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4 | 2022
Knowing Nature

Savoirs environnementaux
Edited by Luisa Arango, Émilie Guitard and Émilie Lavie

Knowing nature and the environment has become crucial in Africa in a context of increasing ecological crises. Major questions about the production and dissemination of such knowledge arise: What is considered to be knowledge or to be ignorance about the environment? How, by whom and for whom is knowledge produced? What is it used for? How and by what means is it disseminated? Who is considered knowledgeable? And how are epistemological hierarchies about nature built and contested?

This special issue addresses these questions in relation to Madagascar, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Cameroon. The articles and two interviews explore environmental knowledge in an original way by focusing on the media and materials in which this knowledge is embodied: soil cores, minutes of meetings of environmental associations, legal acts, international protocols, tourist leaflets, and communication brochures for health campaigns, among others. Once collected, classified and put back into context, these objects are both places of knowledge and sources of analysis situated at the core of social science research on the environment in Africa.

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