African Environmental Change from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

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This review explores what past environmental change in Africa—and African people’s response to it—can teach us about how to cope with life in the Anthropocene. Organized around four drivers of change—climate; agriculture and pastoralism; megafauna; and imperialism, colonialism, and capitalism—our review focuses on key regions and debates, including dynamics of the Sahara-Sahel zones; the structure and function of savannas and Central African rainforests; and efforts at nature conservation. Contingent environmental change is a recurring theme in the history of the continent, producing a mosaic floral and faunal biogeography. With high levels of poverty, fast population growth, and potentially dramatic impacts expected from future climate change, Africa is emblematic of the kinds of social and ecological precariousness many fear will characterize the future globally. African people’s innovation and adaptation to contingency also places it at the avant garde of thinking about Anthropocene conditions, strategies, and possibilities.
TidsskriftAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Sider (fra-til)27-54
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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