ZResource List: Community Conservation

Indigenous and local communities preserve biodiversity on their land as or more effectively than colonial conservation.

Protecting indigenous cultures is crucial for saving the world’s biodiversity

“According to several studies, traditional ecological knowledge is effective in conserving biodiversity and regulating sustainable resource use, including hunting, wild harvesting, fishing, farming and pastoralism, a form of animal husbandry. Living in harmony with nature is a fundamental part of indigenous peoples’ core values and beliefs.”

The Conversation, 14 February 2020

Indigenous peoples are crucial for conservation – a quarter of all land is in their hands

“Conservation partnerships will only be successful if the rights, knowledge systems and practices of Indigenous peoples are fully acknowledged. Many Indigenous peoples have acknowledged this fact, by calling for partnerships that respect, understand and follow local processes. There is no one size that fits all – Indigenous peoples are hugely diverse”

The Conversation, 17 July 2018

Transforming conservation – a rights-based approach

“Conservation and human rights are not intrinsically opposed. There is mounting evidence that conservation based on respect for the rights of traditional owners of the lands is more effective than exclusionary protected areas. For example, in the Amazon deforestation is between 2 and 6 times lower in areas where indigenous people have secure land rights.”

Forest Peoples Programme, 20 March 2019

Sarayaku Launches Living Forest Proposal – ¡Viva Kawsak Sacha!

“The Kichwa of Sarayaku have always had a physical and spiritual connection with the forest and its guardian beings in order to maintain equilibrium and balance in the world. This year, however, Sarayaku decided that the time had come to share their ancestral wisdom on how to protect Indigenous rights, the rights of nature, and beyond, with the world.”

Amazon Watch, 10 August 2018

Cornered by Protected Areas

A campaign by the Rights and Resources Initiative drawing attention to colonial conservation and Indigenous and local led alternatives in Africa, Asia, and South America.

“‘Los Derechos de la Pachamama’ is an emotional and inspiring video that was created as a joint project between five indigenous communities in Peru with the message: “We wish from out hearts that these rights we are proposing will be added to and that people across the world recover their harmony with our Mother Earth.”

“Inspired by ‘Los Derechos de la Pachamama’, the Masaai participatory video team in Kenya started interviewing people in their own community about their opinions on the rights of Mother Earth (Esipata Enkop). After experiencing years of severe droughts, community members argue that Mother Earth should have the right to unpolluted rains, rivers and springs, and discuss the negative environmental impacts of water pollution and charcoal burning.”

“Despite horrific violence, invasion and destruction of their ancestral homeland by multiple industries; the Ashaninka and Guarani share how their love for the forest and their culture fuelled their resilience and commitment to ‘fight back’ by educating loggers and engaging with them to help replant 2 million trees. They share wisdom to help Western ‘modern’ cultures who, in losing their roots lost the understanding of true wealth.“

“Listen to Sukraam Bhaiya who lives in the heart of one of India’s tiger reserves. He explains why his tribe, the Baiga, are the best conservationists and how they care for the environment better than anyone else.”

“As a result of an intense community process of mapping and dialogue, the Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya, have written down their customary bylaws for the first time, in order to ensure the continued conservation of their ancestral lands and natural resources.“