Africa at Noon on October 22, 2014

The Nature of Success: Community-Based Natural Resource Management & Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park

Josh Garoon
Assistant Professor, Community & Environmental Sociology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Time and Location

12:00pm, 206 Ingra­ham Hall, 1155 Obser­va­tory Drive, Madi­son, WI

Download Poster (pdf)


In April 2007, Hammer Simwinga was named the African winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize (often dubbed “the environmental Nobel”) and Time magazine named him a “Hero of the Environment.” Simwinga’s honors speak to the remarkable resurgence of Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park, from its nadir in the 1980s, when illegal wildlife hunting eradicated its native black rhinoceros and threatened to do the same to its elephant population, to its current status as a rare case of success of community-based natural resource management. In this presentation, I discuss what North Luangwa reveals about the meaning of success in integrated conservation-development initiatives, and consider the ramifications as global and local organizations increasingly incorporate environmental objectives into health and development endeavors.


Josh Garoon’s research focuses on how concepts and practices of health and development are brought to bear in environmental governance initiatives, and, obversely, on the contemporary “environmental turn” in international health and development efforts. He is especially interested in using ethnographic methodology to investigate how global models of a healthy environment work at the local level, and in how ideas of health are deployed across the human/non-human dichotomy. Garoon also studies how notions of “participation” come into play, especially with respect to the definition and management of community and neighborhood resources. He holds a MPH and PhD from Johns Hopkins, and conducted his doctoral fieldwork in northern Zambia. Josh Garoon completed a postdoctoral fellowship under the Kellogg Health Scholars Program in Baltimore, and spent two years at the University of Chicago before joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013.