Conflict of Interest in Exploitation and Utilisation of Transboundary Natural Resources on Lake Victoria

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2016

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Digital Commons

Abstract

The management of Lake Victoria as a “regional common” is expected to adhere to the global principles of transboundary natural resource management. However, national interest and power asymmetry amongst riparian states buoyed by external demand have overwhelmed global and regional norms leading to incessant exploitation of the common resources. This paper uses idealist and realist perspectives of power relations to inform the analysis of conflicting interests in transboundary natural resource exploitation. It partly relies on 2012-2013 primary data from purposively selected Beach Management Units in Kenya and Uganda and secondary data from regional fisheries institutions. Notwithstanding the normative value of global conservation principles, demand-driven globalization buttressed by national vested interests and the National Measures clause of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization have led to unsustainable exploitation of the shared resources on the lake. Lake Victoria thus epitomizes a clash of global and local interests in the use of shared natural resources.

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