What works? Protected areas, indigenous territories, and conservation concessions in Peru

What works? Protected areas, indigenous territories, and conservation concessions in Peru

State-controlled protected areas (PAs) have dominated conservation strategies globally, yet their performance relative to other governance regimes is rarely assessed comprehensively. Furthermore, performance indicators of forest PAs are typically restricted to deforestation, although the extent of forest degradation is greater.

Thus starts a recent paper in Nature. The paper aims to address these shortfalls in the research, “through an empirical impact evaluation of state PAs, Indigenous Territories (ITs), and civil society and private Conservation Concessions (CCs) on deforestation and degradation throughout the Peruvian Amazon”.

Worldwide, there are 202,467 protected areas. This number has expanded rapidly over the past decades. And governments have committed to ambitious targets to expand protected areas further. Yet the conversion and degradation of tropical forests continues.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

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Batwa boy shot dead in Kahuzi-Biéga National Park, DRC

Batwa boy shot dead in Kahuzi-Biéga National Park, DRC

A Batwa boy has been shot dead by eco-guards at the Kahuzi-Biéga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was with his father gathering medicinal herbs on ancestral lands. His father was shot in the arm, but managed to escape.

The father, Munganga Nakulire, and his son, Christian Mbone Nakulire, were carrying only machetes. They were shot at by eco-guards from the Congolese Institute of Nature Conservation (ICCN) on 26 August 2017.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Book review: The Big Conservation Lie

“Hero worship in conservation is as old as wildlife conservation itself. The subjects of this worship are invariably white men and women who are lionized for taking to a life of selfless service of the wilderness and its residents.”

This comes from John Mbaria and Mordecai Ogada’s book “The Big Conservation Lie“. The book is a must read for anyone interested in conservation. It raises serious questions about the way conservation is currently carried out in Kenya and in the rest of Africa.

Mbaria and Ogada describe a small cabal of exclusively white conservationists and conservation thinkers in Kenya. They don’t hesitate to name these conservation heroes in exposing the role they have played in creating “the mess the country faces today in regard to wildlife conservation”.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Colonialism, conservation, cattle, and conflict in Laikipia, Kenya

Colonialism, conservation, cattle, and conflict in Laikipia, Kenya

Last week, two game rangers were shot dead in Kenya. They were part of a group of 10 rangers and other cattle owners, who tried to recover cattle stolen from ranches in Laikipia County.

A couple of weeks before that, armed men disrupted a meeting in Laikipia County. Ironically, the meeting was held to discuss insecurity in the area. The men shot in the air, causing panic.

These incidents are just the latest in an on-going land conflict in Laikipia. This post is an attempt to unravel some of what’s going on in Laikipia. With general elections due in Kenya in August 2017, the situation has become highly politicised.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Forest Defenders Conference in Oxford, 21 June 2017

Five years ago, Chut Wutty was murdered in Cambodia. He was one of Cambodia’s leading campaigners against illegal logging and land grabs. He was killed in the Cardamom Mountains in Koh Kong province, while researching illegal logging with two journalists from the Cambodia Daily.

Wutty’s murder was not unusual. Every week at least two people are killed for speaking out against environmental destruction. In 2014, according to research by Global Witness, 116 environmental activists were murdered. 40% of them were indigenous. All of the killings were related to land disputes.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

The Ogiek win huge land rights victory in Kenya

The Ogiek win huge land rights victory in Kenya

The Ogiek are one of the last groups of hunter gatherers in Kenya. Their ancestral land is in the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley of Kenya. For many years, the Kenyan government has threatened them with eviction, in the name of conservation. Last week, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled that the Ogiek have the right to live in the Mau Forest and that the government of Kenya was wrong to evict them.

Lucy Claridge is a human rights lawyer who works with the Minority Rights Group International. She was the lead lawyer for the Ogiek. She told the BBC World Service that,

“This is an extremely positive outcome. It sends a very clear message to the government of Kenya, but also to other governments in Africa, that they must respect the rights of their indigenous communities, and that includes their land rights.”

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Rainforest Parks and People: Monitoring the human impacts of conservation in the Congo Basin

Rainforest Parks and People is a new interactive website focussing on the impact of protected areas in Africa’s Congo Basin on forest communities. Launched this week by Rainforest Foundation UK, the website aims to increase the transparency and accountability of conservation projects in the Congo Basin.

To accompany the website launch, Rainforest Foundation UK has produced a short video, titled “Why conservation needs people”:

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org