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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.

January 2013 Archives

Britain faces UN tribunal over Chagos Islands marine reserve

Ruling by permanent court of arbitration in The Hague may challenge UK's unilateral declaration of marine protected area

"Mauritius is not opposed to a marine protected area. On the contrary, we support conservation. We are very happy to work against illegal fishing," said Ramgoolam.Further doubts about the real intentions of the Foreign office were raised by a 2010 WikiLeaks cable in which Colin Roberts, the FCO's director of overseas territories, told the US state department that there would be no "Man Fridays" left on the islands following the establishment of the MPA and that establishing the park would, "in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents".

More… Jan 29, 2013

"The White Men Bought the Forests"

Conservation and Contestation in Guinea-Bissau, Western Africa

Both fortress and community-based approaches to conservation have shown poor (sometimes negative) results in terms of environmental protection and poverty reduction. Either approach can also trigger grassroots resistance. This article is centered on an allegedly 'community-based' conservation and development project (and its successive follow-ups) intended to create a national park in Guinea-Bissau. It discusses how external agents have constructed the need for intervention, and explores the negative consequences of the practical solutions adopted for a non-existing problem, as well as the on-going shifting and multiple responses of local people. The article aims to demonstrate that supposedly community-based approaches can be as authoritarian and ineffective as fortress conservation, and that resistance generated by them can be fruitless in terms of collective empowerment and welfare, while also being harmful for the environment. The only genuine winner is the aid industry.

More… Jan 10, 2013