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Water policy in southern Africa: A brief synopsis of some of the macro driving forces

AR Turton


The water sector reforms that are underway in many parts of southern Africa are a manifestation of a global phenomenon. This is rooted in the human response to the undesirable consequences of development, and seeks to introduce the notion of sustainability into the modern development discourse. This has given rise to an academic discipline that is known as political ecology, which seeks to understand the political construction of environmental knowledge. As it is currently formulated, political ecology is highly Eurocentric, meaning that African scholars should become engaged in its intellectual development. This political ecology discourse is relatively new in southern African academic circles, and can be helpful in explaining dynamics that are shaping the World Water Vision, Global Water Partnership, World Commission on Dams and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, all of which are relevant in the contemporary water sector.

Keywords: political ecology; environment; sanctioned discourse; North-South debate; aquatic ecosystems; policy; Global Water Partnership (GWP); World Water Vision (WWV); World Commission on Dams (WCD); United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

(Afr J Aqua Sci: 2000 25: 156-161)

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eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914