Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement, and Sustainable Development

Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement, and Sustainable Development

Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement, and Sustainable Development

Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement, and Sustainable Development

Synopsis

Wildlife conservation and other environmental protection projects can have tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of the often mobile, difficult-to-reach, and marginal peoples who inhabit the same territory. The contributors to this collection of case studies, social scientists as well as natural scientists, are concerned with this human element in biodiversity. They examine the interface between conservation and indigenous communities forced to move or to settle elsewhere in order to accommodate environmental policies and biodiversity concerns. The case studies investigate successful and not so successful community-managed, as well as local participatory, conservation projects in Africa, the Middle East, South and South Eastern Asia, Australia and Latin America. There are lessons to be learned from recent efforts in community managed conservation and this volume significantly contributes to that discussion.

Dawn Chatty is General Editor of Studies in Forced Migration and teaches at the Center for Refugee Studies of the University of Oxford.

Marcus Colchester works for the Forest Peoples Programme.

Excerpt

It is estimated that 10 million people are displaced from their homes and communities each year through a combination of civil unrest, armed conflict, development projects (especially dam construction) and other interventions. Over the past few years, the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford has undertaken to study many of these aspects of forced migration. the disruption to human lives and livelihoods which has resulted from recent wildlife conservation and other environmental protection projects has not, however, been studied systematically. Each year hundreds of thousands of mobile people, located in difficult-to-reach, marginal areas are displaced and often forced into permanent settlements in order to set aside land for the conservation of wildlife

This book has emerged from these two separate concerns: recent local, national and international efforts to protect the biodiversity of our planet; and the sustainable livelihoods of marginal communities around the world. For most of the past decade, I had observed first hand in Oman and later in Syria, how these two important dimensions of universal interests often collide and create distress and upheaval in the lives of indigenous and local peoples as well as in the work of social and natural scientists. Recognizing the global dimensions of this collision, I set about organizing a conference which would bring together social and natural scientists — anthropologists, ecologists, and wildlife conservation specialists — to examine the impact conservation and other environmental protection projects have on the lives and livelihoods of the peoples who inhabit the same territory and ecological niches. a call for papers went out in 1998 under the auspices of the Refugee Studies Centre. Over 80 abstracts were received of which 36 were invited to proceed to full papers. in September 1999, the conference Displacement, Forced Settlement and Conservation was held at St. Anne's College, University of Oxford. All but two of the original papers delivered at that conference appear in the on-line version of this book with Berghahn Publishers (www.berghahnbooks.com).

Marcus Colchester, Director of the Forest Peoples Programme, kindly agreed to co-edit this volume with me. His extensive knowledge and experience of forest peoples in Latin America and Southeast Asia gives a balance to my own expertise in nomadic pastoral systems in the Middle East and North Africa. Together we have selected the twenty papers to make up this volume . . .

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