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A network for all who care about the conservation of our world and who want to see it achieved with justice, compassion, dignity and honesty.

Land grabbing: is conservation part of the problem or the solution?

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

Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent - FPIC

These guidelines, designed to be applied by UN-REDD Programme partner countries, “require States to recognize and carry out their duties and obligations to give effect to the requirement of FPIC as applicable to indigenous peoples”.

These guidelines are only applicable to countries that are UN-REDD participants which diminishes the potential impact and reach of the guidelines. In addition, by focussing on indigenous and forest dependent communities, many other communities in need of such protection are beyond the reach of these guidelines. With these limitations the UN continues down the road of developing a web of overlapping guidelines. Why does the UN continue to build such a morass of programme based guidelines rather than moving towards moving towards a universal right to FPIC for all communities with demonstrable rights to land or the resources on it? – JC.

More… Mar 04, 2013

Financialisation, Biodiversity Conservation and Equity: Some Currents and Concerns

"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

Karen People forcibly expelled from the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Thailand

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 world

More… Jan 31, 2012

Tenure and Indigenous Peoples

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

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

More… Aug 20, 2011

IUCN to review and advance implementation of the ‘new conservation paradigm’

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

Uganda: Securing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights In Conservation: A Review Of South West Uganda

"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

Conservation, Human Rights and Poverty Reduction

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