From Wilderness Vision to Farm Invasions

Conservation and Development in Zimbabwe’s South-Eastern Lowveld

William Wolmer



Landscapes are invested with meaning and are inherently political. Conservation and development programs in Zimbabwe s south-east lowveld have been rooted in concepts of the landscape: either as a wilderness to be tamed into a productive landscape by white pioneers or as a pristine natural landscape to be preserved, rehabilitated, or consciously manufactured. The farm invasions in recent years have re-peopled the wildernesses. Starkly contrasting ways of understanding this landscape have been revealed, which have radically different implications for conservation and development policy.

Review insightful, thoughtful and well-informed view of a highly controversial topic the land reforms and politics in Zimbabwe. There is a great deal of confusing public literature about this and Wolmer s account makes a complex and fraught situation much clearer. -Dan Brockington


William Wolmer is with the Knowledge,Technology and Society team at the IDS, University of Sussex.