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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-128

Conservation Philanthropy and the Shadow of State Power in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

LAM-Sciences Po Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

Correspondence Address:
Rozenn Nakanabo Diallo
LAM-Sciences Po Bordeaux, Bordeaux
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.164188

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Transnational networks of donors, NGOs, private foundations, and companies shape conservation policymaking in Mozambique. In a context of neoliberal conservation that frames a reduction of the role of the state, policymaking is not the sole purpose of state agencies and thus questions state sovereignty. This article addresses state agency in a conservation philanthropy project in central Mozambique. The Gorongosa Restoration Project (GRP) is a public-private partnership between the state and the Carr Foundation, an American philanthropic organisation, for the management of Gorongosa National Park. The Frelimo state-at the head of the country ever since independence in 1975-is still rather weak in Gorongosa region, an opposition stronghold. State sovereignty is reformulated, for GRP is greatly externally driven and performs state functions such as the running of a state-owned national park. But in spite of weak state capacities, state sovereignty remains at the forefront: central and local state are key for daily conservation management, and the philanthropic apparatus is an opportunity for the state to further its local presence and control in the hinterland.

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