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Land for food or power? Risk governance of dams and family farms in Southwest Ethiopia

We use the concepts of riskscapes and risk governance to analyze the tensions between land use for food (farms) and energy (dams) in Southwest Ethiopia. We analyze the linkages between risk perception, risk assessment and risk management for local and non-local actors. We distinguish, after empirical analysis, as main riskscapes the riskscapes of landlessness, food and energy insecurity and siltation. For the Ethiopian case, and more generally, we reflect on the potential of spatial planning as a site of risk governance, where risk perception, assessment and management can be discussed in their linkages, where different actor-related and topical riskscapes can encounter, can be deliberated and result in policy integration. We finally reflect on the ethical implications of our perspective and reconsider the idea of social cost.

Legese Getachew, van Assche Kristof, Stellmacher Till, Tekleworld Hailemariam, Kelboro Girma