Local Stakeholder Perspectives on Mining Development in the Mount Mulanje Cultural Landscape, Malawi
World Heritage Studies
Brandenburg Technical University (BTU-Cottbus), DE
Oris Malijani is a PhD Candidate in Heritage Studies at Brandenburg Technical University (BTU), Germany, with a background in Human Geography. He holds a Master’s Degree in Heritage Management from Kent University, United Kingdom. He works with the Malawi Department of Culture, as a Heritage Officer responsible for management and implementation of cultural heritage programmes in areas of cultural and natural heritage research, site conservation, outreach programmes and resource mobilization for heritage projects. Among his research interests are topics like Cultural Landscapes, Heritage Management and Planning, Conflict Management in Heritage Places, Public Archaeology, Urban Heritage, and Cultural Heritage Tourism
Extraction of mineral resources in most African cultural landscapes is threatening the proper conservation and management of the cultural and natural attributes and values of these landscapes. This paper has discussed the perception of stakeholders on issues concerning the extraction of mineral resources and the management of cultural landscapes. The focus has been on understanding how local stakeholders perceive issues of mining and heritage conservation in African cultural landscapes. A participatory ethnographic research was carried out among local stakeholders in Mulanje Mountain cultural landscape in Malawi. The purpose was to solicit stakeholder views and perceptions in order to properly plan the effective use and management of cultural landscapes. Specific issues which have been investigated included an examination of levels of awareness on issues concerning the protection of cultural landscapes which are at risk of mining development and also on how local people get involved in decision-making. Further to this, relevant stakeholders were identified and their roles in the conservation and management of different aspects of cultural landscapes were discussed. It has been revealed that stakeholder identification is a key before implementing any development project in cultural landscapes. Determining who will be a stakeholder representative is very important when planning for mining development initiatives in cultural landscapes. The study has concluded that most of the local people and other stakeholders who participated in the research are aware of the importance of the cultural landscape in its totality and the various cultural and natural features within it.