Why is ‘Just Conservation’ only about people?
'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.
Oct 07, 2015
Indigenous Communities and Biodiversity
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.
Oct 04, 2015
War by Conservation
Ivory does not fund Al Shabaab, so why was that message so readily promoted?
Since 2013 several wildlife conservation organisations have promoted the message that ivory is used to fund terrorism, that it is the ‘white gold of jihad’. While allegations about poaching by Janjaweed and Lord’s Resistance Army have circulated for some time, it was the claim that ivory provided up to 40% of Al Shabaab’s funding that caught international attention. This claim is hotly disputed, and even Elephant Action League, who spread the message in the first place, have started to accept it might have been an over estimation (at best). So why was it so readily taken up and repeated in the media, social media, by world leaders, by conservation NGOs and by international organisations? The answer lies in a potent mix of strategic interests and the need to grab international attention to raise funds for conservation.
Sep 25, 2015
A Hunting Ban Saps a Village’s Livelihood
This village was one of many supported by USAID's Natural Resources Management Project and by its successor projects. An enormous investment in building sustainable relationships between communities and wildlife has been dramatically undone by legislation that favours the rich and further marginalizes Botswana’s rural poor.
Sep 13, 2015
Harsh treatment for indigenous Botswanans ousted from Kalahari wildlife reserve
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.
Aug 24, 2015
Basarwa said to be starving due to hunting ban
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.
Aug 02, 2015
Hunting in Africa: to ban or not to ban is the question
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.
Jul 30, 2015
Mass evictions from tiger reserves
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.
Jul 24, 2015