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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.

"Blackfeet Belong to the Mountains"

Hope, Loss, and Blackfeet Claims to Glacier National Park, Montana

Abstract: While relationships between indigenous groups and protected areas have been extensively documented internationally, research on Native Americans and US National Parks is surprisingly sparse. Based on in-depth interviews with Blackfeet Indians, this article examines the complex contemporary relationship between the Blackfeet and Glacier National Park. According to the Blackfeet, tribal relationships with the park landscape are sustained through on-site practices that provide an interwoven and inseparable set of material, cultural, and spiritual benefits. The prohibition and regulation of many historic practices within park boundaries prevents the realisation of these benefits and fuels tensions between the tribe and the park, especially in the context of past dispossession and longstanding animosity toward the federal government. At the same time, the undeveloped landscape of Glacier National Park is evocative of an ancestral past and has, for many Blackfeet, preserved the potential for cultural reclamation and renewal. To realise this potential, Blackfeet argued for greater integration of their needs and perspectives into park management and policy. We suggest reinstatement of treaty rights, voluntary closure of cultural sites, co-management of parklands, and special legal designations as possible paths forw

More… Oct 22, 2012

Common and Conflicting Interests in the Engagements between Conservation Organizations and Corporations

"Conservation is primarily not about biology but about people and the choices they make."

Abstract: The conservation community increasingly views the corporate sector as a positive force for con- servation. Collaborations between corporations and nongovernmental conservation organizations (NGOs) seek to mitigate the negative effects of corporate activities and augment positive conservation outcomes. I reviewed the establishment of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies by corporations; the emerging fo- cus on environmental practices and sustainability; and the history of engagement between corporations and nongovernmental organizations. I considered the ethical and reputation vulnerabilities of these collabora- tions, which depend especially on the financial nature of the relationship and reviewed how CSR approaches have influenced corporate practices. I concluded that whereas CSR practices can act to mitigate negative environmental impact, to date they have had limited positive effect on biodiversity conservation.

More… Oct 14, 2012

Linking science and human rights: Facts and figures

S. Romi Mukherjee outlines human rights-based approaches to science, technology and development, and what they mean for policy and practice.

"Many international policy scholars argue that rights-based approaches help to re-orient NGOs and the UN system away from professionalised philanthropy and towards capacity-building; that they promise sustainable interventions and reduce dependency on aid; and that they help to redefine the responsibilities of governmental authorities, local actors, NGOs, and the UN system."

More… Oct 02, 2012

Tigers take to the night in order to thrive among humans

A new study suggests that endangered carnivores and humans can share habitats.

As the human population grows, conflicts with wildlife are becoming more common and more intense. Many conservation models are built on the idea that threatened species, especially large carnivores, cannot successfully use the same habitat as humans. These theories claim that large protected areas are needed to ensure the survival of these species, so parks have been fenced and humans have been resettled.

More… Sep 05, 2012

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and its land claimants

A pre- and post-land claim conservation and development history

Abstract. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and neighbouring Botswana. The local communities on the South African side, the Khomani San (Bushmen) and Mier living adjacent to the park have land rights inside and outside the park. The path from a history of land dispossession to being land owners has created conservation challenges manifested through heightened inter- and intra-community conflicts. The contestations for land and tourism development opportunities in and outside the park have drawn in powerful institutions such as the governments, South African National Parks, private safari companies, local interest groups and NGOs against relatively powerless local communities. This has consequently attracted national and international interest since it may result in further marginalization of the communities who lack the power to negotiate resource access. Moreover, the social and political system of the San is romanticized while little is reported about the Mier, who are an integral part of the park management system. To make these issues more accessible to a growing audience of interested parties and to better understand present conservation and development challenges and opportunities, this paper synthesizes information on the pre- and post-land restitution history of the park and the adjacent communities.

More… Apr 06, 2012

Traditional Communities And No-Take Protected Areas In Brazil

Conflicts And Rights

The study shows that the most of the cases involving conflicts protected areas (around 44.3%) are located in the Atlantic Forest, 30.3% in coastal areas,12.6% in the Amazonian region, 6.3% in the Caatinga ( Northeast Brazil) and 5.0% in the Cerrado (Savanah) and 1.2% in Pantanal.

More… Feb 15, 2012

Way Beyond Greenwashing

Have Corporations Captured Big Conservation?

With WWF leading the way, the conservation nonprofits have negotiated approval schemes for “Responsible” and “Sustainable” farmed commodity crops.

More… Feb 07, 2012

Tenure and Indigenous Peoples

The Importance Of Self-Determination, Territory, And Rights To Land And Other Natural Resources Property

In Africa, state-led conservation has a history of violating due process rights of local occupants, forced resettlements, destruction of property and farms, and even torture and extrajudicial killings. Estimates have placed the global number of conservation refugees at 130 million

More… Aug 20, 2011