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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the ecological and environmental history of modern Africa. It explores the range of environmental challenges faced by Africa’s peoples over the past two centuries of imperialism and globalization and considers the extent to which these challenges were particular to the African continent. After setting out the diversity of Africa’s environments and climatic patterns, it examines levels of biodiversity and endemism, the creation of the forest fallow agricultural system in West Africa, the impact of New World crops, the interaction between disease and landscape in East Africa, and finally the ecological impact of the ‘urban footprint’ in the postcolonial period.

Keywords: ecology, environment, climate, biodiversity, endemism, agriculture, forest fallow, food crops, urban footprint.

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