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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.

The Alarming Truth Behind Deforestation

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

Elephant Engagements and Indigenous Peoples

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

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.

More… Oct 07, 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.

More… Sep 25, 2015

Conservation and Conflict: People, State Policies, and Protected Areas In Southern Africa

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

The Old Way and the New Way:

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

How many more Edwin Chotas?

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

Responding to the Threat of Organized Crime to Wildlife and People

A response to Rosaleen Duffy by Michael Painter, Director, Conservation and the Quality of Human Life Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

International conservation organizations have responded to the expansion of globally organized wildlife crime by attempting to promote more effective law enforcement at all levels of the international trade chain for illegal wildlife products. Concern that an emphasis on wildlife crime risks militarizing conservation efforts, and creating situations where the need for stronger law enforcement could be invoked as cover for repressive actions against local people, has been thoughtfully articulated in a recent contribution, by Professor Rosaleen Duffy, here on Just Conservation. While some of the specific issues she raises need to be considered in a broader context, the main point of her article is a valid one. Conservation organizations seeking to address the threat of organized crime to wildlife and people have the responsibility to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the rights of people affected by efforts to halt organized poaching.

More… Jul 21, 2014