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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.

Lekiji: a Village in a Wildlife Corridor

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

SUBSISTENCE HUNTING AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES IN BOTSWANA

"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

“Authenticity,” Identity, and Humanity: The Hai//om San and the State of Namibia

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

Grabbing Land for Conservation in Loliondo, Tanzania.

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

The Living Convention on Biocultural Diversity

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

The moral arc of conservation.

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

Land grabbing: the new tragedy of the commons

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

Fortress Conservation versus Human Rights in the Indian Ocean

‘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