“When you bring emotion into conservation and protection of land, when you interact with species directly, when you are directly seeing the positive impact of your conservation efforts, you automatically respect each and every aspect of the environment. You begin to see yourself, the human race…as stewards of the natural environment and not owners.”– The True Stewards ep. 23
Conservation of natural environments and resources has become a leading cause for concern as the human population continues to increase through a climate and ecological crisis. However, many times these large-scale conservation projects are not able to deliver the results required for longevity of ecosystems. This is why many scientists and governments have turned to a form of conservation that is highly specialised to habitats and have been used extensively through history: indigenous stewardship.
Indigenous communities only make up less than 5% of the world’s population yet are able to support up to 80% of global biodiversity through their sustainable practices and knowledge built upon throughout generations. Driven by their rich environmental culture, the indigenous are able to prioritise the health of their land over their personal needs and ensure that more is given back to nature than taken. Despite their unparalleled efforts to preserve natural environments, the indigenous are constantly marginalised, denied access to basic resources/services by governments and evicted from their own ancestral land through the use of lethal and excessive force.
This episode is a celebration of the power of indigenous knowledge and conservation and an urgent call for protection of the rights of native communities. Without the indigenous, natural resources and landscapes can not be managed and protected to a high enough value for the benefit of future generations.
- Indigenous methods of conservation
- Detailed example of Zambia’s largest agricultural indigenous community, the Tonga, and how they use sustainable practices for agriculture, water conservation, animal conservation and resource management
- Platforms allowing for partnership of scientific bodies and indigenous communities, particularly those in remote locations
- Insight into ethnography and the emerging usage of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) by researchers
- Examples of cross-collaboration of remote sensing techniques and indigenous records in the Arctic and Australia
- Case study examples of displacement of indigenous communities in the name of “conservation”, causing an issue of conservation “refugees” and violation of indigenous rights
- Few successful examples of governmental programmes protecting the rights of indigenous communities
- Biodiversity of the Amazon: https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/where_we_work/amazon/about_the_amazon/
- IPBES Global Assessment Report: https://ipbes.net/news/Media-Release-Global-Assessment
- Indigenous practices: http://- http://www.fao.org/zhc/detail-events/en/c/1028010/
- Indigenous practices of the Tonga community: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6014081/
- Local Environmental Observer Network: https://www.leonetwork.org/en/docs/about/about
- Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas Registry: http://www.iccaregistry.org/en/about/icca-registry
- LandMark interactive map: http://www.landmarkmap.org
- TEK: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/tek/learning.htm
- Mosaic burning and monitor lizards: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2013.2297
- Lessons from indigenous conservational efforts: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-conservation-efforts-can-learn-from-indigenous-communities/
- Ecological native knowledge implemented in conservation studies: https://e360.yale.edu/features/native-knowledge-what-ecologists-are-learning-from-indigenous-people
- Displacement of indigenous communities and successful examples of support mechanisms: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/11/can-indigenous-land-stewardship-protect-biodiversity-/
- Ecuadorian government forced to change oil mining plan under indigenous pressure: http://- https://amazonwatch.org/news/2018/1024-ecuador-reduces-plan-for-new-oil-blocks-in-amazon-rainforest
- Mistreatment of indigenous communities: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/indigenous-people-and-nature-tradition-conservation
- Violations of indigenous rights by Kenyan government on Sengwer and Ogiek communities: http://- https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/08/kenya-indigenous-peoples-targeted-as-forced-evictions-continue-despite-government-promises/
- Amnesty International report on above: http://- https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR3283402018ENGLISH.PDF
WAYS TO HELP:
- LISTEN to members of indigenous communities (will be releasing an episode on this soon) instead of mainstream media
- Do your research into indigenous history and understand the ongoing issues for these communities
- Donate and support Amazon Watch: https://amazonwatch.org/work
- Donate to IWGIA and access resources: https://www.iwgia.org/en/about.html
- Donate and support Cultural Survival: https://www.culturalsurvival.org/about
- Native American Rights Fund (legal resources and donations): https://www.narf.org/about-us/
- Minority Rights (donate and access reports): https://minorityrights.org/about-us/
- Indigenous Environmental Network: https://www.ienearth.org
Thanks for listening!
Thanks for joining me on Mind Full of Everything! If you enjoyed the episode, hit the subscribe button on your podcast app of choice to stay updated on episode releases, as well as subscribing to the newsletter to ensure you don’t miss anything! Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for extra content and be sure to write reviews on Apple Podcasts. Until the next episode, happy listening!