The moral arc of conservation.
A personal reflection on conservation's evolving engagement with human rights. A contribution from Dr Kent H. Redford.
“Change also came about at the turn of the last century because of the issue of justice. The arc of conservation was bending with the realization that our moral argument for the value of conserving biodiversity was seriously flawed if we ourselves were acting immorally towards people. Seeking one justice did not justify abrogating another. So conservation entered the period of accommodation, of self-examination, and of change. It was clear that we needed to seriously consider how our actions, taken in pursuit of conservation goals, affected the rights of the people impacted by those actions.”
Nov 15, 2012
Land grabbing: the new tragedy of the commons
A contributed article written for Just Conservation by environmental journalist and writer Fred Pearce
"Poor rural Africa is one of the last great unfenced areas of the planet, where humans and wildlife still often live side by side. The World Bank calls the four million square kilometres of savannah grasslands in Africa, between the rainforest and the deserts, “the world’s last large reserve of underused land".
The model for what the World Bank thinks should happen to the African savannah is to be found in Brazil – in the cerrado, a huge region of grassland and bush that rings the Amazon. Thirty years ago, it was largely empty, probably the most biodiverse grassland in the world. Now it is being gobbled up faster than the Amazon."
Jul 11, 2012
Fortress Conservation versus Human Rights in the Indian Ocean
‘the Chagossian people have suffered, and continue to suffer, a huge violation of their human rights....'
According to confidential UK-US diplomatic correspondence disclosed by Wikileaks in December 2010, the ulterior motive for the establishment of a ‘no-take’ BIOT marine reserve by the UK Foreign Office – anticipating the outcome of the litigation – was ‘to prevent any of the Chagos Islands’ former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territories)’.
Jun 13, 2012
Who then are WWF accountable to?
An opinion piece contributed by Dale Stiller, secretary of Property Rights Australia.
"...The issue of accountability is thorny for NGOs. The expectation that an environmental NGO should provide a vaguely described “public good” often results in their clients being loosely defined as sectors of society or the society as a whole. Unless, an NGO has a very specific and defined mandate with a target population, its client base will be so broad that it’s almost impossible to judge whether it is being responsive to its intended clients. In effect, there are often no specific clients to hold an NGO accountable”
May 15, 2012
Racism and Conservation
Towards a better understanding human-wildlife conflict: Re-visiting common assumptions. A contribution for discussion from Clare Gupta
This article stands as a critique of the neo-colonial attitudes of many conservation scientists, but it also serves as a call for members of the conservation community to recognize that those who care about conservation need to pay as close attention to the intricacies of social life as to the complexities of wildlife ecology in places where humans and wildlife co-exist.
Aug 15, 2011
New threats to both conservation and indigenous groups in Southwest Ethiopia.
From Gambella Zone to South Omo Zone, Indian, Italian, Malaysian, Saudi and Korean companies are clearing land and pushing aside indigenous farmers and pastoralists
The Omo National Park will lose more than 80,000 hectares of land and the Mago National Park 33,000 hectares to the plantations. The Lower Omo Valley was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.
Aug 02, 2011
Mauritius sues the UK Government over the imposition of world’s largest Marine Protected Area
Full documentation including classified Foreign Office statement (annex 1) and Wikileaks disclosure of UK government’s lack of regret over expulsion of Chagos Islanders (annex 2)
"We do not doubt the current government’s resolve to prevent the resettlement of the islands’ former inhabitants..."
Jan 27, 2011
NGOs and WMAs in Tanzania
"Let us challenge the Elspeth Huxleys of today. Let us insist that here there is no such thing as a ‘no man’s land’ or ‘no woman’s land.’ Let us reclaim our land rights."
Fatal Wildlife Attraction. Posted by Jim Igoe for discussion.
Jan 25, 2011