View from the Termite Mound
Scattered, Scarce, and Delayed Reports While Waiting for Action against the Genocidal MLUM Proposal in NgorongoroMore… Jun 22, 2020
Scattered, Scarce, and Delayed Reports While Waiting for Action against the Genocidal MLUM Proposal in NgorongoroMore… Jun 22, 2020
Conservation is not yet inclusive, considerate and attuned to the black African experience
Conservation globally is a challenging battle. Movements against climate change, plastic pollution and deforestation in the Amazon are on the rise. So to are ground-breaking research and futuristic interventions, and yet the natural world is burning. Nowhere else is this more evident and an uphill battle than in Africa and this is why.More… Jun 14, 2020
Hunting is a topic that attracts polarised viewpoints. But as Mark Rowe demonstrates, when it comes to limiting human-wildlife conflict and to wider conservation measures, it’s not always so simple.
Mention ‘hunting’ and most of us think of poaching – primarily for ivory and the demands of Chinese medicine – or trophy hunting (see maps below); and the unpalatable image of a triumphant (usually) white Westerner straddling a dead, charismatic mammal. But the issue is a much wider and more nuanced one.More… Jun 05, 2020
This blog has been too silent. I’m very sad and tired, and in Loliondo, and Ngorongoro district as a whole, people have been busy discussing Covid-19, or “politics” (possible candidates, and I’m not innocent in this regard, even if my main interest is in who will best defend the land), while the biggest threat ever looms over everyone’s head – the insane Multiple Land Use Model report of last year. This threat has again been spoken about, and there’s a new attempt to, from the inside, stop planned atrocities.More… May 12, 2020
Never before have we seen how the human use of wildlife can yield such catastrophe, as we have with COVID-19.More… Apr 10, 2020
A Trendsetter in Converting Poachers to Protectors
Then a range forest officer with Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Kerala, Raju K. Francis still remembers that distant afternoon in 1994, when he arrested elusive forest brigand Aruvi from a hideout near an ancient cave in Theni district of Tamil Nadu, where local gangs used to hide smuggled sandalwood. Aruvi was the leader of a 23-member team of wildlife poachers and sandalwood smugglers operating from K.G. Patti, Varusanadu and Lower Gudalur regions of Theni, which were around 20 kilometres from PTR.More… Mar 10, 2020
Adopting rights-based approaches to enable cost-effective conservation and climate action
Progress on many commitments made in past decades to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples in conservation is too limited. Rights violations affect IPs culture, well-being, livelihoods, and security without evidence of resulting conservation outcomes. Protected Areas Financing is limited and heavily public spending, not support of Indigenous and community conservation. Regular global monitoring of progress and access to grievance are key to accelerate progress or secure conservation outcomes.More… Mar 10, 2020
Across Africa, state-led anti-poaching forces, no matter how well funded and equipped, have been unable to curtail the high levels of poaching currently observed.
Poaching is a complex topic that cannot be solved by myopic, top-down enforcement approaches. Crime syndicates may be fuelling the poaching of elephant and rhino but they are not the source of the problem. Rather than treat the symptoms by spending millions on weapons and anti-poaching forces, which experience has repeatedly shown does not stop poaching, there is a need to understand the underlying causes of the poaching problem if it is to be solved. Devolving power and benefits to local communities will enable local communities to acquire full responsibility for anti-poaching operations, which they are much better positioned to do than external agencies who do not have the social networks and local knowledge needed to effectively perform oversight functions in the local area. As witnessed in the Luangwa Valley and Namibian conservancies, there is every likelihood that there will be a significant decline in poaching once community conservation is properly implemented.More… Mar 09, 2020
Exclusive: Inquiry into $21.4m conservation project reports ‘credible’ evidence of abuse.
Armed ecoguards partly funded by the conservation group WWF to protect wildlife in the Republic of the Congo beat up and intimidated hundreds of Baka pygmies living deep in the rainforests, an investigation into a landmark global conservation project has heard.More… Feb 10, 2020
The Masoka community, on behalf of communities in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, add their voices to the current global media debate on trophy hunting and sustainable use.
This is a letter that adds the voices of rural communities to the current global debate on trophy hunting. This letter is informed by those who live with wildlife and who are concerned that their livelihoods are protected and their rights upheld. These voices are rarely heard but they are vital to any healthy debate about conservation.More… Jan 23, 2020
Moves by the United Kingdom to Ban the Import of Hunting Trophies - An Analysis by Rowan B. Martin.
This document reviews a debate which took place at Westminster Hall in the UK Houses of Parliament on the 2nd October 2019 in which the advocacy by Animal Rights parliamentary members was extreme. In this document I challenge some of the misinformation that was prevalent. Much of the ill-informed debate was taken up with trophy hunting of lions while ignoring the social, ecological and economic realities of the rural population and their resource base in Africa.. Zac Goldsmith (Minister for DIFD (Department for International Development) and DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) has initiated a ‘consultative process’ which closes on the 25th January 2020. This paper will be submitted to the Committee responsible for the consultations.More… Jan 07, 2020
Billy and the burned village.
An oil barrel discovered at the bottom of a reservoir in a nature reserve in Thailand in April 2019 has cast a light on a story some would rather stayed hidden. It is a tale of powerful men and the lengths they will allegedly go to keep their crimes covered up. But it is also the story of one woman's determination to get justice for the man she loved and the community he was fighting for.More… Jan 04, 2020
Stories from Colombia, Indonesia and India
“Each year sets a new record for the murder of people defending their lands and the environment,” says Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples. “And thousands more are victims of violence or criminalization.”More… Dec 31, 2019
In the wake of a BuzzFeed News investigation, new legislation promises "to deter possibilities of future taxpayer-funded instances of torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings."
More… Dec 21, 2019
There’s outrage in Botswana over the shooting of a collared elephant and four others on San communal land.
When President Mokgweetsi Masisi opened up Botswana’s rich wildlands to hunting, it helped gain him the essential rural votes he needed to get re-elected. But the ‘unethical’ hunting of a collared elephant has the local San community, and supporters of hunting, up in arms.More… Dec 12, 2019
An opinion piece on the enduring debate about Elephant Conservation following the recent CITES meeting that rewarded those with unsuccessful conservation records over those with manifest successes.
More… Sep 16, 2019
Si no se protege a los pueblos indígenas no se está protegiendo la Amazonía. Los bosques amazónicos están protegiendo el planeta y mitigando el cambio climático por lo tanto es una prioridad alinear las políticas para proteger al mismo tiempo: territorio, pueblos indígenas y bosques. . If indigenous people are not protected then nor is the Amazon. The Amazon forest protects the planet and mitigates climate change which means that it is a priority to align those policies that protect land, indigenous peoples and the forest.More… Sep 05, 2019
A deadly conflict simmers between the autochthon people forced out of Kahuzi-Biéga national park, and the rangers protecting the land.
More… Jul 22, 2019
Reflections on elephants, trees, conservation and the future by Dr Brian Child.
From a series of articles published in Botswana's Mmegionline between April and July 2019More… Jul 18, 2019
A short discussion of the ethical boundaries of our varied interpretations of what constitutes a compassionate view of conservation.
More… Jun 09, 2019
Botswana re-introduces hunting to a chorus of criticism.
After Ian Khama stepped down as President of Botswana to be replaced by Mokgweetsi Masisi some of the corner stone "environmental" policies of Ian Khama were immediately up for review. Political gamesmanship or sound conservation strategy?More… May 27, 2019
Over the last 33 years, The Indigenous World has documented an increasing trend towards harassment and criminalisation of indigenous peoples and communities.
Throughout 2018, there has been an increase in the documentation and reporting of illegal surveillance, arbitrary arrests, travel bans to prevent free movement, threats, dispossession and killings. We have witnessed instruments which are meant to protect indigenous peoples being turned against them, through the use of legislation and the justice system, to penalise and criminalise indigenous peoples’ assertion of their rights. The collection of events compiled in this edition demonstrate the continuation of increased violence, criminalisation, harassment and lack of justice that indigenous peoples experience as they continue to defend their lands and identity.More… Apr 28, 2019
Science Magazine Article with Huge Media Coverage, Anti-Loliondo Co-Author, and a not so Hidden Wish to Influence the Tanzanian Government
More… Apr 08, 2019
Charity Commission to assess whether money sent abroad was subject to due diligence as German MPs urge funding halt
More… Apr 07, 2019
one of the world’s most iconic ecosystems under pressure.
New finding alters our view on what is needed to protect biodiversity.More… Apr 01, 2019
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.More… Mar 16, 2019
Evictions Loom Over a Million Adivasis.
How can the competing issues of conservation and indigenous rights work in harmony to ensure both forests and the livelihoods of their inhabitants are protected?More… Mar 09, 2019
The limitations of economic benefits and the role of science
More… Mar 08, 2019
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.More… Mar 04, 2019
Botswana elephants – to trophy hunt and cull, or not? The current international furore over a Botswana government White Paper (discussion document) regarding elephant management necessitates an understanding of the entire picture. This is one of a series of opinion pieces on the subject published by Africa GeographicMore… Feb 28, 2019
It is scandalous that the fate of a million people can rest on the abdication of responsibility and a deliberate act of omission by the government.
More… Feb 24, 2019
A lawyer said that the Supreme Court may have "overstepped".
More… Feb 23, 2019
"We feel as though it is only our duty to conserve and preserve forests and wildlife – and not the duty of everyone.”
More… Feb 23, 2019
Critics say supreme court ruling constitutes ‘mass eviction in name of conservation’
Millions of Indians face eviction after the country’s supreme court ruled that indigenous people illegally living on forest land should move. Campaigners for the rights of tribal and forest-dwelling people have called the court’s decision on Wednesday “an unprecedented disaster” and “the biggest mass eviction in the name of conservation, ever”.More… Feb 22, 2019
Tigers, leopards, elephants and more wreak havoc on farms and villages in India, but a compensation program can ease the sting—and conserve the animals
More… Feb 07, 2019
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.More… Jan 29, 2019
The situation is far, far too painful and help is needed from anyone with some influence.
Fear and silence have continued into December. In November Tanzanian soldiers could torture and chase away people, and burn their bomas, in serious violation of interim orders issued by the East Africa Court of Justice, while all leaders in Loliondo stayed silent – and cattle were illegally detained on village land. Beatings continue, and on 21st December 12 bomas (or per other accounts 11 bomas/24 houses) were burned in the Leken area of Kirtalo village.More… Dec 28, 2018
The continent’s largest land mammal plays crucial role in spiritual lives of the tribes
More… Dec 12, 2018
Edéhzhíe is located in the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories. It is the first Indigenous protected area designated in Canada.
More… Dec 07, 2018
Recent developments threaten Botswana’s well-established status as a successful conservation country.
More… Dec 06, 2018
In wide areas around the camp of OBC, that organizes hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, people are being attacked and beaten, and chased away together with their cattle. This is not only a crime against human rights and Tanzanian law, but it’s a serious violation of interim orders issued by the East African Court of Justice on 25th September this year.More… Nov 18, 2018
View from the Termite Mound
A blog about threats against Maasai land in Loliondo - Thomson Safaris, that claim 51 km2 of grazing land as their private nature refuge, OBC, that keep lobbying the Tanzanian government to grab 1,500 km2 from the Maasai - and ruthless hypocrisy, lies, intimidation, and violence.More… Nov 07, 2018
Inside the minds of trophy hunters
From the dentist who felled Cecil the lion to the woman who shot a goat on Islay, keen hunters are happy to fork out small fortunes to kill wildlife. But why do they do it – and what is the true cost of their obsession?More… Nov 04, 2018
Karen people in Tanintharyi region fear project to protect 800,000-acre area will cut them off from ancestral lands.
A British conservation charity has become embroiled in a row with villagers displaced by civil war in Myanmar over plans to protect pristine forests housing wild Asian elephants, tigers and sun bears.More… Nov 02, 2018
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.More… Oct 30, 2018
In recent months, the state deputies of the Legislative Assembly of Rondonia had moved to create 11 new protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon, covering about 600,000 hectares (2,316 square miles) of forest. However, the bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby, bitterly opposed to the action, launched a counter legislative measure, attaching the scrapping of the protected areas to an emergency state funding bill. On 25 September, that funding bill passed, effectively killing the conserved areas. Thirty years ago, only 2 percent of Rondonia’s forested land had been felled. That has increased to 28.5 percent today, the highest level in any Amazonian state due to a massive influx of land-hungry families, relocation encouraged by the government, along with the uncontrolled expansion of logging and land clearing for ranching. Conservationists fear that continued illegal incursions into conserved areas could result in escalating violence as land grabbers, illicit loggers and cattlemen conflict with indigenous groups and Brazilian law enforcement over Amazon land claims.More… Oct 11, 2018
Press release from the East African Court and comments from The East African and The View from the Termite Mound
East African Court of Justice, Arusha, 25th September, 2018: The First Instance Division has granted an interim order restraining the government of Tanzania and its agents from evicting the residents of Ololosokwan Village Council and 3 other Villages from the disputed land bordering Serengeti National Park.More… Oct 02, 2018
More from 'A View from the Termite Mound'
The bizarre case of mistaken identity and illegal arrests; Thomson Safaris back to violence (if they ever stopped), using soldiers; Reported arrests of OBC rangers, but details are scarce and confused; Attack by soldiers at orpul in Ololosokwan; The government’s affidavits.... Now Summary of osero and OBC developments of the past decadesMore… Sep 27, 2018
Evictions and extrajudicial killing.
The Kahuzi-Biéga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was established in 1970 by a Belgian photographer and conservationist Adrien Deschryver. In creating the park, almost 6,000 Batwa indigenous people were violently evicted from the area.More… Sep 15, 2018
From Thinking like a human - Conservation for the 21st century
More… Aug 25, 2018
History is being made in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Local communities have participated in redrawing the borders of a nature reserve. They now seek effective participation in the management of the reserve. If successful, this experience could become a model for future conservation projects.More… Aug 03, 2018
More… Aug 03, 2018
Mordecai Ogada’s “people first” mantra rankles fellow conservationists, whom he compares to colonists.
OGADA CALLS HIS FELLOW ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS “PROSTITUTES,” EXPLAINING THEY WILL FIND A “SIMPLISTIC SOLUTION TO FEED BACK INTO DONORS LOOKING FOR INSTANT GRATIFICATION.”More… Aug 03, 2018
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?More… Jul 22, 2018
A new community forestry strategy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could help provide Congolese communities with a say in the management of the country’s forests. A group of local and international organizations, government agencies and community groups developed the strategy to strengthen the capacity of provincial authorities and ensure that the country’s community forestry laws do in fact include and benefit communities. The plan calls for an “experimental phase” over the next five years to gradually provide access to areas of the roughly 700,000 square kilometres (more than 270,000 square miles) of available forest through community management permits.More… Jul 22, 2018
Indigenous people, not environmentalists, are the key to protecting the world’s most precious ecosystems.
More… Jul 22, 2018
Karen indigenous peoples make formal complaint to the Global Environment Facility about the Ridge to Reef conservation project in Myanmar.
More… Jul 22, 2018
In this blog post:- Violent assault committed by soldiers; The EACJ case; Probe team, team of attorney general’s lawyers, or whatever; Reuters article everywhere; Visit by RC Gambo.More… Jul 05, 2018
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.More… Jun 27, 2018
Perspectives on the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.
An overview of the issues, opportunities constraints and problems affecting the world's largest multi-country park.More… Jun 19, 2018
View from the Termite Mound A blog about threats against Maasai land in Loliondo - Thomson Safaris, OBC and ruthless hypocrisy.
In this blog post: - Tanzania Breweries Limited; Thomson Safaris take Maasai land as their nature refuge; Lesinko shot at Enashiva Nature Refuge; Trent murdered; 2009 drought; The sign; First international article; The PM’s “report”; Unanswered UN letters; The court cases; Becoming a blogger; The negotiations; Children beaten; Five herders prosecuted for trespass; Killing a website; More journalists in trouble; Olunjai shot; The big intimidation campaign in Loliondo; Charity as a weapon – and recently buying who could not be bought; Current silence.More… Jun 14, 2018
View from the Termite Mound A blog about threats against Maasai land in Loliondo - Thomson Safaris, OBC and ruthless hypocrisy.
In this blog post: “Secret” intimidation and illegal arrest campaign. eNCA piece about Loliondo - husband of interviewed family currently in police custody. The hearing. Another, maybe unrelated, wave of arrests. Kigwangalla’s budget presentation and the timid opposition reaction to Loliondo. Oakland’s response to the Tanzanian government. Manyerere Jackton again. What has happened? (summary that’s very useful for newcomers).More… Jun 08, 2018
More… Jun 07, 2018
More… May 22, 2018
Banning hunting can have negative impacts on the conservation of animals.
More… May 22, 2018
In this blog post: Report by the Oakland Institute; Kigwangalla becomes like his shamelessly lying predecessors; Livestock detained at Wasso market; Secret meeting for a “friendlier special authority”; OBC’s gift to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism; Summary for newcomers.More… May 14, 2018
The Maasai Land that was to Run Forever
Based on field research, never publicly-seen-before documents, and an in-depth investigation into Tanzania’s land laws. This report is the first to reveal the complicity between Tanzanian government officials and foreign companies as they use conservation laws to dispossess the Maasai, driving them into smaller and smaller areas and creating a stifling map of confinement.More… May 11, 2018
Typified by The Nature Conservancy and The World Wildlife Fund, Global Conservation as such is really an arm of colonialist foreign policy going back at least a century, and its fundamental aims have not changed.
Cloaked under a veneer of idealism, protected area conservation is a cynical and ubiquitous foreign policy charade, harming both the environment and its inhabitants throughout the world. Indigenous residents are displaced either as a matter of policy by force or through ecosystem degradation, depending on the protected area category set by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Swiss-based body for conservation, founded in 1947 as a lesser-known leg in the postwar international system.More… Apr 19, 2018
Outside Kruger National Park, the people who once lived inside may be the key to the reserve’s future.
Kruger National Park and the communities around its borders represent the global front line in the battle against rhino poaching. South Africa contains the largest remaining rhino populations in the world, and most of the killing is happening in and around Kruger. In these villages, residents are caught in the middle of an escalating fight between poachers and conservationists — one that has grown in intensity and violence as prices skyrocket. Poor and dispossessed, these villages potentially hold the key to solving this crisis in the long run, and yet distrust runs deep.More… Apr 09, 2018
In March 2017, India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority issued a notice asking 17 states to suspend the rights of indigenous peoples and other forest dwellers in critical tiger habitats.More… Mar 20, 2018
In 2017, government authorities in India destroyed almost 8,000 homes and forcefully evicted nearly 40,000 people, in the name of conservation. That’s more than 20 homes destroyed and 109 people evicted every day.
More… Mar 09, 2018
Rhinos Wanted – Dead or Alive
Major gaps between South African and Namibian legislation that regulates the endangered species trade allowed for the sale of at least 13 white rhino bulls from a South African game park to a Russian big game hunting outfit in Namibia. Nine of these rhinos were found to have died.More… Mar 06, 2018
In an Urgent Action Alert, Amnesty International is asking people to write to the director of the Kenya Forest Service.
More… Feb 17, 2018
An order passed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority on March 27, 2017 categorically states that the Forest Rights Act (FRA) will not apply in Tiger Reserves. By doing this, the order not only invalidates the rights of communities who live within Tiger Reserves, but also confuses the provisions of the two laws: the Forest Rights Act and the Wildlife Protection Act.More… Feb 02, 2018
Complaint abandoned, but systematic human rights violations continue for indigenous Baka communities in Cameroon.
More… Jan 31, 2018
The Indonesian government plans to formally recognize the occupation and use of land inside conservation areas, including national parks, by local and indigenous communities. The program will grant these communities access to clearly defined areas within these conservation zones, in exchange for managing these areas responsibly and sustainably, and not expanding their encroachment. However, the program could clash with a 2017 presidential regulation that emphasizes resettlement as a solution to human encroachment in conservation areas.More… Jan 24, 2018
Security forces are flushing "criminal elements" out of a forest in western Kenya, an official said on Thursday, two days after a man was killed there, leading the European Union to suspend aid.More… Jan 20, 2018
The EU has suspended its Sh3.6 billion water towers initiative with Kenya following violent Sengwer community evictions, ambassador Stefano Dejak has said.More… Jan 18, 2018
'This is about communities, we want communities to grow and to thrive,” says the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, which wants to oversee the ‘ecological engine’ of the Arctic.
More… Dec 11, 2017
Call to action for a “zero tolerance” policy concerning human rights abuses in conservation programmes.
This is an important campaign for justice but we ask whether all the potential parties to the injustices claimed are represented here. For example the letter fails to mention the French company Rougier or the French Government which ought to be concerned about the behaviour of an important French company whose interests the eco-guards were protecting.More… Dec 09, 2017
On 10 November 2017, a man died after being beaten and abused by eco-guards in the Republic of Congo. The 32-year old man, Freddy Ndadé, was arrested with two other men for alleged poaching. They were arrested in the Central African Republic, near the border with the Republic of Congo.More… Dec 08, 2017
The state should stop giving away forest land to big business establishments.
More… Nov 30, 2017
Tanzania has ended a 25-year-old hunting tourism deal with a United Arab Emirates company called Otterlo Business Corporation. The deal, set up in 1992, was reported to be in exchange for millions of dollars to Tanzania’s armed forces.More… Nov 21, 2017
*Natural Resources Minister says the Dubai-owned company will never be awarded another hunting licence, and suspended director of wildlife Alexander Songorwa for allegedly creating a syndicate of government officials in the ministry who have been compromised. *More than 2,796 animals and birds were killed in the 2007 and 2009 hunting seasons lasting four months each, with fears among the local people and conservationists that the animals could include endangered species. *The hunting sector contributes 90 per cent of the money used by the Tanzania Wildlife Authority.More… Nov 15, 2017
Answering this question with an example of blatantly racist and coercive imagery endorsed and propagated by two large players in the conservation world, both internationally and in India.More… Nov 13, 2017
“If the indigenous people haven’t given their consent, then WWF has no business being there”
For decades, alarm bells have been ringing over the human rights abuses that WWF is contributing to in the Congo Basin. In its attempt to defend itself (14 October), WWF shows that it is still deaf to these concerns, and prepared to mislead the public.More… Nov 03, 2017
Indigenous Bayaka dispossessed
More… Oct 30, 2017
The preamble of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out that “…respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment”. Despite this emphatic international human rights standard, and the global leadership and commitment demonstrated by Indigenous Peoples throughout the world, some Indigenous communities in some parts of world continue to have their rights denied in the name of conservation.More… Oct 25, 2017
“Protecting our planet is as much about respecting the rights of the people that depend on it as it is about protecting wildlife”
Recently, Survival International published a report titled, “How will we Survive?” It documents in detail the impact on indigenous communities of the national parks, logging concessions and trophy hunting zones that have been imposed on vast areas of land in the Congo Basin. The report is critical of the roles of the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society have played in conservation in the Congo.More… Oct 13, 2017
A Batwa “Pygmy” man has issued a desperate plea to the organization which runs New York’s Bronx zoo, after his 17-year-old son was shot dead by a park guard.More… Oct 12, 2017
Survival International accuses WWF and WCS of supporting violence against indigenous people in the Congo Basin
National parks, logging concessions and trophy hunting zones have been imposed on vast areas of land in the Congo Basin. A new report by Survival International documents how the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society have played a key role in this carve up of indigenous peoples’ lands.More… Oct 12, 2017
Activists fear project may remain only on paper as there is no clarity on availability of land.
More… Oct 05, 2017
The Inuit of Labrador and the federal government have signed a deal that will see the Inuit use their traditional knowledge to develop a marine-management plan covering more than 380,000 square kilometres of coastal waters on the far eastern end of the Northwest Passage.More… Oct 02, 2017
Protected areas, indigenous territories, and conservation concessions in Peru.
“State-controlled protected areas (PAs) have dominated conservation strategies globally, yet their performance relative to other governance regimes is rarely assessed comprehensively. Furthermore, performance indicators of forest PAs are typically restricted to deforestation, although the extent of forest degradation is greater.”More… Sep 27, 2017
On Saturday 26 August, the boy and his father were shot at by eco-guards. The father was badly wounded but escaped but his son was killed.
More… Sep 15, 2017
Forced out, Indigenous people are forging a comeback.
Among Indigenous leaders, there is more talk of a day when their people will return to the parks — not to amuse tourists, but to live and work.More… Sep 08, 2017
Stephen Corry of SI explains how the process unwound.
Survival International has today abandoned trying to get a resolution to our formal complaint that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is violating international standards about corporate responsibility, and is reverting to using public pressure to try and stop the abuses.More… Sep 05, 2017
A deadly conflict is underway in India as forests and grasslands are constantly shrinking which has forced animals to fight for space with human population.
More… Aug 25, 2017
Community leaders and environmentalists rally to protect Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory, cause of massive 2011 protests.
More… Aug 15, 2017
Rangers Say that They Have Started an Operation to Evict the Maasai from the 1,500 km2 Osero
More… Aug 14, 2017
Members of the Paharia tribe living in the upper hill regions of India's Jharkhand state have been spending sleepless nights.
More… Aug 12, 2017
President Temer, influenced by the rural lobby in congress whose votes he needs to not be tried by the Supreme Court on corruption charges, has okayed new criteria meant to delegitimize indigenous land boundary claims, legal experts say.- One rule rejects any indigenous demarcation of land where Indians were not physically present on a traditional territory in 1988, which would disqualify many legitimate claims. - Another allows government to undertake “strategic” public works, such as dams and roads, without indigenous consent, violating the International Labor Organization’s 169 Convention, signed by Brazil.- The administration also introduced a bill likely to be passed by congress that reclassifies 349,000 hectares (1,347 square miles) of Jamanxim National Forest in the Amazon, gutting protections, allowing economic activities — logging, ranching, farming and mining — and legitimizing land grabs there.More… Aug 02, 2017
A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) in Central America has found that cattle ranching and other anthropogenic activities represent a major threat to the region's remaining rainforests.
More… Jul 29, 2017
"Here are people with no alternative places to live, people who are born there... They have nowhere else to go"
More… Jul 22, 2017
“Hero worship in conservation is as old as wildlife conservation itself. The subjects of this worship are invariably white men and women who are lionized for taking to a life of selfless service of the wilderness and its residents.”More… Jul 13, 2017
Human-wildlife conflict management still remains a grey area for conservation practitioners.
More… Jul 07, 2017
Vast swathes of the Bayaka's ancestral homelands in the Republic of Congo have been taken over without their consent by loggers and big conservation NGOs.
More… Jun 29, 2017
Taiwan's indigenous people finally granted the legal right to hunt wild game for food and tradition.
More… Jun 11, 2017
It’s Time for a New Deal.
Instead of evicting forest-dwelling communities for engaging in traditional activities in protected areas and reserved forests, the government should use them for co-management.More… May 31, 2017
World over, the territories of indigenous people overlap with the rich bio-diverse areas. Their identity, traditional practices, customary laws, and livelihood are tightly inter-linked to their land and natural resources. Protection and management of natural resources ensure their survival, physically as well as culturally. These forest and nature-dependent communities are increasingly coming in conflict with their respective governments and powerful corporations due to the rise in urbanization, changing economic factors, and push for mega projects across the globe, thereby making it more difficult for them to secure their basic rights and access to land and natural resources. Similar to the global trend, the rights of tribal and other forestdwelling communities in India, who constitute eight per cent (2011 Census) of the country’s population, are also being expropriated leaving them further marginalized.More… May 28, 2017
Hunter-gatherers in Kenya have won an eight-year court battle against the government's plan to evict them from their ancestral land in the Mau Forest.
More… May 28, 2017
A diverse group of the world's leading experts in marine conservation is calling for a Hippocratic Oath for ocean conservation ? Not unlike the pledge physicians take to uphold specific ethical standards when practicing medicine.
More… May 19, 2017
A brief history of greenwashing in the Congo basin. A Survival Int. report.
"None of WWF’s partners that feature here has received or even sought the consent of the tribal peoples whose forests it is destroying. WWF should not enter any relationship with a company that fails to obey the law or respect tribal rights, something that it recognized when it drew up its policy on human rights. Yet WWF has violated this policy time and again."More… May 14, 2017
Russia’s northern Indigenous people have reason to view their national parks system with suspicion. Park boundaries are sometimes rolled back to make way for resource development, while protected areas often pose an impediment to traditional hunting and fishing activities.More… May 14, 2017
National Tiger Conservation Authority’s decision on tribals and forest dwellers draws criticism from CPM leader Brinda Karat.
India’s nodal tiger authority has asked tiger range states not to confer forest rights to any tribal or forest dwelling communities in critical tiger habitats.More… Apr 19, 2017
Degradation of biodiversity is a double injustice that destroys ecosystems and impoverishes indigenous peoples.
More… Apr 18, 2017
Many of our planet’s most beautiful areas are also sites of intense conflicts. In a recent example, traditional herdsmen in February took over the land around Mount Kenya, which is a World Heritage Site and biodiversity hotspot, burning down the tourist lodge and bringing in thousands of cattle to graze.More… Apr 08, 2017
More evictions of the Sengwer in the Embobut Forest, Kenya.
On 2 April 2017, Kenya Forest Service guards violently attacked Elias Kimaiyo, a Sengwer community leader. The Forest Guards were burning houses belonging to the Sengwer. Kimaiyo was taking photographs.More… Apr 08, 2017
"It’s time for a new model of conservation: one that holds human rights at its core."
More… Apr 04, 2017
Threatened by famine, pastoralists have turned to violence.
More… Mar 22, 2017
Chris Lang from Conservation Watch reviews the debate surrounding Kaziranga's shoot on sight policy.
The controversy over Kaziranga National Park’s brutal anti-poaching policy continues. Over the past 20 years, 106 people have been killed in the park in north-east India. Shockingly, almost half of those people were killed in the past five years.More… Mar 11, 2017
'Indigenous protected areas reach their full potential when there are people in them, taking care of them'
Giving Indigenous people a greater say in the operation of national parks and the creation of new protected areas is on the agenda at a major conference in Alberta this week. First Nations leaders and officials from the federal and provincial governments will review proposals that could give more legal weight to protected areas designated by bands, said Steve Nitah, a delegate to the Canadian Parks Conference being held over four days starting Wednesday in Banff.More… Mar 08, 2017
In Kaziranga, a national park in north-eastern India, rangers shoot people to protect rhinos.
More… Feb 12, 2017
Susanna Nordlund's blog about threats against Maasai land in Loliondo - Thomson Safaris, OBC and ruthless hypocrisy.
Minister Maghembe Declares War on the Maasai of Loliondo - The dry season became catastrophic. There were more meetings by the RC’s committee. Herders were shot by Senapa rangers. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism made a declaration that the land had to be taken - flanked by OBC’s journalists. The councillors protested the minister’s declaration. The situation is terrifying.More… Jan 30, 2017
“Many cases of abuse and human rights violations are reported by the communities”
Earlier this week, Survival International announced that it has received a leaked copy of a 2015 WWF report into the impact of its conservation activities in Cameroon on the Baka indigenous peoples. WWF had previously denied the existence of the report.More… Jan 26, 2017
An authority that represents indigenous organizations of the nine Amazonian countries proposes a conservation initiative in which cultural traditions and ancestral knowledge form the basis for development.
The Amazon Indigenous REDD+ (RIA) initiative led in Colombia by the indigenous organization OPIAC is being implemented in the departments of Amazonas and Guainia, territories made up of 169 indigenous reservations of 56 different villages, not counting the populations that are in voluntary isolation. In 2012, the reservation of the Upper Basin of the Inírida River (CMARI), inside the Puinawai Nature Reserve, was chosen as the location of the first pilot implementation project of RIA in Colombia, which had its official presentation at COP18, the 18th meeting of the UN Climate Change Conference. For indigenous communities in the Amazon, it is important that their ancestral traditions are recognized as the basis for the implementation of RIA and used as a mechanism to safeguard Amazonian biodiversity.More… Jan 06, 2017
In unprecedented move, OECD will look into allegations that world’s largest conservation organisation facilitated abuse of Baka people of Cameroon.
More… Jan 05, 2017
Dispute over major tourist attraction and conservation area is tearing local communities apart.
More… Dec 18, 2016
Hunting remains a vital means of subsistence and is central to many communities’ identities, so why should they require permission to hunt?
More… Dec 16, 2016
Representatives of native peoples all over the world are taking part in a meeting during the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity in the resort city of Cancún, Mexico. Indigenous delegates in the summit are defending their rights and their natural resources, which are threatened by climate change, the extractive industries and biopiracy.More… Dec 14, 2016
Vicious media campaign and aborted visit by the PM.
More… Dec 12, 2016
Without their traditional land managers, reserves in Central America are left vulnerable to corporate interests, report finds.More… Dec 09, 2016
In June 2016, the European Union and the Kenyan Government announced a new EU-funded programme: the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Programme. The project aims to preserve ecosystem services in Mount Elgon and the Cherangany Hills.More… Nov 24, 2016
"No rights can be championed, nor wildlife saved, if the forests at the centre of the tussle vanish"
More… Nov 20, 2016
Survival International has learned that an elephant-hunting safari operation jointly owned by a French billionaire has been implicated in human rights abuses against local Baka “Pygmies” and their neighbors, including illegal evictions and torture.
More… Nov 20, 2016
Ivindo National Park, Gabon.
More… Nov 17, 2016
Open letter requesting that India’s Forest Rights Act is implemented and its integrity upheld
More… Nov 10, 2016
A study into freshwater lake management along the Amazon's most meandering river has demonstrated astounding benefits to local livelihoods in replenishing vitally important fish stocks -- a source of much-needed food and income.More… Oct 27, 2016
How do protected areas affect indigenous peoples’ rights to access traditional food?
More… Oct 27, 2016
And their involvement in the struggle for Sengwer land rights.
More… Oct 19, 2016
Conservation in Namibia.
More… Oct 15, 2016
A community-run conservation initiative in southern Myanmar is using local knowledge to preserve both the environment and their ways of life.
* Deforestation has been trending upward in the Tanintharyi region of southern Myanmar, with the area losing 6 percent of its tree cover in 14 years. Mines and new roads are among the threats to its forest. * A committee formed by a community in Tanintharyi is working to preserve the remaining forest of the Kamoethway river valley. * The organization – Rays of Kamoethway Indigenous People and Nature – has established nine different conservation zones in the region. * But members say another conservation project established by Myanmar's government and funded by oil and gas companies is threatening the community and its conservation efforts.More… Sep 25, 2016
Illegal wildlife trade - From First thoughts By Simon Jenkins in The Guardian
Simon Jenkins proposes that "Allowing African farmers to profit from ivory in a carefully controlled market would give them an incentive to conserve wildlife." We ask: Is this either reasonable or realizable?More… Sep 23, 2016
Two villagers were killed and about 40 injured (plus 18 police) during an eviction this week from India’s Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The Gauhati High Court ordered the eviction of 300 families who were living in three villages in the buffer zone of the national park.More… Sep 21, 2016
This article is the second in a two-part series on the challenges faced by the Democratic Republic of Congo's indigenous Bambuti people around Virunga National Park in North Kivu.
Virunga National Park is considered a sensitive zone for the government because of potential oil exploration, mining and rebel groups.More… Sep 17, 2016
One cursory glance at the agenda for the Hawaii conference suggests that World Conservation Congress is still out of touch with real world conservation issues.
A big conservation jamboree is on in Hawaii over 1-10 September. Some 9,000 delegates from 190 countries, including heads of state, government officials, scientists, indigenous people and business leaders, will share, debate and act on the latest issues in conservation and sustainable development, and define a global path for nature conservation for the future.More… Sep 09, 2016
Dispute between WWF and Survival International highlights how some conservation efforts continue to displace Indigenous peoples.
Complaints about deforestation and human rights abuses in an African nation are so common that, sadly, they hardly make headlines anymore. But when the complaints are leveled at one of the biggest environmental groups in the world – that’s unusual enough to draw attention.More… Sep 09, 2016
In the DRC, the indigenous Mbuti people rejected a nature reserve that banned them from their ancestral lands. Now, working with conservationists, they are exploring ways to protect the Itombwe forest together.
More… Aug 31, 2016
One of the world’s smallest ethnic groups is finding its cultural traditions on the wrong side of Mongolian law, putting its very existence in peril
In the Mongolian taiga, or snow forest, a few kilometres from the Russian border, a group of 250 reindeer herders preserve their traditions with care. They dwell, as their ancestors did, in the forest, where they live by hunting, gathering and drinking the milk of their animals. But the creation of a protected area to preserve the wild environment may threaten their survival.More… Aug 29, 2016
Across the world, governments are protecting habitats. But indigenous peoples are being evicted.
More… Aug 28, 2016
Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli Corpuz
"Protected areas have the potential of safeguarding the biodiversity for the benefit of all humanity; however, these have also been associated with human rights violations against indigenous peoples in many parts of the world. The complex violations that have been faced by indigenous peoples in the wake of evermore expanding protected areas have been raised by respective special rapporteurs during numerous country visits and communications to governments."More… Aug 26, 2016
Indigenous hunter-gatherers are being violently evicted from what they claim are their ancestral lands as unrest takes hold over land rights in Kenya’s forests
More… Aug 18, 2016
Bushmen have been criminalized for feeding their families under Botswana’s hunting ban.
A group of Bushmen who were hunting antelope to feed their families have been shot at from a police helicopter – which later crashed injuring six officers – while it was enforcing Botswana’s hunting ban. Nine Bushmen were arrested and subsequently stripped naked and beaten while in custody.More… Aug 14, 2016
The fate of a mysterious hummingbird — and that of the indigenous population that shares its territory — hangs by a thread.
"I would not find easy answers, but rather lessons both unexpected and essential in the complex ethics of conservation."More… Jul 21, 2016
A 7-year old boy has been shot by park guards in Kaziranga national park, India, visited in April by Prince William and Kate, which operates a strict 'shoot first' policy. The incident highlights the government's wider efforts to evict tribal peoples from their forests in the name of conservation.More… Jul 21, 2016
In the Maya Biosphere Reserve concessions where local communities sustainably harvest forest products have proved a boon for people and the forest alike — but their future is uncertain. Mongabay correspondent Sandra Cuffe investigates the complex forces at play in her series exploring challenges in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.More… Jun 11, 2016
In this commentary, veteran Mongabay reporter Jeremy Hance shares his thoughts after completing his four part series 'Conservation Divided'.
Thirty years is not a long time in the history of the world, but a lot can change in 30 years. Thirty years ago the Soviet Union was still a thing, the human population was 2 billion smaller than it is today, and Pluto was still a planet. The Earth was also significantly cooler and it was still home to golden toads, baijis, and dusky seaside sparrows.More… Jun 10, 2016
The hunter gatherers have played cat-and-mouse with authorities since British colonists evicted them in the late 19th centuryMore… May 20, 2016
The field of conservation has faced down an internal crisis over is its treatment of indigenous peoples and local communities living in ecosystems targeted for protection. Conservationists now often engage these groups in a spirit of partnership, asking and listening instead of telling and demanding. But still there is much work to do. Part 4 of Conservation, Divided: Mongabay’s four-part series investigating how the field of conservation has changed over the last 30 years.More… May 19, 2016
A glowing independent review of Indigenous protected areas and ranger programs should have been a “free kick” for the Coalition but instead has left the sector worried for its future after the report was quietly published last week without announcement.More… May 14, 2016
Part 3 of Conservation, Divided: Mongabay’s four-part series investigating how the field of conservation has changed over the last 30 years.
Despite the widespread embrace of a philosophy dubbed “new conservation” that focuses on human needs and economics, numerous conservationists still remain focused on traditional methods to protect important places and creatures. Jeremy Hance asks can they survive in an age that is asking them to be all things to all people and creatures?More… May 12, 2016
Shining the light on the rainforest floor to reveal the growing problem of deforestation.
It’s no secret that the total global rainforest area is decreasing drastically, particularly in Central America and there are multiple factors contributing to this changing landscape including large and small scale architecture, logging and cattle ranching.More… May 11, 2016
Is big money from foundations, governments and corporations making conservation groups more timid and less effective defenders of wildlife? Part 2 of Conservation, Divided: Mongabay’s 4 part series.
*In Part 2 of Conservation Divided, veteran Mongabay reporter Jeremy Hance explores how major donors at foundations, governments, and corporations are pushing conservation groups to adopt a human-centric approach known as “new conservation” that some critics say leaves wildlife and wild lands out in the cold. *Meanwhile, cozy relationships with environmentally destructive corporations have prompted long-running arguments that some of the world’s biggest conservation groups have lost sight of their environmental missions. Yet big conservation and corporations are closer than ever. * 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.More… May 05, 2016
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.More… Apr 28, 2016
Up to $500m spent by donors on protecting rainforest in the Congo basin has failed to prevent destructive developments, says the Rainforest Foundation
Up to $500m (£346m) spent by the US, EU and other donors to protect the world’s second largest swath of rainforest has failed – for the trees, the animals and the people who live among them – a major study has found.More… Apr 22, 2016
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.More… Apr 20, 2016
Edward Loure wins leading environmental award after helping communities in Tanzanian Rift Valley secure legal title to ancestral land
Edward Loure helped to pioneer a new model for conservation and development in Tanzania that gives land titles to indigenous communities rather than individuals.More… Apr 19, 2016
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.More… Mar 09, 2016
Evidence from Madagascar
The Paris Agreement of December 2015 encourages countries “…to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments…activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (Article 5) as a key policy instrument for climate change mitigation. The Agreement also acknowledges the need to respect human rights in all climate actions.More… Mar 01, 2016
The ‘human’ in ‘human-wildlife conflicts’ suggests that many drivers of conflicts are the result of poor management, misguided clearance decisions and apathy.
More… Feb 28, 2016
Research findings that traditional methods of farm cultivation of indigenous communities support biodiversity are fuelling calls from conservationists not to relocate them outside Malaysia’s thinning patches of rainforests.More… Feb 14, 2016
Survival International has launched a formal complaint about the activities of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Cameroon. This is the first time a conservation organization has been the subject of a complaint to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), using a procedure more normally invoked against multinational corporations.More… Feb 10, 2016
With a change of Government in Dar Es Salaam the ICCA is once again pressing for the land rights of the people of Uvinje to be respected
Saadani was initially a game reserve created in the 1960s, partly at the behest of local residents concerned over seeing outsiders come in and indiscriminately kill wildlife. Saadani village contributed land for the reserve. However, when the game reserve became a national park records of the boundaries became scarce. Recent research seems to have done a thorough job of confirming the claims by local residents that the Tanzania National Parks Authority has arbitrarily redrawn park boundaries to snap up additional village land. Now they are ready to evict residents of Uvinje Sub-village.More… Jan 19, 2016
The DC has visited Karkamoru in Kirtalo together with journalists. Media has spread misinformation.
More… Jan 13, 2016
Perhaps a surprising title for Just Conservation but the tale of how Conservation has been enlisted to further perpetuate the exile of the Chagossians from their island homes continues to reverberate in both political and environmental circles
"Although the European Court of Human Rights ultimately ruled against the Chagossians in 2013, this March, a U.N. tribunal found that the British government had violated international law in creating the Marine Protected Area......Meanwhile, the European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for the Chagossians’ return, the African Union has condemned their deportation as unlawful, three Nobel laureates have spoken out on their behalf, and dozens of members of the British Parliament have joined a group supporting their struggle."More… Jan 10, 2016
Illegal evictions of adivasi communities from Kanha and Achanakmar National Parks
50 million people are estimated to have been displaced by Modi’s development projects in India, of which about 60% are adivasis. As adivasis account for only 8% of the population of India, this figure is shocking. 50 million people is, as Arundhati Roy points out, ‘almost three times the population of Australia. More than three times the number of refugees that Partition created in India. Ten times the number of Palestinian refugees’.More… Jan 04, 2016
A year end review of the history of the conflict between conservation, hunting and the Maasai of Loliondo
OBC have been hunting in Loliondo since 1993. There were extrajudicial evictions in 2009 from the sought-after 1,500 km2 next to Serengeti National Park. People eventually moved back. In 2011 a draft district land use plan – funded by OBC – proposed turning the 1,500 km2 into a protected area. This was strongly rejected by the district council. In 2013 Minister Kagasheki made statements threatening to take the 1,500 km2. The threat was revoked by the PM, who said the land belonged to the Maasai that should continue their lives as before. This promise has not been put in writing. After 2013 there haven’t been any open official statements from the Tanzanian government announcing any interest in grabbing land in Loliondo. There have however been alleged threats in closed meetings, and a media campaign against the Maasai of Loliondo. A written declaration from the government is needed, and so is continued vigilance.More… Dec 31, 2015
Borders, Boundaries, and Barriers in Southern Africa
Elephants figure prominently in indigenous peoples’ stories, myths, and memory. Most people in southern Africa do not want to see elephants destroyed; rather, they would prefer to see effective practices and policies put in place that reduce human-elephant conflict.More… Dec 19, 2015
Pastoralist land in Tanzania is under threat because of commercial agriculture and conservation. In some places 'philanthropic' ecotourism companies also add to the problem. This article focuses on a case in Loliondo.More… Nov 30, 2015
An important petition designed to call attention to and stop the continuing encroachment of the Masoala National Park onto community lands.More… Nov 08, 2015
Justice, Conservation and the protected areas establishment frenzy
“A theory, however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue. Likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust” John Rawls, A Theory of Justice.More… Nov 03, 2015
Grabbers of Pastoralist Land Join Forces and Loliondo is Misused in the Election Campaign.
View from the Termite Mound - An Update.A partnership between AWF and Thomson Safaris has been loudly announced. Sheikh Mohammed visited and this was used in a dishonest way in the election campaign.More… Oct 16, 2015
'The Just Conservation' site exists to promote debate, raise awareness, promote connection and facilitate action. As such it means we publish a wide variety of views, and we do not necessarily agree with all of them. Recently two controversial academic authors, Helen Kopina and Elle Ouimet, have published a paper in which they asserted that critics of conservation are 'opposed to conservation' (Please note below for the link). We disagree with that characterisation. Conservation is a broad church and we would call ourselves conservationists because we are critical friends of many aspects of it. But that's just our view! We invited these authors to put their perspective forward in a form suitable for this site, and in particular to explain why it might be problematic to 'oppose' (be critical of) conservation. The result, if you accept their arguments, suggests an entirely new way in which 'just conservation' should be approached. As ever, comments are welcome.More… Oct 07, 2015
Conservationists and Indigenous communities share the aim of preserving biodiversity, even if their incentives differ. That creates a grim irony when tribal peoples are estranged from the environment they have safeguarded, for the sake of safeguarding the environment.More… Oct 04, 2015
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.More… Sep 25, 2015
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.More… Sep 13, 2015
In 1997, the government of Botswana began evicting indigenous San and Bakgalagadi people from their homelands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Since then, local and international advocacy groups have been fighting to enable the groups to return. Domestic activists face harsh consequences from the state, including arrest, beating, and alleged torture, while foreign activists on their behalf face arrest, visa restriction, and expulsion from the country.More… Aug 24, 2015
While the larger debate continues over trophy hunting and the recent illegal poaching of an emblematic lion in Zimbabwe for inclusion in a "canned" hunt takes up headline news space the voices of those that have lived by hunting since time immemorial are rarely consulted or heard especially in Botswana.More… Aug 02, 2015
Hunting has long been a highly controversial activity, whether as a sport (leisure or recreational), for commercial purposes or if done for cultural reasons. African countries that legalise hunting activities experience scrutiny around their conservation efforts, and how much money they make from it.More… Jul 30, 2015
Thousands of tribal people from Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh ‘evicted’ in the name of forest conservation. The investigation is sure to trigger a debate.More… Jul 24, 2015
Jeffrey Gogo Climate Story
Twenty seven people were killed by wild animals across Zimbabwe during the first quarter of 2015, as human-wildlife conflicts run deeper. Fifteen sustained injuries at varying degrees. At least 12 of the endangered African elephant, 5 lions and 14 hippos were killed in retaliatory defence, according to figures obtained from the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe.More… Jul 20, 2015
In Zimbabwe, people living near protected areas are quite happy about wildlife but not so much about tourists who visit these sites, according to a new paper published in Tropical Conservation Science, mongabay.com's open access journal.More… Jul 12, 2015
A conflict between the government and indigenous people threatens one of Brazil’s most unique national parks.
Every year, the forest becomes a veritable inferno as it is set ablaze to facilitate dragging nets along lake bottoms and to make room for illegal cattle pastures. Over the last 10 years, satellites have recorded 3,611 fires inside the park, according to the National Institute for Space Research.More… Jun 08, 2015
A paper presented by Robert K. Hitchcock at the conference in Seville, Spain on Warfare, Environment, Social Inequality and Peace Studies. May 29th 2015.
This paper by Robert K. Hitchcock, Maria Sapignoli and Wayne A. Babchuk (1) explores questions of the ethics of wildlife conservation, (2) examines human rights, animal rights, and community based conflict management approaches, and (3) assesses who has the power to determine policies and practices related to land and natural resources.More… Jun 07, 2015
Before he was shot, on July 9, 2014, Olunjai Timan slaughtered a cow and his wife made stew. Not wanting to miss the fresh meal, the wiry Maasai herder sent two of his sons to graze the family's cattle on their own. But before Timan could finish eating, the boys came racing back. They had mistakenly wandered onto the adjacent property, a 12,000-acre tract operated by the Boston-based ecotourism outfitter Thomson Safaris.More… May 12, 2015
Global Press Institute by Chathuri Dissanayake Monday 27th April, 2015. MORAGODA, SRI LANKA
On the morning of Jan. 22, 2015, Shalika Karunaratne watched helplessly as an enraged elephant chased her father, picked him up and dashed him to the ground like a toy.More… Apr 28, 2015
Update from Susanna's blog The View from the Termite Mound. "The people whose houses were burned 10th-14th February did not, according to reports I've got, get any help."
Nothing was done about the human rights abuse of February - The RC came - Kidupo kept getting worse - A surveying team came and left - Channel 10 attacked again - Then Kenyans and those “helping Kenyans” were attacked.More… Apr 14, 2015
Researchers have claimed to have established a "reliable" approach to predict the likely occurrence of human-wildlife conflict which will help conservation scientists to pre-emptively mitigate them and foster co-existence between people and animals.More… Mar 20, 2015
"People asked who it was going to benefit, and how," he said. "They worried that we would lose our traditions."
The idea of a tourism venture first arose in 1998, three years after the park was created. It took another five years to bring it to fruition with assistance from several international non-profit groups, says Constantino Nay, general manager of the tourism operation.More… Mar 05, 2015
Indigenous and wildlife conservationists have common goals and common adversaries, but seem to be struggling to find common ground in the fight for sustainable forests.
The forest lifestyle of the Baka people of Cameroon helps provide improved habitats for wild animals. When the Baka clear a patch for a camp, the clearing later turns into secondary forest that gorillas prefer, Mike Hurran, Survival International Africa campaigner, told IPS.More… Mar 05, 2015
A pesentation by Gordon Bennett and colleagues at the 'Beyond Enforcement: Communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating wildlife crime' conference, 26-28th February at Glenburn Lodge, Muldersdrift, South Africa.
As we celebrate 'World Wildlife Day' today, there's little for nature's best defenders to be glad of, says human rights lawyer Gordon Bennett. Indigenous Peoples around the world are routinely attacked, starved and cut off from the lands and wildlife they have protected for millennia under a flawed and brutal model of 'conservation'.More… Mar 03, 2015
A film facilitated by Insightshare and made by six people from five villages in Loliondo
Olosho is a powerful new video exploring the ongoing land-rights struggle by the Maasai community in Loliondo, from the perspective of those on the frontline. It was created by six members of the Tanzanian Maasai community who have been battling for over twenty years to protect their territory from foreign companies and their own government.More… Feb 26, 2015
In Peru’s vast northeastern region, where roads are scarce and forests abundant, crackdowns on the illegal plundering of timber, fish, and wildlife are sporadic and expensive. To fill the gap, the Peruvian National Park Service and non-profit conservation organizations encourage community groups to patrol their lakes and forests and control fishing and hunting.More… Feb 21, 2015
A large number of bomas in areas of Arash and Loosoito/Maaloni have been burned by TANAPA and thousands of people left without food or shelter. Exact details have been very difficult to come by.
Could those that are in Loliondo please go to the affected areas with food and help to rebuild the houses? The rain that would be a blessing is now falling on people without shelter.More… Feb 18, 2015
Serengeti rangers burn Maasai villages in Ngorongoro district
More than three thousand residents of Arash, Loosoito and Maaaloni villages in Ngorongoro District have been left homeless after the Serengeti National Park security rangers burned 114 Maasai bomas leaving them without necessary supplies.More… Feb 16, 2015
Conservation is ethically challenged
The evolving field called compassionate conservation, in which the guiding principle "First do no harm" stresses the importance of individual nonhuman animals (animals), is gaining increasing global attention because almost animals need considerably more protection than they are currently receiving and many people, including researchers, can no longer justify or stomach harming and killing animals "in the name of conservation." It builds on an agenda that calls for "doing science while respecting animals" and for protecting animals because they are intrinsically valuable, and do not only have instrumental value because of what they can do for us.More… Feb 10, 2015
2nd Appeal to the Government of Tanzania by the ICCA consortium to prevent the eviction of Uvinje’s villagers.
This new ICCA appeal comes because Uvinje villagers have not only not received a response from the Tanzanian government but have also learned that TANAPA is now trying to finish a compensation exercise in order to be legally entitled to begin forcible evictions. The list of people to be compensated has been called into question as it apparently is made up almost entirely of people who do not live in Uvinje and contains none of those who do, as the latter have persistently refused to accept compensation.More… Feb 10, 2015
The dark side of the Jungle Book
While the world gears up for Jungle Book fever, something sinister is afoot in the forests of India, writes Tom Linton. No, not Shere Khan, but zealous officials illegally evicting indigenous communities from their ancestral forests in the name of 'conservation' - and to make way for tiger tourism. And it's happening across India putting millions of people under threat.More… Feb 07, 2015
Updates in the Fight against Loliondo Land Threats
The Jamhuri continues inciting against the people of Loliondo – and is joined by other media outlets. There have been “investor-friendly” meetings and meetings denouncing this. Minister Nyalandu made pointless visits. Some hearings and then postponement in the case against Thomson Safaris. Activists are being threatened. The MP continues showing off his uselessness. Maybe a change for the better is on the way?More… Feb 05, 2015
Conservation conundrum: indigenous territories or government protected areas
An article by Barbara Fraser, A Mongabay Special Reporting Initiative Fellow - January 22, 2015. This article was produced under Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiatives (SRI) program.More… Jan 28, 2015
Interactions and Connections among San, Lions, and Elephants in the Kalahari
Professor Hitchcock discusses what we've failed to learn and respect and what we've too often replaced it with - "In March, 2012, Roy Sesana, a G//ana healer and a member of the organization First People of the Kalahari, came across a herd of elephants in his garden near Molapo in the Central Kalahari. Employing the principles of the Old Way, he talked to them and told them to leave, which they did. He did not employ New Way techniques to handle human elephant conflict such as problem animal control, having the elephants captured and relocated to another place. Instead, he simply talked to them."More… Dec 14, 2014
Chetty communities living in the core area of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve have been demanding that they be shifted out of the forest for three decades. Why is the forest department delaying their rehabilitation?More… Dec 08, 2014
Ahead of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the United States this week, a Botswana Bushman leader has appealed to Prince William for help in recognizing that tribal peoples who hunt for food are not poachers.
The couple are scheduled to visit New York and Washington D.C., where Prince William will launch his “United for Wildlife” initiative in the United States – a consortium of conservation organizations such as Conservation International and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) aiming to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.More… Dec 02, 2014
According to a Press Release issued by the APO The Government of Tanzania has never had any plan to evict the Maasai people from their ancestral landMore… Nov 29, 2014
The Nyalandu-Style Loliondo Land Grab Attempt Almost Becomes World News.
The renewed 1,500km2 grab attempt finally was reported about by the press, but in a distorted way. One Tanzanian newspaper is inciting the public against the people of Loliondo. The same paper published a letter by the councillor for Oloipiri supporting Thomson Safaris and OBC. Minister Nyalandu denies everything and talks about other things. The delegation from Loliondo failed to meet the Prime Minister.More… Nov 23, 2014
Maasai told to leave historic homeland by end of the year so it can become a hunting reserve for the Dubai royal familyMore… Nov 17, 2014
How do people living around wildlife protect themselves? - The survey found that 83% of households tried to keep animals away: 66% ran night watches, since that is when most raids occur; 61% fence their property; 41% light up their areas and 51% built stronger homes or storage areas.More… Nov 10, 2014
Threats against community rights continue to rise in and around the Boumba Bek - Nki Conservation Area of Southeast Cameroon
The transfrontier TRIDOM area has been targeted for conservation for the past 20 years. Its cornerstones comprise Minkebe National Park in Gabon, Odzala Park in the Republic of Congo, the Dja Reserve and Boumba Bek-Nki Parks. The area is also home to many rural communities, including thousands of indigenous Baka whose livelihoods and culture have relied upon forest hunting and gathering across the region for many years.More… Nov 03, 2014
Forest Peoples Programme - Press Release
The Shipibo indigenous community of Korin Bari today filed a law suit against the Peruvian government for its failure to title its traditional territory resulting in the repeated invasion of community lands by illegal loggers and coca growers threatening the lives of community members who protest - 23rd October 2014, Pucallpa, Peru.More… Oct 24, 2014
A discussion contributed by José Álvarez Alonso, Director General – Biodiversity, Ministry of the Environment, Lima, Peru.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold - reflections on illegal logging, land titling and the management of the Amazon forest in the light of events in Ucayali that led to the deaths of Edwin Chota and his colleagues. Una reflexión sobre la tala ilegal, La Titulación De Comunidades Y La Gestión De Los Bosques Amazónicos a raíz de los hechos acaecidos en Ucayali que se sumaban a la muerte de Edwin Chota y sus colegas.More… Oct 15, 2014
Watch Baka recount the abuse they suffer at the hands of anti-poaching squads
Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, has uncovered serious abuses of Baka “Pygmies” in southeast Cameroon, at the hands of anti-poaching squads supported and funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The Baka are being illegally forced from their ancestral homelands in the name of “conservation” because much of their land has been turned into “protected areas” – including safari-hunting zones. Rather than target the powerful individuals behind organized poaching, wildlife officers and soldiers pursue Baka who hunt only to feed their families.More… Oct 10, 2014
Do indigenous groups need saving from poverty? And why do they come into conflict with conservationists seeking to protect their land?
As governments agree to bring indigenous peoples into the global family of rights holders, the death of Edwin Chota and his colleagues in Peru highlights the continuing gap between rhetoric and reality in the struggle between resource miners and conservationists. A struggle that continues to leave the ancient stewards of the land being fought over on the margins of the conflict.More… Sep 24, 2014
Why a tribe in Panama rejected pay for their carbon-rich forests. Panama's efforts to gain funding for standing forests roiled by indigenous opposition.
"I have struggled to tell this story in ways that make sense to average readers who understand little about carbon markets and the magnitude of REDD+. One personal goal is to explain the Kuna perspective on REDD+ and their opposition — which is why you see in the piece a focus on them, and not on the REDD+ program per se. I consciously left a lot of the inside-baseball details out, the back-and-forth, because I simply find it not only confusing to the reader, but not relevant to the issue at hand, which was, why did the Kuna (from their perspective, from what they know and what many people told me) reject REDD+? Also, the piece aims to tell a human narrative, and not be a technical report." Ruxandra GuidiMore… Sep 09, 2014
To appreciate the momentousness of the Khoe protocol, it would be important to put it in the context of the larger law and policy debates around biodiversity conservation and community rights.
More… Sep 09, 2014
The State actively prosecutes but ‘Prosecuting them for using forest violates Forest Rights Act’
Between 2001 and 2011, as many as 192 cases were registered against tribal communities living in and around Nagarahole National Park. But their “offences”, which include trespassing forest land, collecting honey and growing ginger in the forest, are, in fact, their rights enshrined in the Forest Rights Act.More… Sep 06, 2014
"No eviction of Uvinje villagers. Respect communities sensitive to conservation."
This Consortium alert involves Uvinje, a small, coastal sub-village of Saadani Village, north of Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania. The residents of Uvinje face forced eviction from their land and homes because the Tanzania National Park Authority (TANAPA) has redrawn its boundary lines and unilaterally gazetted Uvinje’s present and ancestral lands to extend the coverage of Saadani National Park.More… Aug 27, 2014
An update from Susanna Nordlund's blog - More About Thomson Safaris’ “Enashiva” in Loliondo - In memory of Moringe ole Parkipuny, sadly missed for one year now.
There have been some meetings. In a meeting with the District Commissioner an agreement was made that cows and herders will no longer be harassed on the occupied land, but will graze freely. What happened when Olunjai Timan was shot because of Thomson Safaris’ occupation of Maasai land. And a reminder of what the “philanthropic” land grabber has been doing during these years.More… Jul 24, 2014
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.More… Jul 21, 2014
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.More… Jul 14, 2014
Olonjai Timan was shot by a policeman working for Thomson Safaris. I’m having problems getting updates about the cases against herders accused by Thomson, but am waiting to hear a sentence today (11th July). I’m also having problems getting updates about OBC.More… Jul 12, 2014
Threats to the eviction of the Bushmen of Ranyane to make way for the establishment of the C.I. sponsored wildlife corridor have been removed for the time being by court order and the Bushmen of the Okavango have received both UNESCO and Government support to maintain their cultural links to the area as recognised indigenous inhabitants of the Delta.More… Jun 26, 2014
A video documentary from Kirsten Horne at Earth Touch TV on the promise and peril of social media’s role in nature conservation.
More… Jun 26, 2014
This blog post is unnecessarily delayed for the usual reasons, but I’ve got some information that I can share.
There’s talk about a security and intelligence camp in Loliondo. An NGO staff member was “accused” of being “Kenyan”. In April the Boston Globe published a biased article about Thomson Safaris’ land grab. It’s being looked into how the District Council could get out of the court case. And Thomson Safaris again physically and judicially attack the people whose land they have taken.More… Jun 16, 2014
Saadani was initially a game reserve created in the 1960s, partly at the behest of local residents concerned over seeing outsiders come in and indiscriminately kill wildlife. Saadani village contributed land for the reserve. However, when the game reserve became a national park records of the boundaries became scarce. Recent research seems to have done a thorough job of confirming the claims by local residents that the Tanzania National Parks Authority has arbitrarily redrawn park boundaries to snap up additional village land. Now they are ready to evict residents of Uvinje Sub-village.More… Jun 11, 2014
"Billy was taken for questioning regarding an unlawful wild bee honeycomb and six bottles of honey allegedly found in his possession"
The Thai authorities should urgently provide information about a prominent ethnic Karen activist who is believed to have been forcibly disappeared, Human Rights Watch said today. Por Cha Lee Rakchongcharoen, known as “Billy,” was reportedly arrested on April 17, 2014, in Kaengkrachan National Park in Petchaburi province and released, but his current whereabouts are unknown.More… Apr 23, 2014
and Other News about Loliondo Land Threats - Latest update from 'The Termite Mound.'
The case against Ngodidio Roitiken was dismissed - The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism issued threats against pastoralists - Tanapa rangers burned down bomas in Arash and no action was taken against this - There’s a dangerous lack of unity - Seasonal OBC worker travel to Loliondo in the middle of the rainy season - FZS are hard at work making top recruitments to carry out their plans for Loliondo - Thomson Safaris continue occupying Maasai land and the court case against them is ongoing - The American organisation EarthRights lends a hand to the struggle.More… Apr 18, 2014
Bushmen starve, trophy hunters carry on.
Botswana’s President Khama has banned all hunting nationwide, even for Bushmen who hunt to feed their families – but an exception is being made for trophy hunters paying up to $8,000 to hunt giraffes and zebras.More… Apr 01, 2014
Catherine Reheis-Boyd’s role as a “marine guardian” for both the state and federal governments is just one example of the many conflicts of interests that infest environmental politics in California.More… Mar 22, 2014
Public Letter from the NO-REDD In Africa Network
We, the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) together with the undersigned organizations and individuals, strongly condemn the massive evictions and forced relocation of the Sengwer Indigenous People, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherers of the world, from their ancestral home in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills. The Kenyan government calls the Sengwer People ‘squatters,’ despite the fact that they and their ancestors have lived in the Cherangany Hills since time immemorial; and that Article (63d) of the Kenyan constitution (2010) grants them inalienable rights to their ancestral lands.More… Mar 05, 2014
A thought provoking contribution from Prof. Rosleen Duffy after 2 days at the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking.
On 11-12 February I attended the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking. It was held at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) under the auspices of United for Wildlife. UFW is an initiative of Prince Charles and Prince William under the banner of the Royal Foundation -http://www.unitedforwildlife.org they have brought together some of the biggest wildlife organisations (ZSL, WCS, CI, FFI, WWF, IUCN and TNC) to facilitate responses to the apparent rise in poaching and trafficking. We need to pause for a moment to consider this new direction.More… Feb 18, 2014
REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a U.N. program which uses financial incentives to encourage governments and companies in developing countries to offset their CO2 emissions, significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and conserve trees whilst respecting the interests of all stakeholders.More… Jan 29, 2014
This report is one of four reports on “Lessons Learned from Community Forestry and Their Relevance for REDD+" produced for USAID.
Latin America is unique compared with Africa and Asia for several reasons. The Latin America region offers multiple advantages for REDD+. South America has 25 percent of the world's forests and 40 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Only 1.4 percent of Latin America’s forests are plantations; 98.6 percent of Latin American forests are natural forests. Large areas of forest are under indigenous and community tenure – a key base for community forestry and REDD+ success. Rural population density is low. In Latin America, it is very feasible to build on and nurture existing community forestry to achieve REDD+ goals.More… Jan 27, 2014
Torching homes and forcefully evicting the Sengwer from their ancestral lands, threatening their cultural survival.
The Kenyan government has sent Kenya Forest Service (KFS) guards, with police support, to Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills to forcibly and illegally evict thousands of Sengwer indigenous people from their ancestral forest lands and burn their homes and belongings to the ground.More… Jan 23, 2014
A Yale Environment 360 report by Richard Conniff.
Recent studies in Asia and Australia found that community-managed areas can sometimes do better than traditional parks at preserving habitat and biodiversity. When it comes to conservation, maybe local people are not the problem, but the solution.More… Jan 13, 2014
PRESS INFORMATION from the Forest People's Programme - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 8 January 2014
The Kenyan government has sent police troops to Embobut forest area (in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Western Kenya) to forcefully evict thousands of the indigenous inhabitants of the Sengwer and Cherangany communities from their ancestral forestlands. The eviction is expected to commence as early as tomorrow.More… Jan 08, 2014
Why REDD+ Safeguards will contribute little to defending communities against Green Land Grabbing
A contributed essay from Simone Lovera - Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition, a worldwide coalition of 56 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations from 40 different countries striving for rights-based, socially just and effective forest conservation and restoration policies. She also works as a forest campaigner for Sobrevivencia/Friends of the Earth-ParaguayMore… Jan 01, 2014
"We are deeply concerned by the imminent forced evictions that threaten the forest life and forest homes of the 6,000-7,000 indigenous people and other communities in Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills (Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya)."
For many years the Government has been trying to move the indigenous inhabitants of Embobut off their land by burning their homes. They have done this in the name of a fortress conservation approach which seeks to remove local people from their lands. As IUCN and all pre-eminent conservation organisations now acknowledge, such an approach only ever makes the environmental situation worse, and adds a human rights disaster to the environmental crisis.More… Dec 24, 2013
Rather than being a “rational, balanced plan” as Secretary John Laird claimed it is, Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of Winnemem Wintu Tribe, denounced the tunnel plan as “a death sentence for salmon and a violation of indigenous rights.”
The California Natural Resources Agency on Monday, December 9 released 34,000 pages of Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) documents for public review as tribal leaders, fishermen, family farmers, environmentalists, water agency leaders and elected officials held a press conference on the north steps of the State Capitol protesting the project.More… Dec 13, 2013
Range states agree to include indigenous perspective
Canada and four states agreed in Moscow last week to include “traditional ecological knowledge” from indigenous Arctic peoples in the 1973 International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears.More… Dec 09, 2013
Chepkitale Ogiek community document their customary bylaws for the first time in order to ensure the continued conservation of their ancestral lands and natural resources
“The Ogiek have lived in their ancestral lands, Chepkitale, governed and bound by their traditions being the unwritten law. This is what is captured in this document in the simplest language possible. This is a product of the community, by the community. It has been written with all input coming from the community and agreed on and endorsed by the community. It brings a governance structure relevant to the community today as it has been for centuries.”More… Dec 04, 2013
Idiotic Comments and Inexplicable Silences about Loliondo Land Threats - A new blog post from Susanna Nordlund.
After some months of silence central government reappeared and disappeared in Loliondo. Then the Prime Minister appeared and declared that the 1.500km2 belong to the Maasai and their coming generations thereby reversing the threats and lies by the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism. Long term FZS head comes out in support of the Government and OBC. The court case against Thomson Safaris is ongoing, there’s still unity, but sinister old manager is back. This dry season turned bad and grazing in Serengeti NP was needed. Cows and people were arrested with strange charge sheets.More… Nov 28, 2013
An IIED briefing paper on land acquisition and rights prepared by Tom Blomley, Dilys Roe, Fred Nelson, Fiona Flintan
Large-scale land acquisitions are increasing in pace and scale, in particular across parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Weak governance and poor land use planning mean that commercial ‘land grabs’ often damage biodiversity as well as dispossessing people from customary rights and livelihoods. Land can also be ‘grabbed’ for ‘green’ purposes, triggering conflicts that undermine potential synergies. Expanded state protected areas, land for carbon offset markets and REDD, and for private conservation projects all potentially conflict with community rights. Such conflict is counterproductive because secure customary and communal land tenure helps enable sustainable natural resource management by local communities. This briefing presents the experience of international development, wildlife and human rights practitioners, shared at a symposium on land grabbing and conservation in March 2013.More… Nov 04, 2013
The Van Gujjar people's annual migration challenges conservation to build more flexible strategies guaranteeing the sustainability of ancient traditions; especially when these can be better partners than settled agriculture in the challenge to maintain sustainable levels of biodiversity. This project showcases an innovative use of Google Earth and Google Maps to highlight the Van Gujjar's ancient migratory tradition now imperilled by, amongst many pressures, the establishment of protected areas. The challenge to conservation of including not just established and settled communities but also migratory ones in their attempt to ensure an inclusive and participatory solution to conservation are vividly portrayed.More… Oct 17, 2013
PRIME Minister Mizengo Pinda has ordered to put on hold plans to carve off 1,500 square kilometres from the former Loliondo Game Controlled Area, in a bid to solve the long-existing land conflict in the area.More… Sep 25, 2013
Prestigious scientists and leaders of organisations devoted to biodiversity conservation have launched an initiative to promote a new approach to agriculture.More… Sep 07, 2013
Another Loliondo Visit - A Kind of Safari Report
In July 2013 I managed to return to Loliondo and meet some people affected by Thomson Safaris’ occupation of 12,617 acres of Maasai land. This report is maybe too personal, but not of the kind written in another time. It focuses on the land threats (and me seeking information about them) and not my inadequacies as a tourist, weird and wonderful people and animals I've met, or efforts to wash my hair without running water. The report may contain some whining and ranting.More… Aug 30, 2013
* Although most KWS rangers are honest people who risk their lives protecting wild animals, the evangelists rarely acknowledge them. * More and more cash being donated to save Africa’s remaining populations of wildlife. Yet much of the cash is devoted to wildlife research projects. * Rather than work with KWS in dealing with well-heeled, gun-toting gangs of poachers, evangelists are walking all over the place “sensitizing” Kenyans.More… Aug 25, 2013
Justice and human rights under significant stress as Bushmen lose their right to choose their own counsel.
The effective banning of Gordon Bennett from Botswana is an insult to that country's legal and democratic tradition. It also suggests that the fears surrounding the purported lack of respect for human rights and obsession with security of Ian Khama, President of Botswana and board member of Conservation International, may be bearing a bitter fruit.More… Jul 26, 2013
Chapter 5 of the The Right to Responsibility - Resisting and Engaging Development, Conservation and the Law in Asia
Natural Justice and the United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) have just released a new book for peer review, entitled: The Right to Responsibility: Resisting and Engaging Development, Conservation, and the Law in Asia. This edited volume explores how Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ resilience to external factors is often undermined by laws, institutional arrangements, and judicial systems. It also examines how particular peoples and communities are striving to overcome such structural barriers to self-determination by resisting unwanted developments and engaging proactively with a range of actors at multiple scales.More… Jul 19, 2013
Chapter 8 of the The Right to Responsibility - Resisting and Engaging Development, Conservation and the Law in Asia
Natural Justice and the United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) have just released a new book for peer review, entitled: The Right to Responsibility: Resisting and Engaging Development, Conservation, and the Law in Asia. This edited volume explores how Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ resilience to external factors is often undermined by laws, institutional arrangements, and judicial systems. It also examines how particular peoples and communities are striving to overcome such structural barriers to self-determination by resisting unwanted developments and engaging proactively with a range of actors at multiple scales.More… Jul 19, 2013
An invited editorial for the IUCN CEESP quarterly newsletter
This article was written with the express intent of inviting and, if possible, stimulating debate amongst conservationists as to the nature of the silence over the new, so called, wildlife corridor on the border of the Serengeti. This corridor does not appear on the list of actual or potential wildlife corridors of Tanzania. It's major beneficiary will be the Otterlo Business Corporation and the losers, again, the local communities.More… Jul 11, 2013
From SaviaBolivia - www.saviabolivia.org
A documentary about the Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park – the largest in Bolivia - which was created as an initiative of the indigenous peoples that live in the areas surrounding it (the Guarani-Isoseños, Chiquitanos and Ayoreodes) to ensure their own survival as a culture and as peoples by protecting the natural resources that are an integral part of their culture and livelihoods. This is a jointly managed park in which these communities have a management role. This big protected area is part of a great mosaic of different conservation and management units which extend to the east and south of Bolivia. The Park and its communities are threatened by expanding agro-industrial frontiers and growing demands from extractive industries.More… Jul 07, 2013
From SaviaBolivia - www.saviabolivia.org
A film about the Guaraní-Isoseño people´s traditions and their relation with the KaaIyas (the owners of the natural resources). These traditions are fading against modernity. This film intents to be an instrument to rescue their culture, and send a message to the young people to keep their traditions alive.More… Jul 07, 2013
At the present time, there are approximately 550 people in the Central Kalahari, and some 3,500 people in the three resettlement sites outside of the reserve.
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana has seen conflicts between local people (San and Bakgalagadi) and the state over land and resource rights. Botswana government policy has emphasized biodiversity conservation, high-end tourism, and mining, whereas the indigenous peoples of the reserve favor a multiple use strategy involving foraging and agropastoralism.More… Jun 20, 2013
Hunter-Gatherers, Herders, Agropastorialists, And Farm Workers: Hai//Om And Ju/’Hoansi San And Their Neighbors In Namibia In The 20th And 21st Centuries
A paper prepared by Robert Hitchcock for the session entitled “Hunter-Gatherers and their Neighbours,” Kazonubu Ikeya, chair, at the Tenth Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS 10), University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 25-28 June, 2013More… Jun 20, 2013
Judges uphold decision to create protected area, which prevents former residents resettling islands where US airbase was built
A government decision to create a controversial marine park in the Indian Ocean has been upheld by the high court. Former residents of the Chagos Islands who were forced into exile say the move, involving a ban on commercial fishing, was unlawfully aimed at preventing them resettling their former "paradise" homeland. But Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Mitting, sitting in London, ruled that the marine protected area (MPA) was compatible with EU law.More… Jun 11, 2013
Nakuru talks to Jo Woodman about her eviction from her home to make way for conservation. Video editing by Zoe Young.
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after it was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and a private donor – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. Nakuru Lemiruni's six children were all born in Kisargei and she says she 'cannot think of any other land as home'. She wanted to send a message to AWF. This is it.More… May 21, 2013
'Delayed Updates about the Attackers on Land Rights in Loliondo – Thomson Safaris, OBC and, the Government of Tanzania'
Thomson Safaris step up their propaganda while continuing the occupation of Maasai grazing land at their self-styled 'Enashiva Nature Reserve' – and their land grab PR person since 2007 appears as a graduate student in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy. The Government through Tanzania National Parks Authorities and later the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism renews and intensifies the threat of grabbing a 1,500sq km “wildlife corridor”. And on 26th March 2013 the Government declares total war on the people of Loliondo.More… May 19, 2013
US embassy cables allegedly detailing UK plan to stop return to Indian Ocean islands used by US military is ruled inadmissible
Classified American embassy cables obtained by WikiLeaks cannot be used as evidence in English and Welsh courts because they breach diplomatic privilege, judges have ruled. The decision by Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Mitting in the high court will have far-reaching consequences and is a severe setback for the use of material obtained from leaks or whistleblowers.More… Apr 19, 2013
Conservation and Corruption - A deadly combination in Lekiji, Laikipia.
Lekiji village of central Kenya exists in a wildlife corridor between two private ranches. Lekiji village was established in the early 1960's for the workers on a white man's farm when the farmer left after Kenya's independence. The village existed peacefully until 1996 when the first court judgement to evict the village came, but the 1050 villagers have managed to stay. Eviction attempts have resulted in two villagers deaths. A ruling as of March 28th gives the villagers 45 days to leave the land.More… Mar 30, 2013
The latest update on the Maasai's fight to retain their land rights in Ngorongoro District. As well as reports of subsequent developments - updates: 26th, 27th, 30th March, 4th, 8th,14th,15th, 18th April.
The Tanzanian government, through the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, is moving forward with a plan of taking 1,500 square kilometres which are essential dry season grazing land for the Maasai of Loliondo in Ngorongoro District.More… Mar 24, 2013
The deployment of conservation zones in Bogotá's 'green' neighbourhoods, is fast becoming an alibi for the dispossession of the city's most vulnerable residents.
The establishment of urban conservation areas in Bogotá increasingly constitute de facto privatised spaces for the city's wealthy residents. As ‘green’ areas in the city become more attractive to the upper and middle-classes, local residents are stigmatised as threats to environmental security, and subsequently evicted leaving their land for more profitable, ‘environmentally-friendly’ uses. Thus, it is precisely in the name of the environment that a deeply fractured urban landscape of exclusion, segregation and dispossession has been legitimated and reinforced in the city.More… Mar 15, 2013
This paper recounts and describes the resistance movement around GCA, particularly against the government and NTNC’s unilateral approach to declare and manage it.
“An understanding of the emerging contestation and negotiation around PA management can inform the wider conservation policy process in general and the PA management in particular. What are the new forms of resistance against the newly established PAs? How can we understand and characterise such resistance campaigns? How have different actors responded to such contestation and negotiation? What can we learn from confrontation and contestation against PA expansion?”More… Mar 08, 2013
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.More… Mar 04, 2013
"The current biodiversity crisis is giving rise to calls for a massive mobilisation of financial resources to conserve biodiversity and to reduce the drivers of biodiversity loss."
"How does the marketing and financialising of conserved nonhuman nature connect with a historical trajectory that consolidates capital, including 'natural capital', in the hands of a minority of people?... ...it highlights that when nature aspects are converted into a dollar sign in a capitalist market economy, it may be the dollar that is valued, not the nature that underlies this." An important essay from JC member Sian Sullivan.More… Feb 18, 2013
Ruling by permanent court of arbitration in The Hague may challenge UK's unilateral declaration of marine protected area
"Mauritius is not opposed to a marine protected area. On the contrary, we support conservation. We are very happy to work against illegal fishing," said Ramgoolam.Further doubts about the real intentions of the Foreign office were raised by a 2010 WikiLeaks cable in which Colin Roberts, the FCO's director of overseas territories, told the US state department that there would be no "Man Fridays" left on the islands following the establishment of the MPA and that establishing the park would, "in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents".More… Jan 29, 2013
Conservation and Contestation in Guinea-Bissau, Western Africa
Both fortress and community-based approaches to conservation have shown poor (sometimes negative) results in terms of environmental protection and poverty reduction. Either approach can also trigger grassroots resistance. This article is centered on an allegedly 'community-based' conservation and development project (and its successive follow-ups) intended to create a national park in Guinea-Bissau. It discusses how external agents have constructed the need for intervention, and explores the negative consequences of the practical solutions adopted for a non-existing problem, as well as the on-going shifting and multiple responses of local people. The article aims to demonstrate that supposedly community-based approaches can be as authoritarian and ineffective as fortress conservation, and that resistance generated by them can be fruitless in terms of collective empowerment and welfare, while also being harmful for the environment. The only genuine winner is the aid industry.More… Jan 10, 2013
"is the hunting ban .. a strategy aimed at reducing access to land and wildlife resources for rural people, many of them extremely poor, and allowing wealthier individuals to get access to those lands and resources?"
This article by Professor Robert Hitchcock provides an in-depth review of some of the key issues that are important in understanding the difficulties faced by the Bushmen in reasserting their rights not just to land but to their use of it.More… Dec 24, 2012
Kebonyeng Kepese has been arrested and beaten for hunting to feed his family.
Paramilitary police have severely beaten two Bushmen, burying one in a shallow grave, after accusing them of hunting without permits in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).More… Dec 17, 2012
A summary of issues regarding the conservation influenced resettlement of the Hai//om from Etosha National Park. Contributed by Robert Hitchcock and the Kalahari Peoples Fund.
"It would be useful if the Namibian government followed international declarations and protocols on the rights of indigenous peoples to land and to free, prior, and informed consent regarding resettlement policies and programs. It would also be beneficial if both the government of Namibia and the Hai//om Traditional Authority employed an approach to decision-making based more on consultation and consensus building, and less on top-down directives. This is in the spirit of democratic governance and will help ensure that the goals of building a strong, peaceful and successful society will succeed."More… Dec 11, 2012
A short explanation of what the Avaaz petition against land grabbing hunters in Serengeti really was about, and a reminder that there are other land threats in Loliondo.
An article with a brief overview of the land grabbing in Loliondo should have been published in August when Avaaz launched a campaign called “Stop the Serengeti Sell-Off”, but better late than never …More… Dec 02, 2012
A Compendium of Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Rights Relevant to Maintaining the Integrity and Resilience of Territories and other Biocultural Systems
An overview of the compendium contains a comprehensive compilation of international legal provisions organized into categories of rights that support the stewards of biocultural diversity. It is intended to serve as a useful resource for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, NGOs and others who want to reference and use international law at the national and local levels. A first draft of the publication has been completed and we welcome its rigorous peer review.More… Nov 22, 2012
Biocultural Community Protocols: Articulating and Asserting Stewardship
Video from Natural Justice focussing on protocols developed by Indigenous peoples or mobile or local communities ("community protocols"). A useful means by which a range of peoples and communities can engage with others according to their values, and on the basis of customary, national and international rights and responsibilities.More… Nov 21, 2012
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.”More… Nov 15, 2012
“you will not get your right here on earth; rather you can only get it on the sun.”
Mathias Ligelele said that in the past, when he was growing up, all the residents had norms and customs. They used to keep their environment from degradation, but with the coming of livestock keepers and other external tribes into their lands, they crushed the tradition ways of life, thus causing massive degradation.More… Nov 11, 2012
Currently 100 saw millers are licensed to log 50,000 hectares of mature exotic and indigenous trees in the Mau forest reserve - the largest in Kenya stretching across 400,000 hectares.
The Ogiek community was forcefully evicted from the forest in 2009 after a government order to stop the massive deforestation occurring here. The government promised to find alternative land for the evictees. But in 2011 Minister for Lands James Orengo admitted that mistakes were made in the eviction process.More… Nov 03, 2012
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 forwMore… Oct 22, 2012
Noosunya and Ntaramatwa both lost their houses and belongings and were now moving from place to place.
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the third in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young - freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.More… Oct 18, 2012
"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
Leisan Lesengei, Morri Lereete and Tiyon Lekoluaa are Elders of their community reflecting on the terrible sense of injustice created by these evictiions.
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the third in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young - freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.More… Oct 11, 2012
Esther's house was burned down in the first eviction and she has a message for AWF
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the second in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young - freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.More… Oct 04, 2012
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
Nakuru Lemiruni's six children were all born in Kisargei and says she 'cannot think of any other land as home'. She wanted to send a message to AWF. This is it.
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the first in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young - freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.More… Sep 27, 2012
The ecotourism company is named in honour of the giant Mapajo tree, a sacred tree that grows 40 metres high and provides protective cover for many other species of trees used for their wood in the Amazon rainforest.
It took 10 years before current President Evo Morales finally formally granted the CRTM collective title to their land, which has enabled them to create and strengthen productive initiatives, such as the harvesting and use of jatata palm fronds. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) had already designated Pilón de Lajas – adjacent to the enormous Madidi National Park – a biosphere reserve in 1977.More… Sep 23, 2012
Tanzania’s Troubling Trend of Land Rights Violations And Evictions.
This article highlights the plight of the Maasai in Tanzania who are experiencing land rights violations and evictions. The author is a frequent visitor to Tanzania and has first-hand knowledge of the situation there.More… Sep 17, 2012
Shipibo communities in the Peruvian Amazon reject implementation of the Imiria Conservation Area for violation of their rights as indigenous peoples
Representatives of 12 Shipibo indigenous communities and neighbouring villages from the Imiria lake region in Ucayali, Peru have expressed their opposition to the Imiria Regional Conservation Area (RCA-Imiria), a protected area established by the Regional government of Ucayali.The RCA-Imiria was created in 2010 but the communities denounce the fact that it overlaps their traditional territory including the titled lands of seven communities.More… Sep 16, 2012
There are five “inconvenient truths” about the alleged "marine protected areas" that the DFG fails to mention in its release and guide.
The DFG release, as others released in the past, fails to mention the conflicts of interest, failure to comprehensively protect the ocean, shadowy private funding and incomplete and terminally flawed science that have made the MLPA Initiative into one of the most egregious examples of corporate greenwashing in California history.More… Sep 15, 2012
The annual destruction of 13 million hectares of tropical forest is widely recognized as a global disaster. A new report from Rainforest Foundation Norway shows how the rainforest can be saved.
Recognizing the rights of forest people to manage their land is critical to reducing deforestation rates and safeguarding global forests, argues a new report published by Rainforest Foundation Norway.More… Sep 06, 2012
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
Herders of the Tibetan ethnic group are leading the charge in protecting grasslands and biodiversity in their communities, thanks to support from the government and environmental groups.
In Tsochi village, Qinghai province, families have given up parts of their grazing land and removed fencing to create better habitats for wild animals, including the Tibetan antelope, wild yak and wild donkey.More… Aug 28, 2012
Government says 750,000 signatories to online petition are 'misled', as campaigners attack 'policy from another century'
Representatives of the Maasai appealed to Avaaz for help in opposing any deal. The petition is addressed to Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete, but the government insists that there are no plans to force the Maasai out.More… Aug 16, 2012
Parks Canada, which handles all of the nation’s national parks, is an international leader in working with aboriginal peoples, but that wasn’t always the case.
Go back far enough in Canada’s history, and you’ll find that Native peoples were excluded from some national parks. When Canada’s first national park, Banff (now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Alberta), was established in 1885, the Stoney Indians, who had traveled and hunted in the area for centuries, were kept out. The policy of excluding aboriginal peoples and prohibiting traditional hunting and gathering continued as seven more national parks were established in the early 20th century.More… Aug 09, 2012
The Mechanism's progress and future will be discussed at a meeting within the WCC in South Korea in September 2012
The Whakatane Mechanism assesses the respect of human rights in protected areas, provides recommendations to address human rights violations and facilitates a dialogue between the management authorities and indigenous peoples in order to reach joint solutions. It also celebrates and promotes best practices in conservation and successful partnerships between indigenous peoples and protected areas authorities.More… Aug 08, 2012
Continent-wide Implications as Inter-American Court Finds Ecuador Government Guilty of Rights Violations in the Sarayaku Case
Two articles on this important decision that should significantly strengthen the right of indigenous people in Central and South America to Free Prior Informed Consent. The first is from Amazon Watch and the second from The Economist.More… Jul 27, 2012
From Susana Nordlund's blog - View from the Termite Mound
"It’s been reported that people thanked God for being able to see the beginning of the end and that they would get their land back. Some also talked about the owners of Thomson Safaris being misled by their employees about the situation on the ground since they have never talked with the community face to face, but any “innocence” on the part of the owners seems very unlikely after so many years and after reports by various people, and it seems especially unlikely to someone who has followed their ruthless hypocrisy online. Some people attending the meeting asked MRG to help them against the harassment by Thomson."More… Jul 25, 2012
Peruvian government on brink of expanding oil and gas development in reserve for isolated peoples and UNESCO world heritage site
The Peruvian government has recently approved expansion plans for the Camisea gas project in the heart of a Reserve for isolated indigenous peoples and is considering gazetting a further concession that could overlay Manu National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. These decisions threaten the lives and rights of its inhabitants and represent an infringement of both international law and Peruvian domestic legislation.More… Jul 24, 2012
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."More… Jul 11, 2012
A personal appeal against tribal evictions in India by Kusum Karnik
"Our country seems to be divided into two blocks having very different views regarding the tribals and their culture. I have visited number of forest areas especially the national parks including all the seven parks taken under the GEF-India Eco Development Project and some others as well; and I am of the opinion that if the forest dwellers are taken into confidence they would prove to be great asset in conserving the forest and wild life."More… Jul 01, 2012
The Green Economy is nothing more than capitalism of nature;..
"We continue to inhabit and maintain the last remaining sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots in the world. We can contribute substantially to sustainable development but we believe that a holistic ecosystem framework for sustainable development should be promoted. This includes the integration of the human-rights based approach, ecosystem approach and culturally sensitive and knowledge-based approaches."More… Jun 23, 2012
The Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya, are on the verge of reaching a legal agreement that will have their ancestral lands returned to them. However, they urgently need financial help (around £5,000) in order to make these last steps possible.
This is an extraordinary opportunity for them to regain their land and continue their sustainable livelihoods, an extraordinary opportunity for them to gain legal recognition so that they are no longer threatened with eviction. This cash is needed to support them in what we hope will be the final push to ensure their right to their land is legally recognised.More… Jun 21, 2012
The Indian Law Resource Center Releases International Law Principles for REDD+
We’ve already seen indigenous communities violently expelled from their lands, or swindled by land speculators into signing away access to their forest resources through REDD+ projects. If REDD+ initiatives do not have strong policies preventing this type of abuse, violations will only get worse as more money is invested in REDD+.More… Jun 15, 2012
The WLPA stipulates that approval from the gram sabha is essential before tiger reserve status is awarded to a reserve forest area.
Before local communities are asked to shift out of a reserved area, authorities are required to seek the opinion of the gram sabha on whether it believes the people can co-exist with the wildlife. Also, relocation packages and compensation plans have to be approved by the gram sabha, which has the right to reject proposals of the government.More… Jun 14, 2012
‘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)’.More… Jun 13, 2012
The San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, June 10 reported on the Fish and Game Commission’s approval of a network of so-called “marine protected areas” on California’s North Coast.
"Many grassroots environmentalists and fishermen believe that Reheis-Boyd was appointed to the task force to make sure that the oil industry’s interests were protected – and to ensure that recreational and commercial fishermen and seaweed harvesters, the most vocal opponents of offshore oil drilling, are removed from many areas on the ocean to clear a path for ocean industrialization."More… Jun 12, 2012
‘Relocation of people needs to be done because people are the root cause of loss to bio-diversity today’
Jhala wanted to become a zookeeper as a child. He pursued that interest by studying zoology and now heads the Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology department at the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun. Jhala is known for his extensive research on tigers, Asiatic lions, wolves, striped hyenas and Indian fox. He tells Prakhar Jain that poaching of animals as well as their prey are the biggest challenges facing conservationistsMore… Jun 08, 2012
The WWF is the most powerful environmental organization in the world but a closer look at its work leads to a sobering conclusion: Many of its activities benefit industry more than the environment or endangered species.
Can the WWF truly protect nature against human beings? Or do the organization's attractive posters merely offer the illusion of help? Fifty years after the organization was founded, there are growing doubts as to the independence of the WWF and its business model, which involves partnering with industry to protect nature.More… Jun 02, 2012
The establishment of the Emerald Green Corridor, which was purchased from logging company Moconá Forestal, ends 16 years of the Guarani communities fighting for their traditional lands.
Once stretching along South America's Atlantic coast from northern Brazil to Argentina, the Atlantic Forest (also known as the Mata Atlantica) has been fragmented by centuries of logging, agriculture, and urbanization. Around 8 percent of the Atlantic Forest still survives, most of it in Brazil, and most of it fragmented and degraded.More… May 20, 2012
The organisation's support of a marine reserve in the Chagos islands displays a lack of regard for islanders wanting to return
"...Greenpeace seems to have mislaid the "peace" half of its mission. That has been evident for some time to anyone reading its current programme and priorities on its website. This grand drift was on show again at a conference organised by Amnesty International in Oxford last week, where Greenpeace International's executive director, Kumi Naidoo – a man with a proud record of anti-apartheid campaigning – was to talk about human rights and protection of the environment."More… May 19, 2012
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.More… May 16, 2012
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”More… May 15, 2012
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.More… May 07, 2012
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 landMore… May 07, 2012
From IMPECT a group focusing on the populations of ten indigenous groups in the highlands of northern Thailand
Thailand has a population of more than 2 million indigenous people. It is estimated that 1.2 million live in the highlands in the north of the country. During the last four decades, most of these areas have been declared by the Thai government as protected areas, meaning that local communities don't have the right to manage their natural resources and to farm in their own areas. As a solution to this problem, FPP partner IMPECT began its natural resource management programme in the North of Thailand.More… Apr 30, 2012
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
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....."More… Mar 27, 2012
The Ministry reported that it receives at least 400 monthly requests for information on investments in the area.
The Ministry of Agriculture denies human rights violations in the clearing of lands that amount to 42 percent of the region, claiming that the relocation of Indigenous peoples who formerly occupied to land was ‘voluntary.’More… Mar 25, 2012
Leaked to Survival International, the map shows where Ethiopia intends to resettle tribes whose land and communities stand in the way of their ‘development’ plans.
"This leaked map reveals what the Ethiopian government has wanted to conceal – its intention to resettle indigenous tribes in the Lower Omo Valley. Taken together with the widespread reports of violent evictions and intimidation, it clearly shows Ethiopia’s end goal – and its refusal to respect the rights of anybody who stands in its way."More… Mar 23, 2012
Support from the Ford Foundation for The Indigenous Peoples Confederation of Honduras's right to consultation.
The statement calls on the Government of Honduras to withdraw the draft REDD Readiness Proposal it submitted to the Forest Carbon Partnership FacilityMore… Mar 05, 2012
Two years on from the African Commission’s ruling the Endorois are still waiting for justice to be brought home
"Although the Commission recognised, for the first time in the continent, indigenous peoples’ rights over traditionally occupied land and their right to be involved in, and benefit from, any development affecting their land, the Endorois still have no land title, .."More… Mar 03, 2012
Part of the Food for 9 Billion series, a NewsHour partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting
"Many of the relocated communities could face endemic hunger as early as next year, according to Human Rights Watch. Most are still waiting for farms or seed. More than 12 million Ethiopians are currently in need of food assistance. The future for groups like the Anuak grows increasingly uncertain as the global land rush continues not just in Ethiopia, but in dozens of countries......"More… Feb 28, 2012
The TIPNIS victory that never was
"The peoples’ cry to defend TIPNIS had been heard; “Evo Pueblo” had lived up to his moniker, even if only under extreme pressure, and had listened to his constituents. He even said so himself: “The TIPNIS issue is resolved,” he declared. “This is governing by obeying the people.”...Or so we thought."More… Feb 20, 2012
A video contribution from film maker Zoe Young
"Our film Suits and Savages is over ten years old now, but unfortunately the story we told is still happening again and again: Forest after forest enclosed, fund after environmental fund wasted, people after people losing lands and culture and wildlife still losing ground"More… Feb 19, 2012
A video posted by Sophie Pritchard. Links inside.
"This programme shows how their lives have changed over 25 years, mining of cobalt, logging and a nature reserve has completely changed their forest and their lives."More… Feb 17, 2012
'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."More… Feb 17, 2012
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
"Despite the millions donated to multi-national conservation NGOs, they continue to fail to even save those species that undoubtedly pull in most of their funds."
From Sophie Pritchard "Little plug for Just Conservation in this blog:-.."More… Feb 08, 2012
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
Many of the villagers’ houses and rice stores were burned and money, jewellery, fishing and agricultural tools were stolen by a group comprising National Park wardens and military forces
The letter to the Thai Prime Minister is signed by the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB), a network of organisations representing indigenous peoples and local communities from across the worldMore… Jan 31, 2012
More from Susanna's blog 'View from the Termite Mound'.
"I don’t know what to do except to ask those reading this blog but please do not travel with operators like Thomson Safaris that participate in the Tanzanian government's war against pastoralists."More… Jan 26, 2012
Given the scale of the relocation of people from traditional land holdings and the enormous areas of high biodiversity forest and park under direct and imminent threat, are conservation organizations complicit through silence?
This is the accusation Human Rights Watch challenges the major donors with, but to what extent are NGOs and donors complicit?More… Jan 24, 2012
In Southern India, tribes-people and wildlife defenders are locked in a battle of indigenous peoples’ rights versus wildlife rights.
Last month the tribe secured access to 60 percent of the forest that they claim is their ‘birthright’ and rejected a relocation package outside the tiger reserve, which is situated at the confluence of the Eastern and Western Ghats in Chamrajnagar district in India’s southern state of Karnataka.More… Jan 20, 2012
Organised in 2011 in Kisoro by the Batwa, former hunter-gatherers who were evicted from two national parks 20 years ago
More… Jan 11, 2012
By Steffen Keulig, Marketfilm. Posted by Zoe Young.
Synopsis: It is no secret that millions of native people around the world have been forced off their homelands to make way for oil, mines, timber, and agriculture. But few people realize that the same thing has happened for a cause which is considered by many as much nobler: land and wildlife conservation. Indigenous peoples evicted from their ancestral homelands, for conservation initiatives, have never been counted; they are not even officially recognised as refugees. The number of people displaced from their traditional homelands is estimated to be close to 20 million. These expelled native peoples have been living sustainable for generations on what can only be reasonably regarded as their ancestral land.More… Jan 10, 2012
Around 2,000 Samburu families have stayed squatting on edge of disputed territory, says NGO Survival International.
Kenya has a history of land-grabbing by senior government officials, particularly during Daniel arap Moi's time in power. Land disputes are common as legal documents of ownership are often missing or have been forged.More… Dec 15, 2011
African Commission condemns the recent decision of the World Heritage Committee to inscribe Lake Bogoria in Kenya on the World Heritage List.
This earlier decision and the recent resolution both emphasize that the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) must be adhered to in the lands and territories of indigenous peoples.More… Dec 07, 2011
There have been evictions starting on 12 November at Makao Wildlife Management Area in Meatu District south of Serengeti NP and near Maswa Game Reserve and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The alleged “invaders” are blamed for severely degrading the land because of overgrazing, farming and other human induced activities as well as failing to comply with the WMAs requirements to live far from the protected areas.More… Dec 01, 2011
Three perspectives on the Controversy.
1) Kenya: the curse of the wildlife conservation industry to the Samburu Community. 2) Governments of Kenya sized their Land and now their Animals, and destroy their homes to give room for creation of Monster called Laikipia National Park. 3) Samburu Evicted for “Conservation” in KenyaMore… Nov 27, 2011
A “billion-dollar scheme” conceived at the behest of capitalists and supported by UNESCO
"The promises of rehabilitation could not be trusted as the people did not enjoy land rights on their present holdings. The tribal people who were displaced from the Kudremukh forests had not been rehabilitated properly even today,...."More… Nov 25, 2011
"WWF has never advocated the eviction of communities from the delta. The recent evictions were carried out by government agencies,”
“At the centre of our critique of the REDD-readiness programme is the framing of the environmental problem in project documents in which the Warufiji are depicted by foresters, environmentalists, and donors as poor stewards of the mangrove forests,....”More… Nov 18, 2011
Caura Futures is trying to change this by taking a non-conventional approach to conservation.
Unlike adjacent parts of the Amazon where the chief dangers to the forest ecosystem are conversion to industrial agriculture and cattle pasture, infrastructure projects, and fire, one of the most immediate threats to the Caura Basin is more subtle: cultural loss among the people who have traditionally served as its protector.More… Nov 16, 2011
This clip was edited by Zoe Young from two earlier films, and screened at the United Nations OHCHR Social Forum, marking 25 Years of the Right to Development.
In the 1970s, the Endorois people of Kenya's Rift Valley were forced from their land to make way for the Lake Bogoria National Reserve. In 2010, they won their case before the African Commission on Peoples' and Human Rights, creating a major legal precedent for the Right to Development and recognising indigenous people's rights over traditional lands and resources.More… Nov 11, 2011
The emerging struggle for the Laikipia East farm purportedly purchased by conservation NGOs
"KWS purchase of the land was illegal because the Samburu have acquired rights to this land under the Kenyan Constitution and international law by residing on the land continuously for over 90 years."More… Nov 07, 2011
In 1974 members of the Soliga tribe were evicted from their homes in the Biligirirangan Hills, Karnataka state, by a local government intent on protecting the state’s wildlife.
As recently as January, 1,500 Soliga thought they would lose their homes when the Sanctuary was re-classified as a tiger reserve in order to ‘protect’ 30 of the big cats.More… Nov 05, 2011
They live destitute lives as squatters on other people's land and their hopes for government help remain just a pipedream.
The ethnic group had for centuries lived in the jungles of Bwindi and Mgahinga with wildlife as hunters and fruit gatherers until 1991 when the government evicted them from their ancestral dwelling to pave way for the wild life conservation.More… Nov 01, 2011
A desperate competition for land and resources—and between people and wildlife—has erupted here with unspeakable violence.
"The average family of six has little more than half an acre here,......And of course those children will have children. Where will they grow crops? That small piece of land has been overworked and is no longer fertile. I'm afraid another war could be around the corner."More… Oct 19, 2011
Statement from the Karen Network for Culture and Environment, and NGOs, government networks and academic institutions - "Case of Human Rights Violations by the Head of KaengKrachan National Park against Ethnic Karen Villagers"
According to the KaengKrachan National Park and Thai military, the villagers are illegally occupying this area and are accused of destroying forest resources, supporting and supplying the Karen National Union along the border and serving as a source of drug production.More… Oct 12, 2011
"The survival of the forests and the communities who depend on them in the DRC cannot be allowed to become hostage to the sale of carbon credits under the logic of REDD."
"It is simply unacceptable for local communities.......to be forced to endure even more suffering, in order to allow a U.S. corporation to continue polluting the atmosphere while boosting its image as a protector of the forests through a relatively minor investment."More… Oct 05, 2011
The TIPNIS - the Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park - is both a national park and an autonomous territory held in common by the Yuracare, Moxeno and Chiman peoples.
Despite international requirements such as ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, governments often avoid engaging in informed consultations with their indigenous populations.More… Sep 17, 2011
Neo-colonial conservation or wise custodianship?
"It is a historical fact that biodiversity is declining not because of subsistence hunting, but from the destruction of ecosystems by extractive industries and industrial agricultural, so called 'development'"More… Aug 20, 2011
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 millionMore… Aug 20, 2011
IUCN and big business - Statement on the Martyrdom of Shehla Masood
We salute the struggle and martyrdom of Shehla Masood who defended our forests, rivers, land and wildlife in the face of unscrupulous corporate assault in nexus with ruling political regimes. Shehla Masood used to conclude her messages with a proud “Roarrrrr” that cannot be silenced by the bullets of her assailants.More… Aug 18, 2011
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.More… Aug 15, 2011
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.More… Aug 02, 2011
By depriving communities of recognition that they are the lawful owners of forested and rangeland resources, the law removes their greatest incentive to use these assets in sustainable ways
Successfully conserving forests requires a remedy that is both much more straightforward and far more radical.More… Jul 24, 2011
Maasai pastoralists in Loliondo are under the threat of having a massive 1,500-km2 piece of dry season grazing land taken away from them by the Tanzanian government.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism admitted that there had been “excesses” during a hunt by the Brigadier (Deputy Minister for Defence) and the Minister for Defence of UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (Ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister and Vice President of UAE), shortly before taking possession of the hunting block.More… Jul 21, 2011
Conservation is crucial. And we need to get it right. The purpose of our film is not to make you throw up your hands and stop supporting conservation - far from it
“This investigative look at big conservation reveals and explores contradictions related to corporate green washing, human rights abuses, and connections between them."More… Jun 24, 2011
We're in a golden age of discovery but a dark age of destruction.
Conservation work is undeniably complex, riddled with contradictions and competition but it fundamentally it is underpinned by our own relationships to nature. We're the cause and we can be the effect.More… Jun 24, 2011
2,201 people in Manafwa District have been rendered landless after Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) evicted them from Mt. Elgon National Park
The eviction comes barely a month after the UPDF, Police and the district leadership resolved to co-operate with UWA to ensure that all encroachers living in Sono, Buwabwala, Bumbo and Mukoto areas vacate the park to ensure safety of their lives and conservation of the national park.More… Jun 08, 2011
Email correspondence seen by the Guardian reveals prominent groups vehemently oppose returning Chagossians home
Chagossian exiles denounced the move as an attempt to pre-empt their hopes of a return – a charge the British government denies.More… Jun 02, 2011
Mendha-Lekh has also been in news for being India’s ﬁrst village to have been granted recognition of its “right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage”
The Forest Rights Act, 2006, grants community forest rights to manage, protect, revive the forest and to own and dispose of minor forest products from forests where they had traditional access.More… May 25, 2011
Karuturi Chief Executive Officer Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi said reports claiming the government reduced the concession “are completely baseless".
"The amendment, which reduced the concession by two-thirds to 100,000 hectares (247,105 acres), was made in consultation with Bangalore-based Karuturi six months ago, Esayas Kebede, head of the Agriculture Ministry’s land investment support directorate, said.."More… May 17, 2011
The Indian government has scrapped its controversial policy of expelling tribal people from wildlife-rich areas to turn them into national parks.
Tensions have been growing between those advocating for the rights of India's 84 million tribal people, and those fighting for wildlife reserves to be people-free 'wildernesses'.More… May 17, 2011
Conservation International stands accused of corporate 'greenwashing' after a senior employee was secretly filmed by undercover reporters discussing ways in which the organisation could help an arms company boost its green credentials.
Environmental charity under fire for close links with controversial companies, including Cargill, Chevron, Monsanto and ShellMore… May 13, 2011
An Investigation Into Best Practices For Law Making And Implementation
This study examines the statutory recognition of customary land tenure in Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania, which were chosen as case studies because of the diverse approaches to the issue they represent.More… May 09, 2011
Held in Brighton, UK on the 6-8th April 2011
This conference brought together an impressive array of analysis and experiences of land being lost to institutional economic pressures. A good number of the cases presented are linked to conservation – summaries of some examples below.More… May 02, 2011
Communities around the world-famous Masai Mara Game Reserve still wallow in poverty.
"We are still waiting for the day when we will reap benefits from tourism. The situation is bad and it calls for urgent intervention,..."More… May 02, 2011
Increased revenue from the rise in tourism is skipping local communities
"..at one of India's best parks it was estimated that 95% of revenue goes to private hands while the park gets less than 5% and local residents get less than 0.5%."More… Apr 27, 2011
The Ogiek of Mount Elgon and the Sengwer of the Chepkitale hills
"Relief assistance through the Kenya Red Cross .... prevented from reaching the Ogiek. Since then, the roads to Chepkitale have been blocked by KFS officers..."More… Apr 18, 2011
The current edition of Conservation and Society has a special section on Protected Areas and Migration. A summary of three of them are presented here with their links.
Conservation and Society is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary open access journal dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practice of conservation.More… Apr 09, 2011
"When the powers that be speak in tongues it is difficult for us to implement."
The high price paid by both people and the environment for the political upheavals in ZimbabweMore… Apr 07, 2011
Resolving Loliondo Land Use Conflict
See the March 13th post "The long running conflict of Loliondo in Tanzania" for more background.More… Mar 15, 2011
Resolving the Land Use Conflict in Loliondo
"..burned homesteads, reported human rights abuses, 50,000 cattle displaced and considerable economic loss to local communities...What it will take to bring peace to the area is still up for debate."More… Mar 13, 2011
The dilemma facing the Colombian jungle
"The armed conflict left thousands dead and the numbers of 'compulsory displacement' surpass four million people. However, some experts believe that, paradoxically, it was precisely the conflict that has helped conserve the forest."More… Mar 07, 2011
Press Release: International Union for the Conservation of Nature to review and advance implementation of the ‘new conservation paradigm’, focusing on rights of indigenous peoples.
Indigenous peoples’ representatives met with Chairs of Commissions of (IUCN) during the Sharing Power conference, in Whakatane, New Zealand, on January 13th, 2011.More… Feb 18, 2011
In 2007, following two decades of brutal civil war, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) surveyed South Sudan
"But wealth could come from more than tourism and should be measured as more than GDP. Protecting watersheds and forests will greatly benefit the people of South Sudan,..."More… Feb 11, 2011
16th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30 to 31 January 2011.
"Decides to support fully the action of the Government of the Republic of Mauritius at the United Nations General Assembly with a view to enabling Mauritius to exercise its sovereignty over the Archipelago."More… Feb 11, 2011
"Every one of us must exercise an independent and critical mind when addressing the issue of forced relocation of Basarwa. We should not allow government to indoctrinate us and turn us into conformists."
Two opinion pieces from the Botswana nwspaper MmegiMore… Feb 05, 2011
In a momentous decision, Botswana’s Court of Appeal today quashed a ruling that denied the Kalahari Bushmen access to water on their ancestral lands.
Botswana government guilty of ‘degrading treatment’ - Case described as ‘a harrowing story of human suffering and despair’ - The Botswana Gazette. Thursday 27th January 2011.More… Jan 27, 2011
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..."More… Jan 27, 2011
40 years of military displacement to be camouflaged by the fig leaf of conservation. Wikileaks exposes loss of Chagos islanders´ right of return.
More… Jan 25, 2011
"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.More… Jan 25, 2011
"Over the past four decades, India has blindly copied the Western model of exclusionary conservation...and has led to increased human-wildlife conflicts."
By Sreetama Gupta Bhaya and Ashish KothariMore… Jan 23, 2011
The aim is for this platform to become a central point for collecting and sharing information and experiences about worldwide initiatives which promote the integration of human rights considerations within conservation practices.
"Failure to conserve biodiversity can undermine the rights of the individuals and local communities.."More… Jan 14, 2011
"Mainstream conservation still marginalises and ignores indigenous peoples,..."
United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda and Forest Peoples Programme. Media Briefing, Uganda. 11th January 2011.More… Jan 12, 2011
Do conservation organisations need a code of conduct? A contributed discussion from Jo Woodman and Gordon Bennett
"The big conservation organizations have committed themselves to respect indigenous rights in a multitude of policies and statements. None of these are binding...."More… Jan 12, 2011
"How will the administration control people living within the buffer from moving around?"...
"The Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lt. General (Retd) Bhopinder Singh today assured people ..... there is no need for the public to panic."More… Dec 18, 2010
Amnesty International admonishes the Paraguayan government.
Human rights group Amnesty International has strongly admonished the Paraguayan government for raiding the offices of a local NGO that had questioned the impact on indigenous people of a British Natural History Museum expedition to Paraguay's remote Chaco forest.More… Dec 17, 2010
Environmental organisations in Bolivia are waging a crusade to protect Madidi National Park against bids to tap into its petroleum reserves, build hydroelectric dams and promote human settlement in the country's largest nature preserve.
"Fernández suggested that effective alternatives are needed to fight poverty in the area.."More… Dec 15, 2010
Draft background paper - Seeking New Paths to Conservation Workshop, "SHARING POWER" Conference (January 2011)
This paper is intended to provoke discussion and generate better, shared understanding of the problems, the opportunities, and the options for nurturing concrete actions toward more socially-just and ecologically-sustainable conservation and development in significantly-large, geographically-defined places. The aim is to brainstorm ways to re-vision conservation as an integrated principle of "development", not conservation as set-asides nor partnerships with development plans and agents responsible for environmental damages and human rights violations. Please send comments, corrections, suggestions and additional information to email@example.com DRAFT 10 DECEMBER 2010More… Dec 11, 2010
Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmund found to be a shareholder of the Royal Mulu Resort – UNESCO urged to launch an investigation on alleged breaches of the UN Convention against Corruption
"...large sums of public money straight into his own pocket..."More… Dec 08, 2010
Letter to the Guardian newspaper.
"Colin Roberts, the FCO's director of overseas territories, told the US that there would be no "Man Fridays" on the islands and said: "We do not regret the removal of the population."More… Dec 08, 2010
"It is my duty to impress on you that the expedition carries an extremely severe risk to the integrity and rights of isolated (uncontacted) indigenous groups...."
From the Director of Iniciativa Amotocodie to Dr Sandy Knapp, Paraguay 2010 Expedition CoordinatorMore… Dec 07, 2010
Bushmen less insulting than Basarwa - Corry
"The government seems to be reluctant to accept the reality that the Bushmen of the CKGR challenged and defeated it in court over its controversial policy to relocate them."More… Dec 01, 2010
Their second eviction since 1989.
Forest officials had already imposed restrictions on jhum cultivation that are the community’s main source of livelihood.More… Nov 25, 2010
"Today, I'm ashamed to have signed the documents creating this park, because I didn't know that we would die of hunger in the middle of the forest."
"The law strips forest-dwelling people of all usage rights within the core conservation zones..."More… Nov 22, 2010
"The Botswana Government has always been for us a showcase democracy"
“The Botswana Government has always been for us a showcase democracy in the way that it cares for its people. I appeal to them, and the world, to find new ways to help solve these issues in a manner that respects the lovely, spiritual culture of the San Bushmen and that truly cares for all of the people of Africa, especially its oldest inhabitants.”More… Nov 22, 2010
Friends of the Earth International condemn police operations in Chiapas
The evictions were made to make way for palm oil plantations. Your help is needed in calling for an end to the evictions and the proposed development.More… Nov 11, 2010
“The government says we are bad for the animals, but I was born here and the animals were born here, and we have lived together very well,”
By BARRY BEARAK, November 4, 2010. The New York Times. Central Kalahari Game Rserve, Botswana.More… Nov 08, 2010
Many thanks to Angela Impey of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London for providing this background to the Ndumo conflict.
Ndumo – “An avoidable failure .............. has put both people and conservation on a collision course."More… Oct 31, 2010
A selection of South African media articles.
"The threat to Ndumo grabbed both local and international attention when the local community cut 11km of game fence on the eastern and southern boundaries and invaded the park."More… Oct 28, 2010
A Bold New Frontier for Conservation
"ICCAs are natural and/or modified ecosystems containing significant biodiversity values, ecological services and cultural values, voluntarily conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities..."More… Oct 15, 2010
Appeal against Justice Walia's refusal to allow the Bushmen’s application for permission to use a well on their lands.
"The Bushmen launched legal proceedings in a bid to gain access to the well, which the government sealed and capped during the 2002 evictions. Even though the Bushmen have said they will raise the funds required to operate the well, the government claims that they need permission to do so and has refused to give it."More… Sep 28, 2010
A progress report of an ongoing debate
Abstract In the context of the World Parks Congress and the World Conservation Conference much has been written about conservation, human rights and poverty reduction. While the debate has been productive, it has paid remarkably little attention to the problems of eviction from protected areas. Many protected areas in poor countries still contain people and a challenge facing conservationists is how to deal with future moves to displace people from existing protected areas as legislation tightens. We suggest three principles which will be useful as these developments unfold; 1) that the social impacts of protected areas need to be carefully monitored; 2) broadening our concerns to address the needs of all local communities, not just indigenous peoples; and 3) understanding the ecologies and social impacts of co-existence could win more land for conservation purposes than currently found in protected areas.More… Sep 18, 2010
"The pursuit of conservation goals can contribute positively to the realization of many human rights, and realization of rights can enable more effective conservation outcomes."
This is the text of the CIHR principles as published on the IUCN websiteMore… Sep 18, 2010
Problematizing Neoliberal Biodiversity Conservation: Displaced and Disobedient Knowledge
Abstract This workshop brought together a global network of scholars, applied practitioners, and community activists (recognizing that these are not mutually exclusive categories), who are concerned about the ways in which nature has been commodified and appropriated in the contextof biodiversity conservation, and the ways in which local people and their livelihoods have been displaced and transformed in the process. Members of this group have documented these processes in many different parts of the world, but have experienced significant obstacles to making our analysis part of mainstream conversations about biodiversity conservation. We came together in order to more effectively conceptualize and communicate the global nature of the phenomena that we have researched, experienced and documented. The three-day workshop revolved around the experiential narratives of participants, structured according to key questions agreed upon prior to the event. From these narratives we identified common themes, as well as significant differences, and sought to identify variables that might account for these. We also worked together to think through the most effective avenues for highlighting these problems and considering solutions. These included strengthening existing networks of scholars, practitioners, activists, and local people who are concerned with the displacement effects of conservation policy and practice, as well as the creation of new ones. We also hope to build on the unique skills and perspectives of network members to explore solutions to environmental problems that are holistic, inclusive, equitable, and ecologically sound. A major element of this vision is a multifaceted publication and information-sharing strategy, including the creation of an interactive online forum to allow for freer and more inclusive exchanges of information and ideas. Our vision is that these networks and forums will inform and influence a convergence of biodiversity conservation and environmental justice in which equity and ecology are inextricably linked.More… Sep 18, 2010