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.
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."
Oct 02, 2012
Displaced - The Human Cost of Development and Resettlement
Vivid first-hand accounts by the displaced themselves, gathered by Panos London and partners in Africa and Asia.
The six case-studies that form the core of the book feature the voices of men and women displaced by the Tarbela Dam in Pakistan, pastoralists in Kenya displaced by agricultural and conservation initiatives, groups of San in Botswana and Namibia resettled as a result of government schemes and conservation policies, farming families in India who lost their land and livelihoods to coalmining, and mountain villagers in Lesotho, resettled by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
By bringing together these individual experiences, the book reveals the loss of cultural continuity and identity, shifts in family responsibilities and gender roles, and fractured relationships between generations that are just some of the complex challenges people face as they attempt to rebuild lives and communities. Although these narratives are suffused with regret and a sense of loss, they also demonstrate resourcefulness and resilience in the face of profound change. Development's social cost continues to be under-reported; these stories are a crucial reminder of its often devastating consequences.
May 16, 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
India - Half-way to autonomy
Decisions by Maharashtra’s top forest official can empower gram sabhas to prepare plans to revive their forests, but a policy is awaited.
At a meeting with gram sabha representatives and civil society members on March 9, Maharashtra’s principal secretary of forests agreed to allow gram sabhas to initiate working plans for community-owned forests in coordination with the forest department. The decision could be a shot in the arm for the CFR process in Maharashtra and also set a precedent for the country.
May 07, 2012
India – “The State of the Forest Rights Act: Undoing of historical injustice withered”
Press Release from the The Asian Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Network claiming that the Forest Rights Act has not been properly implemented with 54% of claims made under it having been rejected.
"....The claims under the FRA are not being recognised in the protected areas such as National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries...."
In many cases, more than one person/family has been granted title over the same plot of land
May 07, 2012
India - The relocation conundrum
How does one ensure the fundamental non-negotiables of equity, justice and sustainability? What values do we want to uphold and what will be the process to make that happen?
"For a while it appeared that the relocation issue had gone onto the back burner because we were not hearing about it a lot. It never disappeared for sure, because it was central in many of the discussions around the declaration of Critical Tiger Habitats, Critical Wildlife Habitats and the Scheduled Tribes and Other....."
Mar 27, 2012
Is all of the criticism REDD receives justified?
'Gold' standard for REDD forest conservation project in Colombia's Choco’
"As families returned to their traditional lands after nearly a decade of displacement, the prospect of new conflict between armed land grabbers and communities loomed."
Feb 17, 2012