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A network for all who care about the conservation of our world and who want to see it achieved with justice, compassion, dignity and honesty.

Responding to the Threat of Organized Crime to Wildlife and People

A response to Rosaleen Duffy by Michael Painter, Director, Conservation and the Quality of Human Life Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

International conservation organizations have responded to the expansion of globally organized wildlife crime by attempting to promote more effective law enforcement at all levels of the international trade chain for illegal wildlife products. Concern that an emphasis on wildlife crime risks militarizing conservation efforts, and creating situations where the need for stronger law enforcement could be invoked as cover for repressive actions against local people, has been thoughtfully articulated in a recent contribution, by Professor Rosaleen Duffy, here on Just Conservation. While some of the specific issues she raises need to be considered in a broader context, the main point of her article is a valid one. Conservation organizations seeking to address the threat of organized crime to wildlife and people have the responsibility to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the rights of people affected by efforts to halt organized poaching.

More… Jul 21, 2014

Forget the war for biodiversity, it’s just war.

A contributed essay from Professor Rosaleen Duffy, Professor of Political Ecology of Development, SOAS, University ofLondon.

Conservationists are facing some difficult and critically important choices over how to conserve elephants and rhinos in the wake of a rapid rise in poaching. But there appears to be a rush towards more militarised responses, which intersect with the strategic aims of the US-led ‘War on Terror’. Elephants and rhinos themselves may be fast becoming the latest weapon in this war. This is not ‘back to the barriers’, which implies a defensive position - it is an ‘offensive’ position extending well beyond protected areas. It could easily lead to an escalation of violence that will undermine decades of work with local communities, and it runs counter to the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights.

More… Jul 14, 2014

Are we hearing a 'call to arms' from wildlife conservationists?

A thought provoking contribution from Prof. Rosleen Duffy after 2 days at the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking.

On 11-12 February I attended the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking. It was held at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) under the auspices of United for Wildlife. UFW is an initiative of Prince Charles and Prince William under the banner of the Royal Foundation -http://www.unitedforwildlife.org they have brought together some of the biggest wildlife organisations (ZSL, WCS, CI, FFI, WWF, IUCN and TNC) to facilitate responses to the apparent rise in poaching and trafficking. We need to pause for a moment to consider this new direction.

More… Feb 18, 2014

2013: A Great Year for Forest Fairy Tales

Why REDD+ Safeguards will contribute little to defending communities against Green Land Grabbing

A contributed essay from Simone Lovera - Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition, a worldwide coalition of 56 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations from 40 different countries striving for rights-based, socially just and effective forest conservation and restoration policies. She also works as a forest campaigner for Sobrevivencia/Friends of the Earth-Paraguay

More… Jan 01, 2014

The Van Gujjar Migration - A traditional cultures project

The Van Gujjar people's annual migration challenges conservation to build more flexible strategies guaranteeing the sustainability of ancient traditions; especially when these can be better partners than settled agriculture in the challenge to maintain sustainable levels of biodiversity. This project showcases an innovative use of Google Earth and Google Maps to highlight the Van Gujjar's ancient migratory tradition now imperilled by, amongst many pressures, the establishment of protected areas. The challenge to conservation of including not just established and settled communities but also migratory ones in their attempt to ensure an inclusive and participatory solution to conservation are vividly portrayed.

More… Oct 17, 2013

In memory of Moringe Parkipuny by Susanna Nordlund

Another Loliondo Visit - A Kind of Safari Report

In July 2013 I managed to return to Loliondo and meet some people affected by Thomson Safaris’ occupation of 12,617 acres of Maasai land. This report is maybe too personal, but not of the kind written in another time. It focuses on the land threats (and me seeking information about them) and not my inadequacies as a tourist, weird and wonderful people and animals I've met, or efforts to wash my hair without running water. The report may contain some whining and ranting.

More… Aug 30, 2013

'A story from Tanzania on being too busy…' by Nicholas Winer

An invited editorial for the IUCN CEESP quarterly newsletter

This article was written with the express intent of inviting and, if possible, stimulating debate amongst conservationists as to the nature of the silence over the new, so called, wildlife corridor on the border of the Serengeti. This corridor does not appear on the list of actual or potential wildlife corridors of Tanzania. It's major beneficiary will be the Otterlo Business Corporation and the losers, again, the local communities.

More… Jul 11, 2013

Conservation, Culture, and Land Use Conflicts in the Central Kalahari, Botswana

At the present time, there are approximately 550 people in the Central Kalahari, and some 3,500 people in the three resettlement sites outside of the reserve.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana has seen conflicts between local people (San and Bakgalagadi) and the state over land and resource rights. Botswana government policy has emphasized biodiversity conservation, high-end tourism, and mining, whereas the indigenous peoples of the reserve favor a multiple use strategy involving foraging and agropastoralism.

More… Jun 20, 2013