Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas: Rights, Principles and Practice
Colchester, Marcus, Nomadic Peoples
Populations indigenes et zones protegees: droits, principes et pratiques
Les populations indigenes, bannies de force, des zones protegees par La 'conservation Coloniale', ont cause des problemes sociaux graves tout en provoquant une reponse vigoureuse. Maintenant, les partisans de la conservation de l'environnement acceptent les progres de la loi internationale qui reconnaissent les droits des indigenes et ont fait changer la categorisation de zone protegee; ceci afin de permettre aux indigenes d'etre proprietaires et d'avoir un pouvoir de controle. Les principes qui reconnaissent ces droits et les Directives qui permettent de les appliquer ont ete adoptes. Des obstacles de taille sont toujours en pratique. Cependant, des exemples positifs laissent voir des solutions.
Gentes indigenas y zonas protegidas: derechos, principios y practica
Las poblaciones indigenas excluidas pot la fuerza de las zonas protegidas por la 'conservacion Colonial' causaron problemas sociales serios pero tambien provocaron una reaccion energica. Ahora, los conservacionistas aceptan los cambios progresistas de la ley internacional. Estos cambios reconocen los derechos indigenas y han cambiado la categorizacion de zona protegida. De este modo, se les permite a los indigenas ser propietarios y controlar estas zonas. Se han adoptado principios que reconocen estos derechos y las Lineas Directrices que los aplican. Obstaculos enormes siguen en practica mas ejemplos positivos van sugeriendo soluciones.
It is easy to forget, now that conservation has become a mainstream concern of the global community and the subject of international treaties, that the idea of conserving nature through the creation of protected areas is a relatively recent invention. The idea was born in the tumultuous rush of land grabbing during the American conquest of the West, when settler families, the US cavalry, gold miners, cowboys and Indians struggled to impose their different visions of life and land use on the continent.
One of the first to conceive of the idea of a 'national park' was the artist George Catlin, who ventured into the Wild West in the 1830s to capture through his oil paintings the dignified visages of the 'Plains Indians'. Musing on what he felt would be the inevitable disappearance of the their way of life he wrote:
And in future what a splendid contemplation ... when one ... imagines them as they might be seen, by some great protecting policy of government preserved in their pristine beauty and wildness, in a magnificent park, where the world could see for ages to come, the native Indian in his classic attire, galloping his wild horse, with sinewy bow, and shield and lance, amid the fleeting herds of elks and buffaloes ... A nation's Park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature's beauty! (Catlin 1841: vii, emphasis in original).
However, when the first such park was actually created thirty years later, it was during the disruptions of the American Civil War at a time when a devastating series of 'Indian Wars' was being waged to subdue Indian autonomy and realise the country's 'manifest destiny' (Colchester 1994: 2-6). It was this dominant vision of conquest, combined with 'wilderness preservation' (Ibid.), which defined the way the first parks were created in the USA at Yosemite in 1864 and Yellowstone in 1872.
As Keller and Turek (1998: 20-22) relate, the startling landscapes of Yosemite, substantially an outcome of Native American land use systems, were proposed for conservation by the very same settlers who, twelve years previously, had waged the 'Mariposa Indian War' against the area's indigenous people--the Miwok. In this one-sided struggle, forces sanctioned by the US Government made repeated attacks on Indian settlements. Villages were burned to the ground to force the Indians out of the area and to starve or freeze them into submission. The main proponent of the park, LaFayette Buruell, who led the Mariposa Battalion, and who professed a take-no-prisoners approach to the Miwok, wanted to 'sweep the territory of any scattered bands that might infest it' (Ibid.). In common with the prejudices of the day, he thought of 'redskins' (Ibid.) as superstitious, treacherous marauders, 'yelling demons' and 'savages' (Ibid.). Once the park was established it was run by the US army for the following fifty-two years before being taken over by the newly established National Parks Service in 1916.
The Miwok petitioned the US Government in 1890. They called for compensation for their losses and denounced the managers of the park for letting white ranchers and settlers invade the area with impunity.
The valley is cut up completely by dusty, sandy roads leading from the hotels of the white in every direction.... All seem to come only to hunt money ... This is not the way in which we treated this park when we had it. This valley was taken away from us [for] a pleasure ground ... Yosemite is no longer a National Park, but merely a hay-farm and cattle range. (Keller and Turek 1998: 20-22).
Their pleas were ignored and further evictions of remnant Miwok settlements were made in 1906, 1929 and as late as 1969.
What the Miwok had noted was that the National Parks were not only being set up to preserve 'wilderness' regions 'unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations' (US Congress 25 August 1916), but were also designed with a profit motive. Indeed, the first parks at Yosemite and Yellowstone were created largely as a result of pressure from the railway-building lobby, which sought to increase the numbers of fare-paying passengers by routing their tracks near to scenic sights for what today we have reinvented as 'ecotourism' (DiSilvestro 1993). Simon Schama has also argued that these early protected areas were in part set up as monuments to America's frontier--icons of wilderness to match the cultural riches of Europe. Yet, according to Schama (1996: 186), the very word 'Yosemite' actually derives from the Miwok for 'some among them are killers'--by which term they referred to the Whites.
Through successive legislation, this exclusionary model of conservation was to be imposed throughout the United States. As stated in the 1964 United States Wilderness Act, the expressed aim of creating 'National Parks' was to preserve wilderness intact for recreation. But the regions were to be uninhabited. According to the Act a wilderness is a place 'where man himself is a visitor who does not remain' (cited in Gomez-Pompa and Kaus 1992: 271). Notwithstanding this intention, the fact is that nearly 100 percent of the main National Parks in the USA with real biodiversity or important landscape values are inhabited or claimed by indigenous peoples (Keller and Turek 1998: xii).
In the following century, the US model of nature conservation was to be exported worldwide. In Africa, the practice of mass exclusions of indigenous peoples to make way for protected areas intensified in the 1960s and has continued to this day. A flagship project, which presaged many others, was the setting up of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Its principal proponent argued that:
A National Park must remain a primordial wilderness to be effective. No men, not even native ones, should live inside its borders (cited in Adams and McShane 1992: xvi).
Since then, some one million square kilometres of forests, pasture and farmlands have been expropriated in Africa to make way for conservation. No one has been able to document how many indigenous people were displaced as a consequence but they must number in their millions.
One Twa widow has explained what it felt like to be expelled from the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Congo in the 1960s.
We did not know they were coming. It was early in the morning. I heard people around my house. I looked through the door and saw people in uniforms with guns. Then one of them forced the door of our house and started shouting that we had to leave immediately because the park is not our land. I first did not understand what he was talking about because all my ancestors have lived on these lands. They were so violent that I left with my children (Kwokwo Barume 2000: 80).
Denied their traditional lands and livelihoods, these Twa--traditional hunting and gathering 'pygmies'--now exist in a number of squatter camps on the fringes of their once extensive forest territory. They suffer extreme malnutrition, landlessness, demoralisation and despair. As another Twa explains:
Since we were expelled from our lands, death is following us. The village is becoming empty. We are heading towards extinction. Now the old people have died. Our culture is dying too ... (Kwokwo Barume 2000: 87).
We likewise lack accurate statistics to show just how many people, indigenous or otherwise, have been displaced to make way for protected areas in Asia. One estimate suggests that as many as 600,000 tribal people have been displaced by protected areas in India alone (PRIA 1993). In recent years, with involuntary resettlement increasingly questioned, the trend in India has been to place so many restrictions on indigenous peoples to limit their movements and livelihoods as to make their continued residence almost impossible, obliging them to relocate 'by choice' (JBHSS 2000). The statistics in Latin America are equally unavailable. One estimate is that 85 percent of the protected areas in Latin America are in fact (illegally) inhabited (Amend and Amend 1992, Kemf 1993, Brandon et al. 1998). The consequences of forced removal are, of course, dire. Cultural collapse, social and political marginalisation, impoverishment and the destruction of age-old community-based natural resource management regimes have all too often ensued. The results are often not only prejudicial to the affected peoples but also to the environments in the protected areas themselves (Kemf 1993, Colchester 1994, Ghimire and Pimbert 1996). As a recent WWF report notes:
Loss of traditional rights can reduce peoples' interest in long-term stewardship of the land and therefore the creation of a protected area can in some cases increase the rate of damage to the very values that the protected area was originally created to preserve.... Putting a fence around a protected area seldom creates a long term solution to problems of disaffected local communities, whether or not it is ethically justified (Carey et al. 2000: 25).
Indigenous People and Human Rights
In 1994, the UN Human Rights Committee noted the following about the obligations of States Parties under Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (for further details see MacKay 2001a-e):
With regard to the exercise of the cultural rights protected under article 27, the Committee observes that culture manifests itself in many forms, including a particular way of life associated with the use of land resources, especially in the case of indigenous peoples. That right may include such traditional activities as fishing or hunting and the right to live in reserves protected by law. The enjoyment of those rights may require positive legal measures of protection and measures to ensure the effective participation of members of minority communities in decisions which affect them. (1)
In 2000, the UN Human Rights Committee offered additional guidance about State Party obligations under the Covenant:
In many areas native title rights and interests remain unresolved [and] in order to secure the rights of its indigenous population under article 27 of the Covenant ... the necessary steps should be taken to restore and protect the titles and interests of indigenous persons in their native lands ... securing continuation and sustainability of traditional forms of economy of indigenous minorities (hunting, fishing and gathering), and protection of sites of religious or cultural significance for such minorities, [are rights] that must be protected under article 27. (2)
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued a General Recommendation in 1997 that focuses explicitly on indigenous peoples. (3) It calls upon States Parties to
ensure that members of indigenous peoples have equal rights in respect of effective participation in public life, and that no decisions directly relating to their rights and interests are taken without their informed consent ... [and to] recognise and protect the rights of indigenous peoples to own, develop, control and use their communal lands, territories and resources and, where they have been deprived of their lands and territories traditionally owned or otherwise inhabited or used without their free and informed consent, to take steps to return these lands and territories (Ibid. paras 4, 5).
In its recent Concluding Observations on Australia's report, the Committee reiterated
its recommendation that the State party ensure effective participation by indigenous communities in decisions affecting their land rights, as required under article 5(c) of the Convention and General Recommendation XXIII of the Committee, which stresses the importance of ensuring the informed consent of indigenous peoples. (4)
Because the rights of indigenous peoples are so often violated, intergovernmental organisations have also moved to consolidate the rights of indigenous peoples in specific laws. The first of these was adopted by the International Labour Organisation in 1957. Article 11 of the Convention states:
The right of ownership, collective or individual, of the members of the populations concerned over the lands which these populations traditionally occupy shall be recognised.
The law recognised the principle that 'aboriginal title' is to be derived from immemorial possession and does not depend on any act of the state. Moreover, as study of the travaux preparatoires of the Convention shows, the Convention considers land to be generic and to include the woods and waters upon it (Bennett 1978). The law has important implications for conservationists. Indigenous peoples have established ownership rights to their lands and resources. Although this convention may not be recognised by all national governments it sets clear standards that intergovernmental and international agencies cannot reasonably ignore.
Convention 107 also established firm principles regarding the forced relocation of indigenous and tribal peoples. Under Article 12 of the Convention indigenous people cannot be relocated except according to national law for reasons of national security, economic development and their own health. If they are relocated, 'as an exceptional measure', they shall be
provided with lands of quality equal to that of the lands previously occupied by them, suitable to provide for their present needs and future development.... Persons thus removed shall be fully compensated for any resulting loss or injury. (5)
In 1989, the ILO developed a revised convention, which further elaborates indigenous rights to land and territories and natural resources. In addition to recognising indigenous peoples' rights to land ownership, Article 14 states that
measures shall be taken in appropriate cases to safeguard the right of the peoples concerned to use lands not exclusively occupied by them, but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities. Particular attention shall be paid to the situation of nomadic peoples and shifting cultivators in this respect.
Article 15 of the Convention also notes:
The rights of these peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specifically safeguarded. These rights include the right of these people to participate in the use, management and conservation of these resources.
The draft of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the UN Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities in 1993 and is currently being discussed by a working group of the UN Human Rights Commission, notes in Article 26:
Indigenous peoples have the right to own, develop, control and use the lands and territories, including the total environment of the lands, air, waters, coastal seas, sea-ice, flora and fauna and other resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used. This includes the right to the full recognition of their laws, traditions and customs, land-tenure systems and institutions for the development and management of resources, and the right to effective measures by States to prevent any interference with, alienation of or encroachment upon these rights.
Indigenous peoples who have been dispossessed of their lands also have the right to restitution. ILO Convention 169 in Article 14 recognises that, in the exceptional case that forced resettlement has been required, people should have the right of return to their original area. Article 26 of the Draft Declaration goes further and notes:
Indigenous peoples have the right to the restitution of the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally occupied or used. Where this is not possible, they have the right to just and fair compensation. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the people concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status.
International law also goes some way towards defining how States and outside institutions should go about interactions with indigenous peoples. ILO Convention 169 notes in Article 2 and 4 the need to respect and safeguard indigenous peoples' customs and institutions, while Article 6 obliges States to:
a) consult the peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, whenever consideration is being given to legislative or administrative measures which may affect them directly ... c) establish means for the full development of the peoples' own institutions and initiatives, and in appropriate cases provide the necessary resources for this purpose.
International law regarding indigenous people is unique in a number of respects, perhaps the most important being that it recognises collective rights. It thus asserts the authority of the indigenous group to own land and other resources, enter into negotiations and regulate the affairs of its members in line with customary laws which may be quite different to national laws.
International Environmental Agreements
The global agreements negotiated at the Earth Summit in 1992 gave a prominent place to 'indigenous peoples'. For example, the 'Rio Declaration' in Article 22 explicitly noted:
Indigenous peoples and their communities and other local communities have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognise and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development (cited in International Alliance 1997: 16).
Indigenous peoples were also formally accepted as a 'Major Group' for the implementation of 'Agenda 21', which contained a whole chapter on indigenous peoples, for example noting that:
In view of the interrelationship between the natural environment and its sustainable development and the cultural, social, economic and physical well-being of indigenous people, national and international efforts to implement environmentally sound and sustainable development should recognise, accommodate, promote and strengthen the role of indigenous people and their communities (Ibid. 35).
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was also finalised at the Earth Summit and which has now been ratified by some 174 countries, also makes provisions relevant to indigenous peoples. Article 8(j) obliges States that are party to the convention 'as far as possible and as appropriate',
Subject to its national legislation, [to] respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources ...
Similarly, with reference to in situ conservation practices, Article 10(c) obliges States, 'as far as possible and as appropriate', to
protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements.
The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage states that one of the intentions of listing areas of outstanding value for natural and cultural heritage as 'World Heritage Sites' is to ensure that they are managed and protected to the highest international standards.
Paragraph 14 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention notes: 'Participation of local people in the nomination process is essential to make them feel a shared responsibility with the State Party in the maintenance of the site'. In evaluating the inclusion of any area in the World Heritage Sites list, UNESCO and its partner agencies are required to assess the management plan for the area and ensure there is clarity about the ownership and legal status of the property being proposed, in accordance with paragraphs 21 and 64 (4a, b) of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention. UNESCO has also clearly recognised that secure access to land is not only vital to indigenous peoples' subsistence but also to the maintenance of their spiritual existence and is a mainstay of their view of the world. Indigenous peoples thus have
a natural and inalienable right to the territories that they possess as well as the right to recover the land taken away from them. This implies the right to the natural and cultural heritage that this territory contains and the right to determine freely how it will be used and exploited. (6)
Just which peoples actually enjoy all these rights remains disputed. After thirteen years listening to and analysing testimony from indigenous peoples from all around the world, the Chairperson of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations concluded in 1996:
In summary, the factors which modern international organisations and legal experts (including indigenous legal experts and members of the academic family) have considered relevant to understanding the concept of 'indigenous' include:
a) priority in time with respect to the occupation and use of a specific territory;
b) the voluntary perpetuation of cultural distinctiveness, which may include aspects of language, social organisation, religion and spiritual values, modes of production, laws and institutions;
c) self-identification, as well as recognition by other groups, or by State authorities, as a distinct collectivity;
d) and an experience of subjugation, exclusion or discrimination, whether or not these conditions persist (Daes 1996).
The ILO's Convention No.169 applies to both indigenous and tribal peoples and thus includes many such peoples from Asia and Africa. It ascribes both the same rights without discrimination. Article 1(2) of ILO Convention No. 169 notes: 'Self-identification as indigenous or tribal shall be regarded as a fundamental criterion for determining the groups to which the provisions of this Convention apply.' The principle of self-identification has been strongly endorsed by indigenous peoples themselves and has been adopted in Article 8 of the UN's Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Further progress towards a precise definition is hardly possible as the component term 'peoples', which is fundamental to the constitution of the UN, is itself undefined (Gray 1996, Kingsbury 1996, 1998).
Biosphere Reserves and Buffer Zones
Concerns about the social impacts of protected areas were voiced from their inception, and by the 1970s, UNESCO, as well as members of the conservation community, began to respond to these criticisms. Under its 'Man and the Biosphere' programme, UNESCO developed the idea of 'biosphere reserves', in which strictly protected 'core zones' - the exclusionary type of protected area - were to be encircled with 'buffer zones', where provisions were made for the local inhabitants to continue their 'traditional' lifestyles and engage in controlled community development projects. Conservation agencies implementing projects along these lines could get them listed by UNESCO to gain international recognition of their efforts and thus become eligible for UNESCO financial support (UNESCO and UNEP 1984, Oldfield 1988). However, though enlightened for their time, from the local peoples' point of view these experimental reserves have not been markedly successful. They continue the tradition of imposing outsiders' views of nature on local peoples' lands.
A review of 'buffer zone' projects, carried out by the World Conservation Union ten years ago, concluded that they had been, for the main part, 'disappointing ... there were few, if any, instances where outside agencies could leave in the knowledge that the conservation problems in the area were solved' (Sayer 1991: 4). The report noted:
Legal protection is rarely sufficient to guarantee the continuing integrity of conservation areas. Local people, often with good reason, frequently see parks as government-imposed restrictions on their legitimate rights. Patrolling by guards, demarcation of boundaries and provision of tourist facilities will therefore not deter them from agricultural encroachment. Illegal hunting and gathering of forest products will be difficult to control. Laws which are resented by the majority of the population are difficult to enforce. In these situations, protected areas lose support and credibility, and their condition rapidly deteriorates (Sayer 1991: 1).
The study found that most buffer zone projects had been initiated and directed by outsiders, had been of short duration, and had focused on ambitious but untried technologies--like agroforestry schemes or the experimental domestication of wild animals--to secure increased economic benefits for local people from buffer zone areas, in the hope that they would not then impinge on the core zones, which were off limits to farming, hunting and gathering. These projects had 'frequently pursued objectives which were inconsistent with the aspirations of the very people they were trying to help' (Sayer 1991: 24). They paid too little attention to social and political constraints, both of the local communities and the national conservation agencies. The report also noted that the best buffer zone projects had 'not been short-term aid projects but initiatives taken by local community groups or resource managers who ... made creative attempts to solve the day to day problems which they faced' (Sayer 1991: 4).
A well-documented example of these difficulties is the Amboseli National Park in Kenya, which was established on Maasai lands and initially denied them access to dry season pastures and watering points. The Maasai showed their resentment for the loss of their livelihoods by spearing rhinos, lions and other wildlife. To compensate the Maasai, a 'buffer zone' was built up, with World Bank support. New watering points were established outside the 'core zone' and compensation fees were promised. Promising at first, the project broke down--compensation fees went unpaid, the water supply system deteriorated. Royalties that accrued to the central government and local council failed to trickle down to the affected herders (Ledec and Goodland 1988, Talbot and Olindo 1990, Hannah 1992, Wells and Brandon 1992).
New Principles for Protected Area Management
At the World Congress on Protected Areas held in Caracas in 1992, a central issue addressed by the participants was the fact that the great majority of protected areas are in fact inhabited, notably by indigenous peoples (Amend and Amend 1992). The Congress recognised that the denial of the existence and rights of residents was not only unrealistic but counter-productive. At that time the World Conservation Union (IUCN) defined a 'national park' in terms of State ownership or control: 'where the highest competent authority of the country has taken steps to prevent or eliminate as soon as possible exploitation or occupation of the whole area' (Cited in West 1991: xvii). In 1994, in order to encourage more inclusive forms of conservation, the World Conservation Union adopted a revised set of categories of protected areas which accept that indigenous peoples, as well as others, may own and manage protected areas (IUCN 1994). In 1996, following several years of intensive engagement with indigenous peoples' organisations, the WorldWide Fund for Nature--International adopted a Statement of Principles on Indigenous Peoples and Conservation, which endorsed the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, accepting that constructive engagement with indigenous peoples must start with a recognition of their rights and upholding the rights of indigenous peoples to own, manage and control their lands and territories and to benefit from the application of their knowledge (WWF 1996).
The same year the World Conservation Congress, the paramount body of the World Conservation Union, adopted seven different resolutions on indigenous peoples (IUCN 1996). These resolutions inter alia:
* Recognise the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and territories, particularly in forests, in marine and coastal ecosystems, and in protected areas
* Recognise their rights to manage their natural resources in protected areas either on their own or jointly with others
* Endorse the principles enshrined in ILO's Convention 169, Agenda 21, the CBD and the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
* Urge member countries to adopt ILO Convention 169
* Recognise the right of indigenous peoples to participate in decision-making related to the implementation of the CBD, and
* Recognise the need for joint agreements with indigenous peoples for the management of Protected Areas, as well as their right to effective participation and to be consulted in decisions related to natural resource management.
In 1999, the World Commission on Protected Areas adopted guidelines for putting the principles contained in one of these seven resolutions into practice. These guidelines place emphasis on co-management of protected areas, on agreements between indigenous peoples and conservation bodies, on indigenous participation and on a recognition of indigenous peoples' rights to 'sustainable, traditional use' of their lands and territories (Beltran 2000).
Putting these new principles into practice is, however, easier said than done. Conservation initiatives take place within the same constraints as other 'development' activities. They have to deal with the same competing enterprises and vested interests that confront local communities everywhere (Brandon et al. 1998). In particular they have to confront the all-too-common ingrained prejudices against indigenous peoples, held by both the general public and personnel in government agencies (Griffiths and Colchester 2000, Kwokwo Barume 2000).
Prejudicial attitudes to indigenous peoples' ways of life are often institutionalised through unjust national laws and government policies which deny indigenous peoples their land rights and rights to manage their resources, and which seek their accelerated assimilation into the national mainstream. Although such integrationist policies are now contrary to the principles of international human rights law and have been rejected by the majority of Latin American countries, which have revised their constitutions accordingly, they remain prevalent in Africa and Asia (Colchester 1997, Kambel and MacKay 1999).
In many countries, national policies, institutions and laws on conservation were set in place during the heyday of the exclusionary model of conservation. Laws establishing protected areas may thus automatically extinguish residents' rights of natural resource use, free movement and access. They may even require forced removals of these areas' inhabitants, even though conservation biologists admit that this is not strictly necessary on environmental grounds. Likewise, in many countries, laws and policies have yet to accept that indigenous peoples may be the owners and managers of protected areas, instead considering these areas the preserve of government agencies. Conservationists trained in the old school find it hard to adjust to new standards and ideas (Western and Wright 1994, Gray et al. 1997, Colchester and Erni 1999).
The recognition of indigenous peoples' rights to own and manage their ancestral lands does not automatically mean that sustainable land use will result. Indigenous peoples are aware that the integrity of their territories is now at risk not just because of external pressures to exploit their areas, which they seek to resist, but also because their own economies are undergoing change. Restricted land bases, settler pressure, rising indigenous populations and their adoption of new values and technologies may all increase pressure on natural resources. Conservation biologists note that overhunting of large mammals, birds and reptiles, in particular, is now a very widespread problem throughout the tropical forests (Robinson and Bennett 2000).
Some indigenous peoples seek help from conservationists to address these problems, as partners in promoting change rather than as controllers of their lives. As the International Alliance of Indigenous-Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests noted in 1996:
Indigenous peoples recognise that it is in their long-term interest to use their resources sustainably and respect the need for environmental conservation. Indigenous peoples recognise that the expertise of conservation organisations can be of use to their self-development and seek a mutually beneficial relationship based on trust, transparency and accountability (International Alliance 1996).
Some of the main conservation agencies are now responding proactively to this challenge. They are re-evaluating their conservation methods in terms of their social obligations and new policies and are testing and designing new, practical field methods for working in partnership with indigenous peoples (Borrini-Feyerabend 1997, Weber et al. 2000, Oviedo et al. 2000, Eghenter 2000). However, the move from the old to the new model is slow and faltering. In Latin America, studies suggest that conservationists are only in the first phases of incorporating local communities into protected urea management. Typically these measures include employing local people as park guards and rangers, cooks, secretaries and so on. Community development projects are the next stage of 'participation', after which involving communities in natural resource management is then attempted (Dugelby and Libby 1998).
The range of examples is very wide. In Nepal for example, the local communities have been given only a limited role in the management of the Anapurna Sanctuary, but their traditional economies and land use systems have not been interfered with. In addition, effort has been put into ensuring that community members are able to obtain equitable and direct incomes from the thousands of trekkers who come through the urea each year to admire the culture and mountain scenery. Community members have been given training in how to provide the services that the trekkers favour--western foods and drinks, beds and showers--and the communities have established new regulations directing trekkers to specific guest houses in each village on specific days to ensure that each house owner gets a share of the trade. The main threat to the system are the plans to build a new road into the Sanctuary which will bring in a quite different kind of tourist who will require more luxurious services that the villagers will not be able to provide with their limited access to capital.
Conservationists have also found ways of securing indigenous peoples' land rights in protected areas even though the national legislation does not provide full recognition. For example, in Indonesia the customary rights of indigenous peoples are not secured, but in the Arfak Mountains in West Papua conservationists were able to establish a protected urea with the consent of the local people by first securing promises from local officials that land rights would be protected and customary land use systems allowed to continue. Income generation was promoted by training the local communities to raise exotic tropical butterflies which could be sold as gifts on international markets (Craven and Wardoyo 1993). Similar pragmatic solutions have been explored in China, for example on Hainan Island where the Li and Miao 'live in abject poverty' (Jager 2001: 55) on the margins of nature reserves in which their customary use of natural resources has been made illegal. In contrast to those living in conflict with the Wuzhishan Nature Reserve from which they are excluded, those near the Bawangling National Nature Reserve are allowed by the local authorities to continue to have access to the resources their livelihoods depend on; and here researchers detected a 'stronger sense of stewardship through participation'. A next step would be to formalise and legalise what are presently just oral agreements (Jager 2001: 56).
Promoting income generation from wildlife management has also been widely adopted in southern Africa, under a system developed by the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). Communities have been encouraged to allow elephants, lions, antelopes and other large mammals to roam on their lands, in exchange for income from the licences that sport hunters buy to come and shoot the animals. Meat from the kills is consumed locally and some villages also make an income harvesting ivory from elephant culls. Based on the CAMPFIRE model, community-managed 'conservancies' are now being widely established in Southern Africa, notably in Namibia (Sullivan 2002).
None of these examples are fully in line with the principles of international law noted above nor are they entirely without problems, but they do build on local participation and have introduced measures to try to ensure that conservation brings real benefits to local residents. In Australia, Aboriginal peoples have been able to secure full recognition of their land rights in a number of protected areas and have assumed central roles in the areas' management, as well as gaining considerable benefits from visitor fees and sales of artwork to tourists. Success can bring its own problems, however; the Anangu community around Uluru (Ayer's Rock) has grown to three times its original size as relatives from outlying settlements have moved to the area to benefit from the new income streams (Griffin 2002).
In North America, some indigenous peoples have also recognised that they can gain real benefits from turning their lands into protected areas. The Havasupai in Arizona, for example, have set up their own 'national park' in the Grand Canyon, which attracts adventure tourists, trekkers and those with curiosity to experience life in Indian communities (Keller and Turek 1998).
What these and other examples teach us is that long term partnerships require conservation organisations to go beyond 'capacity building' and 'training', and beyond provisions for 'participation', and involve real transfers of power (Colchester 1996). In place of 'conflict management', in which rights are not recognised but palliatives offered to defuse local dissent (Lewis 1996), what are required are freely negotiated agreements between indigenous peoples, conservation NGOs and government agencies, which recognise indigenous peoples' rights, and provide enforceable contracts that not only make clear how mutual rights and responsibilities are allocated but also include agile mechanisms for resolving problems and difficulties in acceptable and non-confrontational ways.
These kinds of arrangements will also imply real challenges for indigenous peoples themselves. If indigenous peoples actively seek to have parts of their ancestral territories recognised as protected areas under their own management and control--in order to benefit from the protection such designations are meant to entail and the possible revenue streams that may come from ecotourism and scientific research--they will also need to reappraise how and whether their systems of customary law, self-governance and enforcement effectively regulate and control resource use, both by their own members and by visitors to the areas. Indigenous peoples' institutions may have proved adequate to the task in the past, but new pressures may also imply that they need to strengthen and modify their traditional ways. Conservation does not imply the absence of change (Cornell and Kalt 1992, Gibson et al. 2000, Roe et al. 2000, Alcorn and Royo 2000).
(1.) Human Rights Committee, General Comment 23, Article 27 (1994); in, Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations Adopted by Human Rights Treaty Bodies, UN Dec. HRI\GEN\1\Rev.1 at 38 (1994).
(2.) Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Australia. 28/07/2000. CCPR/CO/69/AUS. (Concluding Observations/Comments), at para. 10.
(3.) General Recommendation XXIII (51) concerning Indigenous Peoples Adopted at the Committee's 1235th meeting, on 18 August 1997. UN Doc. CERD/C/51/ Misc.13/Rev.4.
(4.) Concluding Observations by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Australia. 24/03/2000. CERD/C/56/Misc.42/rev.3. (Concluding Observations/Comments), at para. 9.
(5.) ILO Convention 169 makes somewhat more ambiguous provisions on forced resettlement.
(6.) Declaration of San Jose on Ethno-Development and Ethnocide in Latin America, UNESCO Dec. FS82/WF.32 (1982).
Adams, J. and T. McShane 1992. The Myth of Wild Africa: Conservation without Illusion. London.
Alcorn, J. B. and A. G. Royo 2000. Indigenous Social Movements and Ecological Resilience: Lessons from the Dayak of Indonesia. Washington DC.
Amend, S. and T. Amend, eds. 1992. Espacios sin habitantes? Parques Nacionales de America del Sur. Gland.
Beltran, J. ed. 2000. Indigenous and Traditional Peoples and Protected Areas: Principles, Guidelines and Case Studies. Gland.
Bennett, G. 1978. Aboriginal Rights in International Law. London.
Borrini-Feyerabend, G. ed. 1997. Beyond Fences: Seeking Social Sustainability in Conservation, 2 vols. Gland.
Brandon, K., K. Redford and S. Sanderson 1998. Parks in Peril: People, Politics and Protected Areas. Washington DC.
Carey, C., N. Dudley and S. Stolton 2000. Squandering Paradise? The Importance and Vulnerability of the World's Protected Areas. Gland.
Catlin, G. 1841. The Manner and Customs of the North American Indians, reprinted as North American Indians, ed. P. Mathiessen. Harmondsworth, 1989.
Colchester, M. 1994. Salvaging Nature: Indigenous Peoples, Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation. Geneva.
-- 1996. 'Beyond "Participation": Indigenous Peoples, Biological Diversity Conservation and Protected Area Management', Unasylva 186(47): 33-39.
-- 1997. Guyana: Fragile Frontier--Mining, Logging and Forest Peoples. London.
-- and C. Erni, eds. 1999. Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas in South and Southeast Asia: from Principles to Practice. Copenhagen.
Cornell, S. and J. Kalt, eds. 1992. What Can Tribes Do? Strategies and Institutions in American Indian Development. Los Angeles.
Craven, I. and W. Wardoyo 1993. 'Gardens in the Forest', in Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas: the Law of Mother Earth, ed. E. Kemf. London.
Daes, I. 1996. Supplementary Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Protection of the Heritage of Indigenous Peoples, UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities. 48th Session. E/CN.4.Sub.2/1996/22.
DiSilvestro, R. L. 1993. Reclaiming the Last Wild Places: A New Agenda for Biodiversity. New York.
Dugelby, B. and M. Libby 1998. 'Analyzing the Social Context at PiP Sites', in Parks in Peril: People, Politics and Protected Areas, eds. K. Brandon, K. Redford and S. Sanderson. Washington DC, 63-75.
Eghenter, C. 2000. Mapping Peoples' Forests: the Role of Mapping in Planning Community-based Management of Conservation Areas in Indonesia. Washington DC.
Ghimire, K. and M. Pimbert, eds. 1996. Social Change and Conservation: Environmental Politics and Impacts of National Parks and Protected Areas. London.
Gibson, C., M. McKean and E. Ostrom, eds. 2000. People and Forests: Communities, Institutions and Governance. Cambridge.
Gomez-Pompa, A. and A. Kaus 1992. 'Taming the Wilderness Myth', Bioscience 42(4): 271-279.
Gray, A. 1996. 'The Indigenous Movement in Asia', in Indigenous Peoples of Asia, eds. R. H. Barnes, A. Gray and B. Kingsbury. Ann Arbor.
--, H. Newing and A. Padellada, eds. 1997. Indigenous Peoples and Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America: from Principles to Practice. Copenhagen.
Griffin, G. 2002. 'Welcome to Aboriginal Land: Anangu Ownership and Management of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park', in Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement and Sustainable Development, eds. D. Chatty and M. Colchester. Oxford, 362-376.
Griffiths, T. and M. Colchester 2000. Indigenous Peoples, Forests and the World Bank: Policies and Practice. Moreton-in-Marsh, UK.
Hannah, L. 1992. African People, African Parks: an Evaluation of Development Initiatives as a Means of Improving Protected Area Conservation in Africa. Washington DC.
International Alliance 1996. Indigenous Peoples, Forests and Biodiversity. Copenhagen.
-- 1997. Indigenous Peoples' Participation in Global Environmental Negotiations. London.
IUCN 1994. Guidelines for Protected Area Management Categories. Gland.
-- 1996. World Conservation Congress: Resolutions and Recommendations. Gland.
Jager, T. 2001. Protected Areas, Indigenous Minorities and Resource Use: a Case Study from Hainan Island, People's Republic of China. Eschborn.
JBHSS 2000. 'Nagarahole: Adivasi Peoples' Rights and Ecodevelopment', Paper presented by the Janara Budakattu Hakku Stapana Samithi to the Workshop on Indigenous Peoples, Forests and the World Bank: Policies and Practice, organised by the Forest Peoples Programme, 9-10 May 2000, Embassy Suites Hotel, Washington DC.
Kambel, E.-R. and F. MacKay 1999 The Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Maroons in Suriname. Copenhagen.
Kemf, E. 1993. Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas: The Law of Mother Earth. London.
Keller, R. and M. Turek 1998. American Indians and National Parks. Tucson.
Kingsbury, B. 1996. 'The Concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia: International Law Issues', in Vines that Bind, ed. C. Erni. Copenhagen, 53-73.
-- 1998. '"Indigenous Peoples" in International Law: a Constructivist Approach to the Asian Controversy', American Journal of International Law 92(3): 414-457.
Kwokwo Barume, A. 2000. Heading Towards Extinction: Indigenous Rights in Africa--the case of the Twa of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. Copenhagen.
Ledec, G. and R. Goodland 1988. Wildlands: their Protection and Management in Economic Development. Washington DC.
Lewis, C. 1996. Managing Conflicts in Protected Areas. Gland.
MacKay, F. 2001 a. A Guide to Indigenous Peoples' Rights in the Inter-American Human Rights System. Forest Peoples Programme.
-- 2001 b. A Briefing on Indigenous Peoples' Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Forest Peoples Programme.
-- 2001c. A Guide to Indigenous Peoples' Rights in the International Labour Organisation. Forest Peoples Programme.
-- 2001d. The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Forest Peoples Programme.
-- 2001e. 'Indigenous Land Rights: Legal Issues', in A Survey of Indigenous Land Tenure, ed. M. Colchester. A Report for the Land Tenure Service of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome.
Oldfield, S. 1988. Buffer Zone Management in Tropical Moist Forests: Case Studies and Guidelines. Gland.
Oviedo, G., L. Maffi and P. Larsen 2000. Indigenous and Traditional Peoples of the Worm and Ecoregion Conservation: an Integral Approach to Conserving the World's Biological and Cultural Diversity. Gland.
PRIA 1993. Doon Declaration on People and Parks. Resolution of the National Workshop on Declining Access to and Control over Natural Resources in National Parks and Sanctuaries. Forest Research Institute, Dehradun 28-30 October, 1993 (Society for Participatory Research in Asia).
Robinson, J. and E. Bennett, eds. 2000. Hunting for Sustainability in Tropical Forests. New York.
Roe, D., J. Mayers, M. Grieg-Gran, A. Kothari, C. Fabricius and R. Hughes 2000. Evaluating Eden: Exploring Myths and Realities of Community-based Wildlife Management. London.
Sayer, J. 1991. Rainforest Buffer Zones: Guidelines for Protected Area Management. Gland.
Schama, S. 1996. Landscape and Memory. London.
Sullivan, S. 2002. 'How Sustainable is the new Communalising Discourse of "New" Conservation? The Masking of Difference, Inequality and Aspirations in the Fledgling Conservancies of Namibia', in Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement and Sustainable Development, eds. D. Chatty and M. Colchester. Oxford, 158-187.
Talbot, L. and P. Olindo 1990. 'Amboseli and Maasai Mara, Kenya', in Living with Wildlife: Wildlife Resource Management with Local Participation in Africa, ed. A. Kiss. Washington DC.
UNESCO and UNEP 1984. Conservation, Science and Society. Contributions to the First International Biosphere Reserve Congress, Minsk, 2 vols. Paris.
Weber, R., J. Butler and P. Larson 2000. Indigenous Peoples and Conservation Organisations: Experiences in Collaboration. Washington DC.
Wells, M. and K. Brandon 1992. People and Parks: Linking Protected Area Management with Local Communities. Washington DC.
West, P. 1991. 'Introduction', in Resident Peoples and National Parks: Social Dilemmas in International Conservation, eds. P. West and S. Brechin. Tucson, xv-xxiv
Western, D. and R. M. Wright, eds. 1994. Natural Connections. Perspectives in Community-based Conservation. Washington DC.
WWF 1996. WWF Statement of Principles: Indigenous Peoples and Conservation. Gland.
Marcus Colchester received his doctorate in anthropology at University of Oxford. As Projects Director of Survival International his work focussed on the human rights impacts of imposed development schemes especially in Amazonia and South and South East Asia. He sat on the International Labour Organisation's expert committee on the revision of Convention 107. He is a founder member of the World Rainforest Movement and set up the Forest Peoples Programme which has developed into a well-known NGO active in the field of indigenous rights and the environment. He is currently Director of the programme. He has strongly advocated reforms in conservation policies to respect indigenous peoples' rights. In 1994 he was awarded a Few Conservation Fellowship in recognition of his work in this field. He has acted as a consultant for the International Commission on International Humanitarian Issues, the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development, the World Bank, the World Commission on Dams and the Biodiversity Support Programme. He has published extensively in academic and NGO journals and is the author and editor of numerous books including The Struggle for Land and the Fate of the Forests (1993) with Larry Lohmann and Guyana: Fragile Frontier--Loggers Miners and Forest Peoples (1997). He is married with two children and lives in the Cotswolds in England.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas: Rights, Principles and Practice. Contributors: Colchester, Marcus - Author. Journal title: Nomadic Peoples. Volume: 7. Issue: 1 Publication date: June 2003. Page number: 33+. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.