#23 BeautifulPlanet: The True Stewards

Access the transcript here.

“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

Photo by Ian Macharia on Unsplash

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.

Episode Structure:

  • 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

Resources Mentioned:


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