabited knowledge, or is it something that is consciously used in self-presentation, identityconstruction projects? AA: The transfer and presentation of this indigenous knowledge amongst these tribes can best be put as rather natural and quite uninhabited by them. There is apparently no great tradition of any formal mode or method of transfer of knowledge from one generation to another in these tribes. They primarily learn from their own daily existence and personal experience. Following the elders on a day to day basis seems to be the only possibility of learning, particularly when there are no distractions of a modern kind. Observing others seems to be the only definitive mode of learning. However, there are indications that those with some interaction with the modern world do try to emphasize their indigenous knowledge, which may be suggestive of self-representation and identity construction.

Indigenous knowledge What is the relationship between indigenous knowledge and scholarly knowledge of the island? Is it an intrinsic part of their daily life and of the general teaching process, or is it something taught in a different way? AA: There may not be anything about these tribes that can be regarded as scholarly in any sense of the word. Whatever they know can only be related to the nuances of their daily lives, which do not ANDAMAN ISLANDS/45

What all of these stories have in common is their intimate knowledge of nature, which came handy in helping them to survive the disaster. go beyond hunting and gathering. Most of these tribes live on bare minimum subsistence, which they draw from nature. Their economy does not even have a barter system. Every individual, except for the youngest children, is self-dependent. The tribes have certain strong beliefs that could be questioned by the external academic world, however, and that form a significant part of their existence. For instance, they keep the dead bodies of their children for six or seven days before they bury them. They believe that children need love even after parting and this is one “modern” explanation that they seem to have for this practice. Thus, all the knowledge that these tribes possess is very much an intrinsic part of their daily life, and the younger generation learns all these things naturally and without being specifically taught about them. Each elder teaches the younger generation. Ethnic revival projects concerning indigenous groups have been emerging all over the world during the past two decades. In what way, if any, would you say that the inhabitants of the Andaman Island form part of this kind of “global” movement? AA: Actually, the efforts which have been made to revive or protect these tribes in the Andaman Islands date back much further than the past couple of decades. Their survival today, however reduced, must be attributed to a conscious effort on the part of the Government

of India, which drew up strict regulations through the Protection of Aboriginal Tribe Regulation Act of 1956. There has been a conscious effort on the part of the authorities to keep these tribes as isolated from the modern world as much as possible. No outsiders can enter the tribal areas without official permission. All the same, there have been a number of policy anomalies which have invariably caused great damage to the professed cause. For instance, the Great Andamanese tribe, on the recommendation of anthropologist T. N. Pandit, was resettled on Strait Island in 1968. This was primarily done in order to keep the people isolated and thus save their culture from outside influences. But this is something the government has squarely failed to do. It has made this tribe so dependent on government allowances and modern medical help that it has almost completely lost its self-subsistent way of life, its indigenous knowledge, culture, and language. Therefore, it is a matter of great importance to evaluate the success of these policies in protecting the indigenous tribes of the Andaman Islands. Besides, in no way can this be said to be a part of the so called “global” movement of ethnic revival. Developments in these isolated far-off islands have been far distant from the global developments as such. No protection would actually be the best way to help these tribes protect themselves. This is something we seem to have forgotten.

Falling Down

Language of 20 People


“Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese” is primarily about documenting the highly endangered Great Andamanese language. The project aims at producing a detailed descriptive grammar, sociolinguistic description, trilingual dictionary in Great Andamanese, Hindi and English and an extensive archive of folklore, oral texts, and video recordings of the surviving 20 Great Andamanese speakers (the total number of members of the tribe is 49, but the rest do not speak the language), who lived on Strait Island but have now been moved to Adi Basera in Port Blair after the tsunami hit their native island.

Southeast Asia in particular. The nature of the grammar and the dictionary will give us an indication of the typological structure of the language, which in turn will facilitate the comparative study of Great Andamanese and the languages of Southeast Asia and those of Australia-New Guinea. As the research group are not sure of the direction of the pre-Neolithic spread, the study of Great Andamanese may bring some surprises, while the modern linguistic evidence may well have something to say about early human prehistory.

It is believed that the isolated Andamanese languages are spoken by the descendents of the aboriginal population of Southeast Asia and that they are now at a very critical stage. A pilot survey carried out by Professor Anvita Abbi in 2001–2002 confirmed that certain sounds and structures are used by only one or two speakers. This implies that once these speakers are gone we will lose all evidence of the ancient linguistic structure of Great Andamanese and the possibility of establishing its relationship to other languages of the world.

The project team consists of four researchers. Besides Professor Abbi, one postdoctoral research associate, Dr. Alok K Das, and two doctoral research assistants are currently working on the project, which is funded by the Hans Rausing Endangered Language Documentation Programme of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and is being carried out at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. This is a three-year project which started in November 2004.

When completed, the ongoing study will answer many questions relating to the history of population in the world in general, and


GRADUATION/ Even as Zimbabwe is falling apart, nothing beats the self-assurance of a newly-capped graduate.

Another warm day, but a special one for the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), the country’s oldest institution of higher learning. The university’s chancellor, President Robert Mugabe, is due to cap another group of students who are receiving their degrees and advanced diplomas. Security is always tight around Mugabe. But this time it seems tighter than usual as soldiers and policemen, some on horseback, patrol the vicinity of the university grounds where the graduation ceremony is due to take place. Because of the large numbers of students earning degrees each year, the university’s “Great Hall” is now too small for such ceremonies, a tangible testimonyto the success of the government’s “education for all” policy since independence in 1980. Clearly, such an illustrious record played no small part in the UZ being, for many years, the University of Oslo’s main partner institution in the South. This time, however, graduation day is clouded by reports that lecturers have resolved to stage a demonstration to protest their low

salaries and worsening conditions of service. But as it turns out, the demo has been a false alarm. Perhaps the presence of the police– notorious for crushing even the most peaceful of civic protests–dissuaded the protesters.

Prestige on the wane During the past few years, the prestige previously associated with attaining a degree from the UZ has been waning. Standards have taken a plunge, as has the Zimbabwean economy, which previously guaranteed fairly good jobs for those with degrees. No faculty has been spared the exodus of lectures and the general diminution of resources.

The success of the programme was also its downfall. Because of such problems, co-operation between UZ and the University of Oslo, which was funded through Norad and continued through the NUFU programme, has been scaled down. However, Media and Communication Studies, one department that owes much of its existence to collaboration with its equivalent at the University of Oslo, is still looking to the future. Professor Helge Rønning at the University of Oslo has been at the forefront of the inter-university cooperation. He says its most important outcome was creating the MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE/47

LONG-TERM VIEW/A youth group polishes its act at Radio Dialogue, a community radio station. Zimbabwe has no independent broadcasting and this is unlikely to change soon. But Radio Dialogue is taking the long-term view. Since it cannot obtain a broadcasting licence, its main work at the moment is helping aspiring artists to record and market their music. The group pictured was preparing for a roadshow on which the radio station highlights community problems, such as HIV-AIDS, through song.

Varsity Times, the UZ newspaper which is produced by the department has not appeared for the past three years. The department’s subscription to satellite TV for international news has also not been renewed in as many years. Even worse, the programme is failing to retain–or attract–staff. “What we are simply doing is training for other institutions,” says Webster Muonwa, one of five lecturers. (Of these, two are on leave and it is not known if they will come back). He says the expectation was that a core of the MA and PhD students would come back to teach. But due to deteriorating conditions characterized by uncompetitive salaries, lack of money for research and an above average workload that leaves no time for such research, many, like Winston Mano, have not found the prospect appealing. DRACONIAN LAW/Zimbabwean journalists vote at the annual general meeting of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). The government has insisted that MISA register under the draconian media law, AIPPA. But MISA has been fighting this requirement. The Norwegian Association of Journalists is among MISA’s sponsors.

foundations of media research in Zimbabwe as well as elevating media studies to a university-level academic discipline.

During the past years, the prestige previously associated with attaining a degree from the UZ has been waning. Standards have taken a plunge, as has the Zimbabwean economy, which previously guaranteed fairly good jobs for those with degrees. Need to publish, need to research Having recently completed his Masters at the University of Oslo and a PhD in the UK, Mano has since decided to extend his stay in Britain where he is a lecturer at the University of Westminster in London. “I’d very much like to come back to Zimbabwe but not in the immediate future,” he says. “I need to publish and do research.”

Among its major achievements, the department has spawned media research at Zimbabwe’s younger universities. Despite difficulties due to the political climate in the country, the department sees itself as continuing to offer higher-level media and communication studies to undergraduates from these other institutions.

Nestled in a nondescript building in the Department of English, the Media and Communication Studies programme began in 1993 with a one-year post-graduate course. In 1998 a two-year Master’s degree was introduced with Norwegian collaboration.

Visiting Norwegian researchers, who helped relieve some of the pressure by teaching courses, have since stopped coming. Mano says before the end of the link with the University of Oslo, Professor Rønning, whom he describes as “well-connected in Scandinavia and pivotal in ensuring that the programme got funding”, had sought to raise top-up salaries for the teaching staff.

As one of the lecturers, Tendai Chari, explains in a cluttered office shared by two other lecturers, the emphasis of the programme has been to look beyond journalism’s five Ws and an H (what, who, where, why, when and how) and produce graduates with more than a basic grasp of media policy, graduates who would be capable of rising to the highest levels of their profession.

Nevertheless, Mano feels that despite such challenges the department is merely a victim of its own accomplishments. “The success of the programme was also its downfall,” he says, adding Norwegian funding seems to have been shifted to the UZ’s new priority disciplines, such as mathematics, because the media studies department is seen as having achieved its main goals.

Both the diploma and the MA programmes are full-time, and include twelve teaching weeks per year. At present, eight students are reading for the diploma and four for the MA. The average numbers during the past few years have been ten diploma students and five in the MA programme. But the funding squeeze has affected more than student numbers.

“It’s had a double-edged impact on journalism and academia,” says Mano–much to the agreement of Chari and Muonwa.

Training for others


LAST EDITION/Winston Mano, looking at the last edition of the university newspaper. The paper has not been published since co-operation with the University of Oslo ended four years ago.

Professor Rønning says collaboration with the University of Oslo showed it was possible to establish academic cooperation on a mutual basis from which both parties could benefit. “Unfortunately,”

he adds, “due to certain circumstances, not least the crisis at UZ, but also lack of continuous funding from the Norwegian NUFU programme, the cooperation has not been followed up to the same degree as before, but contact between the two parties is still being maintained.”

Make sense of the media However, thanks largely to cooperation, the country has a core group of academics who are able to make sense of the media situation in Zimbabwe. The only independent daily newspaper in the country was closed two years ago. Through its broadcast monopoly and control of most of the print media, the state churns out daily doses of propaganda and vitriol aimed at rubbishing the opposition and its other perceived enemies, particularly US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Aside from closely following these developments, both faculty and alumni in the Media and Communication Studies department have pondered over the findings of a recent poll which showed that trust in the president has more than doubled since 1999, despite increased political repression, a less than successful land reform programme and rising poverty levels. The pollsters said although certain Zimbabweans have benefited from ruling party patronage and are likely to support the status quo, Mugabe’s higher approval rating could mostly be ascribed to state propaganda. The poll found that 46 per cent of Zimbabweans now trust Mugabe, compared to 20 per cent in 1999 when a previous survey was conducted. The poll was conducted by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development and Michigan State University in the United States. It forms part of the ‘Afro Barometer’ project, which surveys political, social and economic trends in 16 African countries. Nkosi Ndlela, a former UZ student who is now associate professor of media and studies at Hedmark University College in Norway, says in an environment like Zimbabwe’s, where freedom of expression is restricted, the state-controlled media, together with other state institutions, have inhibited the development of genuine public opinMEDIA IN ZIMBABWE/49

Since the majority relies on the state-owned media for information, the public is not only less informed but also misinformed. ion. And since the majority relies on the state-owned media for information, the public is not only less informed but also misinformed.

Losing faith in democracy Among its other findings, the poll indicates that Zimbabweans are also losing faith in democracy. Growing numbers of Zimbabweans appear to be acquiescing in the notion of one-party rule. Fifty-eight per cent of respondents in the poll said they rejected the idea–down from 74 per cent five years ago. Seventy-five per cent said competition between political parties led to conflict–something that might explain the decision of 51 per cent not to align themselves with either the ruling party or the opposition.

Professor Rønning says that in Zimbabwe what we are seeing is the development of a “corporative state” that aims to bring all independent institutions–such as the press and civic organizations–under its control. This, he says, is a model long since perfected in fascist states like Italy under Benito Mussolini, Portugal under Salazar, and Spain under Franco, as well as Chile under Pinochet. “Free media are necessary for providing citizens with alternative views on developments and different interpretations of what is happening in society,” Professor Rønning says. “Free media serve as watchdogs for the rights of citizens.” Ndlela says in Zimbabwe the media landscape is a microcosm of the polarised political climate and the general power struggle in the country. Yet, taking academic collaboration to a higher level, what could the Scandinavian media experience offer a country like Zimbabwe? “First of all,” says Professor Rønning,“the realisation that strong, editorially independent, true public service broadcasters are a prerequisite for democracy, and that broadcasting must never be used as a propaganda machine for authoritarian governments.” But as he presides over the graduation ceremony as he has done for the past 24 years, Mugabe is unlikely to regard his own government as autocratic.


Norway is the only country with an established scholarship programme for academics from Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. “Why are there no Tibetans in our universities?” asked a Hong Kong professor recently, and with good reason. Few students go from the TAR to the universities of the coastal cities of China, and even fewer go abroad. Western China is the least developed area of all China, and Tibetans are the least well educated of all minority groups in today’s China. In 1994 the Network for University Cooperation Tibet-Norway was established; partially in response to the underdeveloped state of higher education and research institutions of TAR. At that time there were no academics in Tibet University or the Tibet Academy of Social Science with a PhD degree and only a few with an MA.

Wilson Johwa is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa.

NO FREE VOICE/The Daily News, which was closed down on September 11, 2003. The paper was shut down after losing a court battle in which the constitutionality of a new media law was challenged. But it had long been a pain in the neck for the government, which viewed it as pro-opposition. Its offices had already been bombed twice in two years. The reporter in the photo has since moved to Washington, where he works for VOA’s Zimbabwe programme.

Zimbabwean Editor to the University of Oslo

Nyarota, who is currently a research fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the JF Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will be a guest professor for six months at the IMK, a position funded by the Freedom of Expression Foundation in Oslo. Geoffrey Nyarota has been harassed, jailed and persecuted constantly during the past few years in Zimbabwe. After independence 50/MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE

The network, financed by Norad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Research Council of Norway as well as the participating Norwegian institutions, is trying to change this situation through its scholarship and research programmes. The network recently celebrated its 10th anniversary at the University of Oslo.

From theory to practice The programme has provided more modern equipment for research in TAR, but La Duo emphasizes most of all how the growth of academic knowledge provides a more scientific approach in the Tibetan academic community; a shift from theoretical examples to practice in the field, from merely writing on the black board to live classroom discussions and active students, and from building on earlier literature to gathering new empirical data. The programme is also empowering Tibetan research on Tibetan issues, producing much-needed knowledge for the development of TAR, and also for the whole scientific world. “An important part of the scholarship programme is its close ties to the network’s research programme,” says Ingela Flatin. The idea is the scholars can maintain links with the research community in Norway when they return to their relatively isolated institutions and in this way get constant academic ‘refill’. The programme also provides research links with other institutions like Tribhuvan University in Nepal, Harvard University in the USA and the University of Marburg in Germany, as Flatin points out. Henrik Pryser Libell is a student and freelance journalist based in Oslo, Norway

60 Tibetans In the course of the past ten years, 60 Tibetans have studied in Norway with support from the network and the Norwegian government Quota programme. So far two of them have received PhDs, and a further 25, MAs. The Chinese government applaud the programme and is helping to facilitate it. The programme has meant a jumpstart to the government’s plans to expand and upgrade Tibet University.


The founding Editor-in-Chief of the now banned newspaper the Daily News in Zimbabwe, Geoffrey Nyarota, will be a visiting professor at the Department of Media and Communication (IMK) at the University of Oslo from September 2005.

“Tibet University was more of a teachers’ college, but it is gradually turning into a research-based higher education institution,” says Ingela Flatin, the Norwegian programme coordinator, surrounded by English-Tibetan-Chinese dictionaries, atlases of Lhasa paintings of wild mountain animals in her university office in Oslo.

try. With my MSc from Norway, I was able to sit in such a committee, as the only Tibetan,” says La Duo to Global Knowledge.

in 1980, he became the editor of the government newspaper, The Chronicle, in which he exposed state corruption in 1988. Geoffrey Nyarota founded Zimbabwe’s only independent newspaper, the Daily News, in 1999. It quickly grew to be the biggest daily newspaper in Zimbabwe. In 2002 Nyarota was fired, and in 2003 the newspaper was suspended by the Zimbabwean government. Professor Helge Rønning writes: “One may wonder what makes him and other equally courageous journalists in Africa take on the battles that they do. Maybe some of the answer can be found in what he once wrote me about the need and obligation of a journalist to try to tell what is happening in a society in a truthful manner, in order not ‘to conceal the truth from the same public for whose sake we sacrified so much to keep informed’, and that a journalist must be prepared suffer for the sake of principles.”

Most MAs and PhDs taken by teachers and researchers at Tibet University and the Tibet Academy of Social Science are taken in Norway. One of the network alumni is La Duo. He first came to Norway six years ago, when he took an MA course in biology at the University of Bergen. After returning to Tibet he continued to teach students and future educators at Tibet University, and later went on to specialize at the Chinese Academy of Science. He has been carrying out biological studies of the complex natural environment of Tibet, and has also helped Norwegian researchers to investigate the climate and the unique nature of the Tibetan highlands. La Duo is now back in Norway to acquire a PhD in biology, studying environmental and climatic change in Tibet. “When China was setting up a committee on biodiversity in China, Beijing needed academics to cover the special regions of the coun-

MOUNTAIN SCHOLARS/La Duo is studying for a PhD in biology at the University of Bergen, on the Tibetan high-altitude mountain climate, while Bianba is taking a MA in International Community Health at the University of Oslo, on High-Altitude Physiological Research in Tibet. They both bring new skills from the “low” mountain country of Norway to their home on the roof of the world in the Tibet Autonomous Region. NORWAY - TIBET COLLABORATION/51


Wealthy nations have adopted selective immigration policies to attract skilled people and keep the unskilled out. The result is that poor countries are losing their best brains at a rapid rate. It has been going on for decades. Every year thousands of highly skilled women and men from the South pack their bags and leave family and friends to take up more attractive professional positions in the North. “Poor countries are subsidising rich countries,” says Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. She is due to publish a book on the issue of contemporary African migrations later this year, and is seriously worried about the effects of the brain drain. The trend is definitely not about to end, to judge by a 2005 report on international migration from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): In Caribbean countries such as Guyana and Jamaica more than 80 per cent of the well-educated now live abroad in one of the 29 wealthy member countries of the OECD, mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Emigration of the highly skilled is also quite significant in Central America but more moderate in Asia, according to the report.

Leaving Africa Overall, the nations of Sub-Saharan Africa have particularly high emigration rates. Roughly half of all highly skilled persons from Mauritius, Angola and Mozambique live in an OECD country. The rates in Ghana and Tanzania are around 40 per cent, while 36 per cent of highly qualified persons from Uganda and Kenya earn their livings far away from home.

600 000 scientists and engineers are working in research and development in the North, which is one-third of the total scientific and technical community of the southern countries. The OECD statistics echo previous surveys made by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva. In 2002 it was estimated that 300,000 professionals from the African continent live and work in North America or Europe. In 2004 a survey conducted at the request of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs found that ten per cent of all African students study abroad. France is the leading host country for African students, with 34 per cent, followed by the US, the UK and Germany, which host 13 per cent each. In France, 75 per cent of all students from developing and emerging countries are from Africa, and African students represent 12 per cent of all PhDs awarded in France.


According to the report’s estimates, 600 000 scientists and engineers are working in research and development in the North, which is one-third of the total scientific and technical community of the southern countries. The UN is aiming for universal primary education, a halving of extreme poverty, and a two-thirds reduction in infant mortality in the world by 2015. But hopes of economic growth, improved public services and less suffering are being diminished by the brain drain, not least in Africa where emigration hits the health sector hard. While HIV/AIDS, malaria and malnutrition continue to kill millions, more health personnel are leaving their difficult and low-paid jobs to work for hospitals and clinics in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and other countries. “The impact on society is so much greater when the highly skilled emigrate, and it is possible that there will be a reversal of some of the developmental gains we have made. The UN millennium development goals will not be met if we cannot assure adequate health services,” says Professor Manuh.

Running empty Ghana is about to run empty of medical professionals. Statistics from 2004 show that 3000 nurses moved away from Ghana between 1998 and 2003. Most of them headed for the UK or the US. “It is estimated that there are about 2000 Ghanaian doctors in the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Germany. In Ghana we have 633,” Manuh says. A report published in Health Policy in 2004, cited in the British Medical Journal, states that Ghana has lost around USD 60 million in investment in training doctors since 1951. India has lost as much as five billion dollars. So why do the educated elite not stay to build their countries and support their less resourceful inhabitants? Well, who wouldn’t be tempted by an offer of earning ten times more than before? The wage gap between the rich and the poor countries and simply the desire for a better life are obviously essential factors explaining the brain drain. For many, difficult working conditions, corruption and oppressive political regimes add to the motivation. However, it is the sharp rise in demand for qualified workers and the matching policies of the rich nations which above all propel the current development.

Growing old First, the large post-war generation in the Western world is growing old, and they have produced too few children to replace themselves – or to take care of them. Ten to fifteen years from now, the age wave will inevitably accelerate what is already a growing demand for medical personnel. Secondly, as the OECD report points out, the development of information technology and other knowledge-based industries increases the role of human capital in economic growth.

Large countries, such as the US and the UK, have long had programmes to recruit professionals from abroad. While public debate often tends to focus on the problem of illegal immigration and the need for restrictive policies, the highly skilled immigrants are more than welcome. “Competition is keen among OECD member countries to attract the human resources they lack,” states the OECD report. During the 1990s many countries changed their policies in order to attract the skilled and to integrate foreign students into the labour market. Some launched new recruitment programmes, such as Norway and the United Kingdom. Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria and Korea now offer large tax deductions for the highly skilled people who are in most demand. At the same time, immigration policies in general have become tighter in an effort to prevent the entrance of the low-skilled and unskilled. That means they often have no option but to resort to illegal immigration in order to escape poverty.

Sending money home “It is all very hypocritical,” Professor Manuh says. Her indignation with regard to selective immigration policies and the draining of the health sector in southern countries is shared by many in the UK. As a result the government has imposed restrictions on its own recruitment policies. “But these do not apply to the private sector. In reality, recruitment has simply been outsourced,” Professor Manuh claims. According to an article in the British newspaper The Guardian, she is right. More than 7000 African nurses have been registered to work in Britain since the new codes came into effect in 2001. Paradoxically, in Kenya a third of all nurses are unemployed. Because of an “employment embargo” in the public sector imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) some countries cannot employ all their nurses, even though they are very much needed. The most experienced nurses leave to work in wealthy countries or even for international organizations involved in aid and development, the newspaper reports. Of course, not all expatriates would have a job to go to if they stayed on. And it is not all bad for poor countries to send their highly skilled people abroad, primarily because emigrants send money home. The World Bank has estimated global remittances at 200 to 300 billion US dollars a year, far exceeding what is spent on developmental aid. But reliable estimates of the cost of emigration are hard to find. Professor Manuh fears that the drain is much bigger than the gain.

Serious challenges So does Dr. Jean-Baptiste Meyer. He is a socio-economist at France’s Institute of Research for Development and an expert on the brain drain who helped to produce the report to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One way of improving the situation, according to Dr. Meyer, would be to globalise intellectual exchange so that cooperation benefits both the South and the North. “The state must support the development of intellectual capital in poorer countries,” he says. His expert colleagues behind the French report call for Euro-

MIGRATING MINDS/While skilled immigrants are more than welcome to wealthy nations in the North, the poor often have no option but to resort to illegal immigration to escape poverty. “It is all very hypocritical,” says Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana.

pean countries to establish “flexible forms of support” to empower actors in both host countries and home countries. Professor Manuh has similar ideas. “Countries in the North and the South should recognise their needs openly in order to allow policymakers to draw up better working regulations,” she says.

During the 1990s many countries changed their policies in order to attract the skilled and to integrate foreign students into the labour market. Some launched new recruitment programmes, such as Norway and the United Kingdom. It does not take a genius to understand that some serious challenges lie ahead. By 2010 the EU plans to become the leading knowledgebased economy in the world, according to the Lisbon Declaration. For this 700 000 new researchers will have to be recruited, many of them from outside Europe. The United States, Australia, Japan and other competitors will naturally do their best to outdo the EU. That means that the exodus of the educated will not stop unless serious political steps are taken by governments of the North. “When we know that in Africa, the scientific and technical system is in tatters, we cannot permit this situation to continue,” concludes Dr. Meyer.


The Politics of Land and Livestock

Land reform and carrying capacity

TOR A. BENJAMINSEN/Associate Professor at Noragric, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences RICK ROHDE/Researcher at the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the Univeristy of Western Cape, South Africa ESPEN SJAASTAD/Associate Professor at Noragric POUL WISBORG/Research fellow at Noragric TOM LEBERT/Master’s degree student at PLAAS

In the history of South Africa, land has been a contentious issue since the time of colonisation and apartheid until the transition to democracy. In rangeland management, the notion of carrying capacity has played a central part in the country’s history of environmental conservation and agricultural modernisation. The Betterment programme from the 1940s involved calculation of carrying capacities in large stock units (LSU) and the culling of stocks to match these (Beinart 1984, Jacobs 2003). While conservation policies in Africa and also in South Africa have moved from the coercive conservation of colonial days towards community-based approaches, at least at the rhetorical level (Hulme and Murphree 2001; Dzingirai 2003), the view that livestock keepers need to adhere to a defined carrying capacity in order to conserve rangeland resources and to achieve economic development remains pervasive.

While policy-makers and extension services usually see carrying capacity as a purely technical issue, we argue that this is insufficient in the present context of resilient rangelands, vulnerable livelihoods, and past injustices. In this paper, we discuss the politics of carrying capacity in the implementation of land reform in Namaqualand, a semi-arid area on the border with Namibia. This issue is not restricted to the disciplines of ecology and range science. It also involves a wider discussion that links environmental issues to economic constraints, land rights, social justice and values. While policy-makers and extension services usually see carrying capacity as a purely technical issue, we argue that this is insufficient in the present context of resilient rangelands, vulnerable livelihoods, and past injustices. This paper is based on an on-going research project in Namaqualand involving the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape and the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Namaqualand Namaqualand is located in the northwest corner of South Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west and Namibia and the Orange River in the north. Towards the east are the plains of the Bushmanland, a desert shrub land, which receives patchy and 54/ACADEMIC ESSAY

unpredictable summer rainfall (100-200 mm). Due to topographical variation the vegetation or veld comprises different types: Namaqualand Broken Veld, Succulent Karoo, False Succulent Karoo and Mountain Renosterveld (Acocks 1975). Of the 4849 plant species registered in the Succulent Karoo, 1940 are endemic to the area (Myers et al. 2000). In fact, due to its high endemic biodiversity, the Succulent Karoo has been identified as one of 25 global “biodiversity hotspots”, implying “exceptional concentrations of endemic species … undergoing exceptional loss of habitat” (Myers et al. 2000, 853). The name of Namaqualand derives from the Nama or Nama-khoi people who together with the San originally occupied and used this region. European explorers visited Namaqualand in the 1660s and trekboere – migrating European pastoralists – entered Namaqualand from the early 18th century onwards. The region was annexed to the Cape Colony in 1798 (to the Buffels River) and in 1847 (to the Orange River). Land dispossession, diseases and economic exploitation gradually undermined Nama society and by the beginning of the 19th century the Nama were largely a landless proletariat, making mission stations their only places of refuge (Boonzaier et al. 1996). The Namaqualand “communal areas” were based on “Tickets of Occupation” granted to mission stations and resident populations who were trying to protect themselves against dispossession and exploitation. Government maintained these “rural reserves” or “coloured reserves” through the 20th century as reservoirs of labour for Namaqualand’s cyclical mining and farming economy. Namaqualand today comprises about 48,000 square kilometers and 70 000 inhabitants. Around 30,000 people live in the six “communal areas” (formerly “coloured reserves”) of Richtersveld, Steinkopf, Concordia, Komaggas, Pella and Leliefontein. The major land uses are extensive livestock farming, mining and conservation, in addition to irrigated high-value commercial agriculture along the Orange River. Less than 700 private farms, almost exclusively owned by “whites”, cover 52 per cent of Namaqualand. Land reform through redistribution of farmland in 1996–2000 has added 245 550 hectares to communal areas, so that these currently make up thirty percent of Namaqualand. In the six communal areas an estimated 2000 households use the commons for livestock and dryland crop farming, usually as a source of income to supplement wage labour and state welfare.

Since 1990, ANC’s Land Committee has responded to the needs of rural communities and civil society, ultimately giving land a prominent place in key policy documents. The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), the ANC’s 1994 election platform and later official policy, held that land reform should be the “central and driving force of a programme of rural development” (ANC 1994, 1920). Land policy debates were interwoven with the negotiation of the Constitution. Section 25 of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution (1996), “the property clause”, seeks to balance the protection of existing property rights against a mandate for land reform. It commits government to ensure equitable access to land, provide tenure security or comparable redress, and offer restitution to people who have lost land due to racial discrimination since 1913. The White Paper on South African Land Policy stresses that government must address the injustices of the past with special attention to basic human needs, marginalized groups and women. Economic viability and environmental sustainability must be ensured through local planning (DLA 1997). Carrying capacity in its most basic definition determines the maximum livestock or wildlife population that a habitat or ecosystem can support on a sustainable basis. In livestock production, the concept was developed in order to manage temperate livestock production systems, but it has also been applied to the management of the arid and semi-arid rangeland regions of the world and especially to pastoral systems in Africa. The concept has provided a planning and management tool that has formed the basis of many development interventions designed to ensure the continued sustainable exploitation of rangeland ecosystems (Dijkman 1993). The concept is based on the assumption that plants and animals are in a state of balance or equilibrium. Any notion of carrying capacity, be it ecological or economic, is predicated on the notion that livestock production is determined by the availability of forage and that the availability of forage is a function of herbivory and climate, especially rainfall. Calculations of carrying capacity are based on assumptions of stable plant growth and predictable plant succession under a certain level of grazing in order to eventually produce a stable equilibrium between animal productivity and plant populations. Put simply, an appropriate stocking rate will result in a balance of the opposite forces of grazing pressure and vegetation succession. Such deterministic models are generally suitable for stable environments, in which conditions of plant growth and reproduction are stable and reliable. However, such stable equilibria seldom occur in African drylands (Sandford 1983; Behnke, Scoones and Kerven 1993; Scoones 1994). In non-equilibrium systems, external factors such as climate, rather than livestock numbers, tend to determine vegetation composition and cover. Moreover, the unavailability of forage in bad years may depress livestock populations to the point where the impact of grazing on vegetation is minimal (Sullivan and Rohde 2002). Thus, in areas of fluctuating climates, rainfall rather than density-dependent factors related to herbivore numbers may ultimately be the most significant variable determining herbivore populations. Rangelands such as the Sahel in West Africa, with its short rainy season and domination of annual grass species, would be a typical example of a highly non-equilibrial sys-

tem. However there is considerable discussion and uncertainty about the extent to which southern African rangelands such as the Succulent Karoo can be described in terms of disequilibrium and resilience (Hoffman et al. 1999; Illius and O’Connor 1999; Todd and Hoffman 1999; Sullivan and Rohde 2002; Riginos and Hoffman 2003).

Farming on communal land Farmers in communal areas and farmers on private farms in Namaqualand operate within the same ecological environment, but with contrasting management aims. The former continue to use a system of livestock husbandry based on kraaling and some stockpost mobility, in contrast to the paddock or “camp” system used by farmers on private land. Kraaling is a traditional and rational way of using unfenced rangeland by multiple herds. Individual farmers move with their grazing animals during the day and return them to a pen at a stock post each night. Stock posts can be moved to take advantage of better grazing conditions elsewhere. Traditionally, rangeland management was dependent on seasonal transhumance and periodic migration in order to maximise the grazing potential of herds, which fluctuated in size in response to climatic events. Kraaling is usually characterised as a labour-intensive, risk-averse strategy on open rangeland utilised by many separate herds. Co-herding is common, particularly by permitting smaller numbers of livestock to follow the herd of a relative or friend. Some farmers employ paid herders from within or outside the community. For most farmers in communal areas, livestock farming is just one of several livelihood sources, which often also encompass wage labour, remittances, pensions and social security. Some of these sources are insecure, and livestock herds represent a hedge against fluctuations in other incomes – as a “bank account” that they can dip into to make up for regular seasonal shortages or as a safety net when other sources fail. Namaqualand’s communal livestock farming sector thus has several production objectives: milk and meat are important elements in household food security, sheep and goats provide capital storage, insurance, and cash income, while donkeys provide draught power for transport and crop operations (Anseeuw et al. 2001; Rohde, Hoffman and Allsopp 2003). Livestock densities vary considerably from year to year depending on climatic conditions, and fluctuate between four and fourteen hectares per small stock unit (SSU).

Farming on private land Privately owned “commercial” farms in Namaqualand are typically between 4,000 and 12,000 hectares in size. Here the stocking rates vary between 10 and 14 hectares per SSU depending on landscape vegetation characteristics rather than on climatic fluctuations. In the camp system, fenced portions of rangeland are managed by individual farmers whose animals are left unattended in paddocks, both day and night. Camping is relatively capital-intensive, with low labour input. The disparities in wealth between “coloured” and “white” farmers in Namaqualand is a legacy of apartheid policies that provided white farmers with abundant land, subsidies, soft loans, grants for fencing and infrastructure, debt-relief, drought assistance, and market-

The name of Namaqualand derives from the Nama or Nama-khoi people who together with the San originally occupied and used this region. ACADEMIC ESSAY/55

ing support. In addition, stocking levels on private farms were directly influenced by government de-stocking incentives. The national stock reduction scheme (1969–1978) came into being largely in response to the perception of land degradation across the Karoo (Hoffman and Ashwell 2001). Several commissions of enquiry into the effects of drought (1923) and desert encroachment (1948) added weight to the idea that remedial steps were necessary to halt unsustainable rangeland use largely through overstocking. Compensation was paid to participating farmers, primarily large herd owners, who could afford to reduce livestock numbers without seriously affecting their incomes. Follow-up research at the end of the scheme showed no significant improvement in veld condition or livestock production coefficients (Baard 1978). Both colonial and apartheid polices deliberately restricted the ability of farmers in communal areas to survive from agricultural activity alone, among other things, by limiting access to land and markets in order to increase the supply of cheap labour. By confining many farmers to small communal “reserves” and curtailing opportunities for seasonal transhumance, peasant agriculture became a relatively unimportant activity among a suite of livelihood options such as lowpaid wage labour in Namaqualand’s commercial farming and mining sectors. As a result, many families adopted livelihood strategies that included, but did not entirely depend upon, a low input, limited capital, and labour-intensive livestock farming system. Agricultural policies in Southern Africa, even in the context of communal areas, have been dominated by the thinking behind the “commercial” farming model (Boonzaier 1987; Abel and Blaikie 1989; Weiner 1989; Barrett 1992; Scoones 1992). South African “commercial” agricultural subsidies ceased in 1996. But there remains a strong conviction among agricultural extension officers, range scientists and the policy makers that stocking rate guidelines are the most effective tool in sustainable livestock farming. Policy-makers perceive the communal farming sector as inefficient and communal rangelands as overstocked. These rangelands tend to have lower lambing rates, are more vulnerable to droughts and have a somewhat lower economic output per hectare than private farms. Agricultural policies tend to focus on the control of stock numbers within a defined economic carrying capacity in order to increase the productivity of each individual animal and to “cushion” the output from shocks such as drought. The concept of “overgrazing” is defined in these terms. But livestock farmers in communal areas fiercely resist stocking rate restrictions, believing that these will only lead to greater livelihood insecurity and further impoverishment.

Livestock herds represent a hedge against fluctuations in other incomes–as a “bank account” that they can dip into to make up for regular seasonal shortages or as a safety net when other sources fail. The communal farming system in Namaqualand has been perceived as both environmentally degrading and economically inefficient, and has thus been the targetof reform by conservation interests as well as government planners and managers preoccupied with a particular type of economic development. Claims of environmental degradation originate in the visually powerful fence-line contrasts often found between private farms and communal areas and associated ideas of what a well-managed veld ought to look like. These differences in landscape quality and vegetation composition are obviously caused by different livestock densities and distribution of 56/ACADEMIC ESSAY

land resulting from the colonial and apartheid history of South Africa. However, there are no clear-cut answers to what “degradation” and “overstocking” actually imply. A debate about whether or not an area is degraded inevitably includes the interests, values and priorities of the actors involved. In addition, claims of economic inefficiency ignore the multiple objectives of livestock farmers in communal areas and the harsh economic realities that constrain their options. Rather than being attributable to institutional failures or “tragedies”, the management system and stocking densities found in the Namaqualand commons appear to be rational adaptations to particular local objectives, constraints, and needs.

Carrying capacity as a management tool Current recommended stocking levels in Namaqualand are based on a major survey undertaken in the late 1980s with the aim of identifying the carrying capacities of various types of veld in the area (Botha 1998; Scholes 1998). The survey resulted in a map of Namaqualand divided into a number of different units with corresponding carrying capacities. The average carrying capacity of Namaqualand was set at about sixty hectares per large stock unit (LSU) and ten hectares per small stock unit (SSU). The map produced from this survey is now used by the Department of Agriculture as a general guide to what the Namaqualand veld can tolerate in terms of grazing pressure. In this project, we have studied three of the communal areas in Namaqualand: Concordia, Pella and Leliefontein. These cases provide an empirical context to the politics of carrying capacity and its implications for environmental sustainability, social justice, and human development. The results are reported more in detail in Benjaminsen et al. (forthcoming). The case of Concordia, for instance, puts the claim of overstocking in historical perspective. Carrying capacity plays a central role in the recent management plan for Concordia, which was dated September 1999. Since the carrying capacity for Concordia is defined as ten hectares per SSU, it means that the total estimated carrying capacity for the communal area of Concordia would be about 7500 SSU. However, grazing pressure has been consistently above this level, except for one year (1972), during the 21 years for which data are available, including two years from as far back as 1909 and 1938. The notion that carrying capacities are of any relevance for the Concordia commonage seems questionable in light of the above data. How can stock numbers consistently exceed carrying capacities– sometimes by 300 to 400 per cent–over long time periods without exhibiting any evidence of an associated long-term decline? Data from Lelifontein show a similar history. The case from Pella contrasts local perceptions and practices with official views on appropriate stock numbers. ‘New farms’ received through redistribution are used in an attempt to teach carrying capacity planning. Because of the additional land, which has almost doubled the size of the Pella commonage, it was hoped that existing animals could be distributed over a wider area. Among farmers, the notion of carrying capacity is contested because small farmers defend a common right of access and consider individual stock limitations to be in conflict with communal values, while owners of larger herds are less supportive of regulations and stress their individual freedom to build a viable farm enterprise. The effect of the new com-

monage has occasionally also been the opposite of that intended by local government. The lack of infrastructure on the new farms entail a high degree of vulnerability to shocks, with the result that, during particularly dry spells, farmers licensed to use the new farms have been found to move their animals back to the old commonage, increasing livestock densities beyond pre-expansion levels. In Leliefontein, the dynamics of the use of new commonage illustrate a somewhat different point. Initially, a few wealthy and powerful individuals – members of local committees, often also better placed in terms of mobility – were given access to the new commonage, resulting in stock levels far below the suggested carrying capacity. The belief was that poorer livestock owners would be able to follow. Organic growth within these initial herds, however, quickly exhausted this “space” available below the stipulated carrying capacity. Moreover, the Commonage Committee is now committed to enforcing recommended stock limitations. Thus, in Leliefontein, the concept of carrying capacity is now being used to deny poorer communal farmers access to the benefits of the land reform.

Conclusions The technical approach of using carrying capacities in the implementation of land reform in the livestock keeping communal areas is problematic for three reasons. First, it perpetuates the colonial myth that the private ranch system is an ideal one, independent of disparate production goals and unequal economic opportunities and constraints. Second, it ignores evidence going back more than half a century, that the Namaqualand range is capable of sustaining livestock densities far greater than those recommended. Third, it privileges one particular perception of the ideal landscape at the expense of security of livelihood and poverty alleviation. Communal areas in South Africa seem to have been sustaining high stock numbers for decades (Tapson 1995; Vetter and Bond 1999; Ainslie 2002). So, why are high stocking densities a problem? And to whom are they a problem? As noted, ensuring a supply of cheap labour for the mining and “commercial” farming sectors was an important goal of apartheid. The prime measure in pursuit of this goal was the confinement of the indigenous population to reserves and homelands. But the policy of setting and implementing ceilings on stock in communal areas also contributed to this objective. The concept of carrying capacity, imported from temperate climes, allowed the apartheid government to limit the scope of communal farmers to develop independent livelihoods, while conveniently invoking narratives of long-term productivity and modernisation. The post-apartheid survival of a fixation on limiting stock numbers reflects its broad bureaucratic appeal, far beyond the realm of political manipulation: It represents a simple yet elegant technical tool, reducing complex natural processes to rudimentary arithmetic; it “objectifies” matters related to the sound use of natural resources, abstracting natural processes from social aspirations and differentiation; it readily provides a universal ideal against which real-world constellations can be measured in terms of their deviation. In doing all of these things, however, it panders to a disinclination to grapple with important, but often difficult questions of human constraints and motivations. In this view, the notion of investigating why communal farmers do things the way they do becomes trivial.

While available evidence appears to refute the idea that the land cannot support, in the long term, stock numbers well above the “carrying capacity”, concerns over the effects of grazing on plant composition and biodiversity may be much better founded. In this context, the issues concern the question of in whom the power to decide on the use and trajectory of the Namaqualand landscape should and shall be vested, and the problem of how significant local benefits from conservation can be secured.

The disparities in wealth between “coloured” and “white” farmers in Namaqualand is a legacy of apartheid policies that provided white farmers with abundant land, subsidies, soft loans, grants for fencing and infrastructure, debt-relief, drought assistance, and marketing support. The Constitution and various items of land reform legislation require new land governing institutions to be democratic and accountable to rights-holding members. This makes it incumbent on government to interpret and implement “carrying capacity” in a way that respects these principles. When communities are in charge of land governance they will have broadly shared interests in maintaining different aspects of land productivity. These may include attempts to regulate livestock numbers through incentives (facilitated market access) and disincentives (grazing fees, sanctions against absentee owners). The incentives and the autonomy in adopting them may be more important than fixing an output target. If such a target is not met, a democratic management institution will have to abandon it or lose credibility. Department of Agriculture policy presently provides some support for locally based institutions with finance, training, and equipment. At the same time it persists with the dogma of carrying capacity. We suggest that the institutional capacity and communal land management would have more success if it could be recognised that the continued insistence on the application of rigid carrying capacity rules and concepts is both inappropriate and counterproductive. References Abel, N.O.J. and Blaikie, P. 1989. Land degradation, stocking rates and conservation policies in the communal rangelands of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Land Degradation & Rehabilitation, 1: 101123. Acocks, J.P.H. 1975. Veld types of South Africa. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa. No. 40. Ainslie, A. 2002. Cattle ownership and production in the communal areas of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Cape Town: University of the Western Cape. PLAAS Research Report no. 10. ANC. 1994. RDP. Reconstruction and Development Programme. A Policy Framework. Johannesburg: African National Congress/ Umanyano Publications. Anseeuw, W., Laurent, C., Modiselle, S., Carstens, J., and van der Poll, S. 2001. Diversity of rural farming households and policy issues. An analysis based on a case study in the Northern Cape Province. African Insititute of South Africa – 2001 Conference. South Africa since 1994: Lessons and Prospects. Unpublished Conference Paper: Pretoria.


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Barrett, J.C. 1992. The economic role of cattle in communal farming systems in Zimbabwe. ODI Pastoral Development Network Paper 32b. London: Overseas Development Institute.

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Behnke, R. H., Scoones, I. and Kerven, C. (eds). 1993. Range ecology at disequilibrium. New models of natural variability and pastoral adaptation in African savannas. London: Overseas Development Institute & International Institute for Environment and Development.

Myers, N., Mittelmeier, R.A. Mittelmeier, C.G., Da Fonseca, G.A.B. and Kent, J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403, 24: 853-858.

Beinart, William. 1984. Soil erosion, conservation and ideas about development: a Southern African exploration 1900-1960. Journal of Southern African Studies 11: 52-84. Benjaminsen, T. A., Rohde, R., Sjaastad, E., Wisborg, P and Lebert , T. (forthcoming) Land Reform, Range Ecology, and Carrying Capacities in Namaqualand, South Africa. Manuscript submitted for publication. Botha, W. 1998. Weidingkapasiteitstudie in die Karoo. PhD thesis. University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein. Boonzaier, E. 1987. From communal grazing to ‘economic’ units: Changing access to land in a Namaqualand reserve. Development Southern Africa 4 (3): 479-491. Boonzaier, E., Berens, P.,Malherbe C. and Smith, A. 1996. The Cape herders. A history of the Khoikhoi of southern Africa. Cape Town: David Philip. DLA. 1997. White Paper on South African Land Policy. Pretoria: Government of South Africa, Department of Land Affairs. Dijkman, J. 1993. Carrying capacity: outdated concept or useful livestock management tool? Overseas Development Institute, Pastoral Development Network. drought/dijkman.html Dzingirai, V. 2003. The new scramble for the African countryside. Development and Change 34 (2): 243-263. Hoffman, M.T., S. Todd, Z. Ntshona and S. Turner. 1999. Land degradation in South Africa. Unpublished report. National Botanical Institute. Kirstenbosch, Cape Town. Available at Hoffman, M.T. and Ashwell, A. 2001. Nature divided – land degradation in South Africa. Cape Town: UCT Press. Hulme, D. and Murphree, M. (eds). 2001. African wildlife & livelihoods: the promise and performance of community conservation. Oxford: James Currey. Illius, A.W. andO’Connor, T.G. 1999. On the relevance of nonequilibrium concepts to semi-arid grazing systems. Ecological Applications 9: 798-813.

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Building Peace

Three New Research Prizes

Poverty reduction and peace building are increasingly important aspects of policy-making and public debate, as well as research. In May 2005, in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad, the Research Council of Norway launched a new research programme that focuses on international poverty reduction and peace building. The new programme is intended to help build expertise, inform public debate and provide input for Norwegian and international policy-making processes. The programme will be the main focus of the Research Council’s efforts in development research during the next eight-year period, its purpose being to develop knowledge capable of providing a basis for poverty reduction and the advancement of human rights in countries in the South. According to the Research Council, international research cooperation is a premise for success in this programme.

Prize for Young Mathematicians

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) has created a new prize for young mathematicians from developing countries, in cooperation with the International Mathematical Union (IMU). The Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund is funding the prize, which consists of a USD 10,000 cash award. The prize, which will be awarded for the first time in 2005, will be awarded annually to a researcher from a developing country less than 45 years old, who has performed outstanding research in mathematics. A committee of five eminent mathematicians will select the winner. Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), for whom the prize is named, was one of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses.

Editor’s note

The article “Let There be Africa” in Global Knowledge no. 1/2004 stated that the Bible was published for the first time in the Luganda language (Uganda) in 2003. This was inaccurate. The first complete Bible in Luganda was published in 1896. However, the first complete Bible translated from the original Greek and Hebrew sources into Luganda was published in 2003. This version is also the first ecumenical Bible in that language, approved by Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Seventh Day Adventist communities in Uganda. We apologize for the inaccuracy.

Bridges of Knowledge

On the last weekend of September, the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) will host its biennial conference on cooperation in higher education and research: Bridges of Knowledge. The main topic of this year’s conference is “Strategies and Relevance for Cooperation in Higher Education.” Plenary sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions will offer room for dialogue between academics, policy-makers and administrative personnel, and the conference aims to make a contribution to improving professional and administrative aspects of educational cooperation between Norwegian institutions and institutions in the South. Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Ulrich Teichler from the University of Kassel, Dr. Lidia Brito, former Minister of higher education, science and technology in Mozambique and Professor James Tumwine from Makerere University.

Three new prizes for international research, each worth USD one million, have been established by the Kavli Foundation, and will be awarded in cooperation with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Starting in 2008, the prizes will be awarded biennially in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. “The purpose of the prizes is of course to reward researchers who often make important contributions to society, but who, in the course of their careers, are never brought into the limelight,” says Fred Kavli, chairman of the Kavli Foundation, in a press release. “But we also wish to make ordinary people and politicians more aware of the importance of pure research in their own lives.” Prizewinners will be nominated by a panel of outstanding international researchers, according to the press release.

The agreement was signed by Fred Kavli, Kristin Clemet, the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research and Jan Fridthjof Bernt, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Photo/Scanpix

Globalization and Indigenous Peoples

The Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples is organising a conference on ”Globalization, Cultural Resources and Indigenous Peoples” at the University of Tromsø on October 4 - 7. The conference will focus on Southern Africa and Central America, as well as on a series of topics which will offer a critical examination of how globalization processes influence development among indigenous peoples. The deadline for registration is 26 September 2005.

Global Development Awards

The Global Development Network (GDN) is inviting outstanding researchers to compete for prizes worth up to USD 50 000 each. GDN is a global network of research and policy institutes that work together to address the problems of national and regional development. Applicants must be citizens and permanent residents of developing or transition countries. The deadline for submitting applications is 16 September 2005. 58/ACADEMIC ESSAY