Academic journal article Nomadic Peoples

Dana Declaration +10

Academic journal article Nomadic Peoples

Dana Declaration +10

Article excerpt

Ten years ago, in April 2002, the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) at the University of Oxford hosted an important conference in the Wadi Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan in collaboration with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), the World Commission on Protected Area of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-WCPA) and the WWF. The purpose of this five-day meeting was to address the growing restrictions, evictions and dispossessions of non-sedentary peoples (pastoralists, hunters and gatherers, and swidden agriculturalists) by states engaging in biodiversity conservation. The outcome of this conference, which was attended by social scientists, ecologists and conservation practitioners, was the promulgation of the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation (http://www.danadeclaration.org). This was a 'compromise' document which attempted to bridge the divide in perception and practice between local and traditional peoples and their defenders (largely social scientists) and the concerns of conservation policy makers and practitioners to protect nature.

Over the next ten years, a Standing Committee, chaired by the RSC, shepherded the declaration into soft international law by promoting its endorsement at the Durban World Parks Congress in 2003, where it became part of the Durban Accord and international concern was voiced that many places which have been conserved over the ages by local communities and mobile and indigenous peoples are not given recognition, protection and support. Then, in 2008, the Dana Declaration was endorsed by the world conservation body, the IUCN. …

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