Debunking the colonial myth of the ‘African Eden’.
Q&A with author Guillaume Blanc by Malavika Vyawahare on 23 September 2022
Themes: Conservation, Indigenous people, Livlihoods, Policy, Parks
In debunking persistent myths like that of an “African Eden,” Guillaume Blanc, author of “The Invention of Green Colonialism,” lays bare contradictions in the European project to secure and simultaneously exploit Africa’s land during direct colonial rule and after. “The more the destruction was happening in Northern [Hemisphere] countries, the more we wanted to save it in Africa,” he told Mongabay in an interview, describing how the campaign to preserve pristine wilderness in Africa has led to the casting of its inhabitants as destructive invaders. Blanc argues that the organizations that evolved out of colonial arrangements for colonial aims must acknowledge and apologize for the harm inflicted, dig deeper when seeking change, and cast a wider net for more meaningful solutions that treat citizens of African countries as collaborators not encroachers on their own lands. Organizations with a global presence must work with residents of places where they operate and focus on localized research and solutions to remain relevant, Blanc said.
Feb 07, 2023
The Words of Salangat ole Mako
On the Run for In Vain Trying to Tell the Truth to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights that Never Came
Themes: Indigenous people, Livlihoods, Pastoralists, Poverty
Salangat ole Mako has in his own words become a – nightly - grass thief in his own land. He is a Maasai pastoralist and a small-scale commercial cultivator of vegetables and fruits in Ololosokwan village in Loliondo. As lobbied for by OBC, that organizes hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, 75% of his, and everyone’s, grazing land has brutally and lawlessly been taken by the Tanzanian government for a “protected area”, and then there have been threats of taking his farm. On 25th January, Salangat was waiting in vain for a much shambolic and government co-opted visit by the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights (I hope to very soon post a blog post about this). A brief clip of what he would have wanted to tell the Commission was shared online. The following day the Officer Commanding Ngorongoro District came to Ololosokwan to say that the gathering waiting for the international organization had not had a permit and that Salangat had been talking thrash. Then Salangat received more threats and fled to Kenya.
Feb 01, 2023
Indigenous communities in Latin America decry the Mennonites’ expanding land occupation
Themes: Livlihoods, Indigenous people, Agriculture
A team of journalists followed in the footsteps of five Mennonite colonies that have been reported for clearing forests by Indigenous communities and locals in Bolivia, Colombia, México, Paraguay and Perú. Many of these cases are being investigated by prosecutors and environmental authorities. Authors of a recent study to understand the extension of Mennonite presence in the region say that the expansion will continue as the colonies grow in size and continue to pursue farming, creating new colonies.
Many of these cases are being investigated by prosecutors and environmental authorities.
Feb 01, 2023
Community wildlife conservation isn’t always a win-win solution:
The case of Kenya’s Samburu
Themes: Conservation, Indigenous people, Pastoralists, Parks, NGOs
Community-based wildlife conservation is often promoted as a win-win solution. The idea behind this approach is that the people who live close to wildlife can be involved in protecting it and have an interest in doing so.
This results in wildlife being protected (a win for global biodiversity) and local people benefiting from conservation through tourism revenues, jobs, or new infrastructure like schools, clinics and water supplies.
Jan 18, 2023
Indigenous lands hold the world’s healthiest forests
but only when their rights are protected
Themes: Conservation, FPIC, Indigenous people, Human rights, Parks
The world’s healthiest tropical forests are located in protected Indigenous areas (PIAs), according to a new study. However, research shows that forests with minimal human modification exist only on protected Indigenous lands. Indigenous lands that are unprotected lower forest integrity.
Researchers believe the lower integrity of forests on Indigenous lands is due to mineral, oil, and gas deposits that are located on lands and communities that lack land tenure to prevent extractive projects. According to the researchers, strengthening Indigenous peoples’ land rights is critical to reaching global conservation and climate goals.
Dec 22, 2022
This Human Rights Day, Stand With the Maasai to End Fortress Conservation
The colonization of Indigenous lands in the name of conservation has devastated far too many lives and must immediately end.
Themes: CBD, Conservation, FPIC, Human rights, Hunting, Indigenous people, Livlihoods, NGOs, Parks, Pastoralists, Poverty
An Opinion piece by Andy Currier, Research Associate at the Oakland Institute and co-author of Driving Dispossession: The Global Push to “Unlock the Economic Potential of Land”.
Dec 12, 2022
Loliondo Bogus Murder Case Dropped after Over Five Months.
While the Horror Worsens with Fake and Forced Land Use Plans
Themes: Conservation, FPIC, Human rights, Hunting, Indigenous people, Livlihoods, Parks, Pastoralists, Tourism
Nov 30, 2022
The steady decline of Ladakh’s nomadic herders
Themes: Pastoralists, Parks, Livlihoods, Indigenous people, Tourism
Military tensions, ecological concerns and a tourism boom, all threaten to wipe out the Changpa tribe’s traditional occupation.
Oct 21, 2022