Did indigenous conservation ethics exist?
Abstract - Despite the common assertion that some indigenous peoples were conservationists, a number of authors have claimed that persuasive evidence for this is lacking. They have, apparently, overlooked such evidence. It is well documented, for example, that centuries ago Pacific Islanders invented and employed all the basic marine conservation measures that Europeans began to use only in the early 1900s. For islanders to have devised and employed deliberate conservation measures, they first had to learn that their natural resources were limited. They could only have done so by depleting them. Evidence that a culture overharvested or otherwise damaged its natural resources at some period in its history is no proof that it was, for all times, non-conservationist. Some Pacific Island cultures learned that their marine resources were limited and introduced marine conservation measures accordingly. Others never learned this lesson because their marine resources always exceeded harvesting pressure. I suggest that a worldwide survey of relevant literature would show that societies that developed con-scious conservation practices were usually small and relied on natural resources that were circum-scribed and thus easily depleted. Today, in an era of shrinking natural resource frontiers, establishing whether a conservation ethic exists in an indigenous culture is a vital first step in determining how to help its people live within their natural resource limits.
Mar 16, 2019
WWF’s Secret War:
One Of The World’s Biggest Charities Funds Guards Who Have Tortured And Killed People
The World Wide Fund for Nature funds vicious paramilitary forces to fight poaching. A BuzzFeed News investigation reveals the hidden human cost.
Mar 04, 2019
Just Conservation - What is it and how should we pursue it?
Frameworks for resolving conflict sometimes neglect basic principles of conservation; and frameworks for resolving conflict sometimes neglect basic principles of social justice.
Efforts to realize conservation are often met with stakeholders contending that particular conservation actions are unfair for conflicting with their basic interests. A useful lens through which to view such conflict is social justice, which may be considered the fair treatment of others judged according three principles: equality, need, and desert (noun form of deserve). We formally demonstrate that (i) the subject of social justice (others) includes many non-human elements of nature and (ii) realizing conservation that is also socially just requires being guided by a non-anthropocentrism principle, whereby no human should infringe on the well-being of others any more than is necessary for a healthy, meaningful life. The concept, “healthy, meaningful life” is less vague and subjective than might be presupposed. That concept is for example subject to considerable objective reasoning through social and behavioral sciences. We indicate how realizing socially-just conservation requires another guiding, safeguard principle: If a significant and genuine conservation interest calls for restricting a human interest, that restriction should occur except when doing so would result in injustice. When the restriction would be unjust every effort should be made by all involved parties to mitigate the restriction to the point of no longer being unjust. This principle covers concerns often raised when conservation is opposed – e.g., financial costs, loss of cultural tradition. We explain how these two principles are neglected or excluded by many methods for resolving conservation conflicts and collaborative governance of natural resources.
Jan 29, 2019
Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds
The huge loss is a tragedy in itself but also threatens the survival of civilisation, say the world’s leading scientists
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.
Oct 30, 2018
A tale of HE, SHE, WE, and me
From Thinking like a human - Conservation for the 21st century
Aug 25, 2018
Do Conservation Strategies Need to Be More Compassionate?
Some scientists and ethicists are criticizing traditional conservation strategies, which they say focus on saving valued species while discounting the lives of less charismatic animals. Will these advocates of “compassionate conservation” point the way to new approaches, or are they simply being naïve?
Jul 22, 2018
Cornered by Protected Areas.
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (UN Special rapporteur) and RRI launch an RRI brief derived from the upcoming Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas report.
Indigenous Peoples and local communities have been conserving their lands and forests for centuries. But the rise of “fortress conservation” is forcing them from their homes, hurting people and forests alike.
Jun 27, 2018