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CMU's Fall 2020 Natural Resources of the West Returns

Robert Hitchcock Presents Land, Natural Resources and Indigenous Peoples of the Kalahari Desert Region of Southern Africa

On Monday, September 14 at 4pm research professor from the University of New Mexico, Robert Hitchcock, PhD will present a free public seminar via Zoom. Hitchcock is an applied cultural anthropologist, human ecologist and socioeconomic development specialist who has spent much of his professional career working on issues facing current and former hunters and gatherers and agropastoral peoples, particularly in Africa.

Hitchcock is the first lecturer to return the Natural Resources of the West lecture series to CMU — a program organized and supported by CMU Professor Tamera Minnick. 

"Hitchcock provides anthropological expertise in land and resource rights-related legal cases, and he conducts social and environmental impact assessments of large dams, agricultural projects, refugee resettlement and conservation programs," said Minnick. "While mainly in Africa he also contributes work to focus on the Middle East, North and South America and border issues affecting the rights of indigenous and other migrants from Central America to the United States. We are pleased to host his work for the return of our lecture series." 

Monday, 14 September 2020
4–5:15pm
Join via Zoom

Seminars are free and open to the public.

For more information please contact Professor Tamera Minnick, 970.248.1663 

Dr. Hitchcock will consider the land and natural resources policies of Namibia and Botswana, and the impacts these have on indigenous and minority peoples. Indigenous people in Namibia and Botswana are affected by government policies involving hunting, tourism, land use, and mining. Access to water is a crucial issue for the people of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, who went to court and won the right to water, setting an international precedent for the human right to water in 2011.  In the communal (tribal) areas of the two countries, there is competition between cattle-owning people and former foraging people.   

Both countries have policies involving community-based natural resource management. Elephants have been an attraction for tourists in these areas, but they have also posed problems for local people attempting to raise crops in gardens and provide water for themselves and their livestock. Local people have been impacted by anti-poaching operations in both countries, and they have sought to have their human rights to life and livelihoods observed by the governments of the countries where they reside. 

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Written by Staff