Has big conservation gone astray?
The world’s biggest conservation groups have embraced a human-centric approach known as “new conservation.” But is it up to the task of saving life on Earth?
* In Part 1 of Conservation, Divided, veteran Mongabay reporter Jeremy Hance explores how the world’s biggest conservation groups have embraced a human-centric approach known as “new conservation” that has split the field over how best to save life on Earth. * Neither side of the debate disagrees that conservation today is failing to adequately halt mass extinction. But how to proceed is where talks break down, especially when it comes to the importance of protected areas and the efficacy of the biggest, most recognizable groups. * Conservation, Divided is an in-depth four-part series investigating how the field of conservation has changed over the last 30 years — and the challenges it faces moving into an uncertain future. Hance completed the series over the course of eight months. Stories will run weekly through May 17.
Apr 28, 2016
The legacy of Cecil the Lion
The mixed emotions surrounding sport hunting may be failing to take into account the views of local communities whose livelihoods may be affected by a proposed EU ban on trophies.
British MEP Neena Gill has tabled a Written Declaration in the European Parliament calling for a ban on trophy hunting imports into the European Union.
Apr 20, 2016
Deadly borders ... 30 Namibians killed through Botswana's shoot-to-kill policy
ON A chilly night near Ihaha camp in the Chobe National Park, corporal Joel Mathe of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) sets out on an anti-poaching patrol with his team.
Mar 09, 2016
War by Conservation
Ivory does not fund Al Shabaab, so why was that message so readily promoted?
Since 2013 several wildlife conservation organisations have promoted the message that ivory is used to fund terrorism, that it is the ‘white gold of jihad’. While allegations about poaching by Janjaweed and Lord’s Resistance Army have circulated for some time, it was the claim that ivory provided up to 40% of Al Shabaab’s funding that caught international attention. This claim is hotly disputed, and even Elephant Action League, who spread the message in the first place, have started to accept it might have been an over estimation (at best). So why was it so readily taken up and repeated in the media, social media, by world leaders, by conservation NGOs and by international organisations? The answer lies in a potent mix of strategic interests and the need to grab international attention to raise funds for conservation.
Sep 25, 2015
A Hunting Ban Saps a Village’s Livelihood
This village was one of many supported by USAID's Natural Resources Management Project and by its successor projects. An enormous investment in building sustainable relationships between communities and wildlife has been dramatically undone by legislation that favours the rich and further marginalizes Botswana’s rural poor.
Sep 13, 2015
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.
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.
Jul 14, 2014
Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent - FPIC
These guidelines, designed to be applied by UN-REDD Programme partner countries, “require States to recognize and carry out their duties and obligations to give effect to the requirement of FPIC as applicable to indigenous peoples”.
These guidelines are only applicable to countries that are UN-REDD participants which diminishes the potential impact and reach of the guidelines. In addition, by focussing on indigenous and forest dependent communities, many other communities in need of such protection are beyond the reach of these guidelines. With these limitations the UN continues down the road of developing a web of overlapping guidelines. Why does the UN continue to build such a morass of programme based guidelines rather than moving towards moving towards a universal right to FPIC for all communities with demonstrable rights to land or the resources on it? – JC.
Mar 04, 2013