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October 2012 Archives

"Blackfeet Belong to the Mountains"

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 forw

More… Oct 22, 2012

Samburu Testimonial Series No 4 - Noosunya and Ntaramatwa

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

Common and Conflicting Interests in the Engagements between Conservation Organizations and Corporations

"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

Samburu Testimonial Series No 3 - The Elders.

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

Samburu Testimonial Series No 2 - Esther Lekuchula

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

Linking science and human rights: Facts and figures

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