From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

Ecology and justice in Africa

Telmo Pievani


According to robust scientific evidence, the Earth could reach the extreme rates of the past “Big Five” mass extinctions of biodiversity within just few centuries if current threats to many species are not alleviated. Africa is a paradoxical and crucial laboratory in this sense. We know exactly the six interacting causes of the so-called “Sixth Mass-Extinction,” all of them working in Africa as well. All these six proximate causes are related to a remote cause: our predatory economy, our inability to look far into the future, our absurd greed, as in the case of poaching. Biodiversity, economy, and social issues are strictly connected in Africa. Here we argue the reasons why we will never be able to defend biodiversity in Africa and elsewhere if we do not defend social justice and the dignity of the populations that have always lived in the midst of biodiversity.


Sixth Mass-Extinction, Anthropocene defaunation, self-endangered species, niche construction theory, conservation



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