An Arid Eden: A Personal Account of Conservation in the Kaokoveld

'An Arid Eden' is Garth Owen-Smith's personal account of his life dedicated to conservation in the Kaokoveld, Namibia.
Owen-Smith, Garth
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Title: An Arid Eden
Subtitle: A Personal Account of Conservation in the Kaokoveld
Author: Garth Owen-Smith
Genre: Environment, Wildlife
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers South Africa
Cape Town; Johannesburg; South Africa, 2011
ISBN 9781868423637 / ISBN 978-1-86842-363-7
Softcover, 15 x 23 cm, 620 pages

About: An Arid Eden: A Personal Account of Conservation in the Kaokoveld

Garth Owen-Smith has spent almost his entire working life fighting, not against a conventional enemy but against official ignorance, harsh climatic conditions, poachers and other enemies of Africa’s fast-diminishing wildlife. In the process he has lived and worked in a number of countries but his chosen battlefield has always been the most challenging place of all: the harsh, beautiful and almost unknown Kaokoveld in north-western Namibia, his ‘Arid Eden’. He chose sides early on, when he spent two youthful years in the Kaokoveld and not only developed a deep affinity with the indigenous Himba, Herero and Damara pastoralists but realised that they had developed the ideal form of nature conservation, a situation in which humans and their livestock could live in equilibrium with wild game, so that there was room for all. In 1970 he was thrown out of the Kaokoveld as an alleged security risk, then spent a year looking into conservation and the treatment of indigenous peoples in Australia, farmed for two years in Rhodesia, and did pioneering work in conservation education for black youths in South Africa. He finally managed to get back to South West Africa in 1978, and from there embarked on his life’s work, to save the remnants of the Kaokoveld’s rich wildlife, devastated by a variety of illegal hunters. And he succeeded, although it took him and his partner, Dr Margaret Jacobsohn, 27 years. They have won some of the world’s major conservation awards, north-western Namibia is a popular tourism destination and the Kaokoveld’s wildlife has come back from the brink of virtual extinction, and thousands of people have benefitted from the links they have forged between community development and natural resource management.

Content: An Arid Eden: A Personal Account of Conservation in the Kaokoveld

Abbreviations and Acronyms
Basalt Mountains
Dust and Stones
An Arid Eden
The White Mans Game
Working for BAD
The Clash of Cultures
A Wild Life
A New Decade
The Kaokoveld Controversy
Looking for Answers
A Stitch in Time
When it is Late Afternoon
A Rhodesian Ranch
Zimbabwe Rising
South-west of South West
Etosha: The Burning Question
The End of the World
Desert Elephants
Rhinos on the Brink
Involving the Local People
Conservation and Politics
A Degraded Ecosystem
The Purros Project and More Poaching
Communal Conservancies
Looking Back and Forward