Community Conservation

Community Conservation

The roles of Indigenous peoples and local communities in conservation has been the subject of years of intense debate in academic and policy circles, and the tide is beginning to turn. An increasing body of evidence shows that certain communities contribute significantly and often in unexpected ways to conservation efforts, whether that is their main intention or not. Some have age-old customary laws and norms that view their relationships with the Earth as stewards or custodians; others have recently developed rules and regulations for the rigorous governance and management of resources upon which they directly depend.

Interdisciplinary research, improved access to information and communications technology, and a groundswell of social movements from the local to global levels have contributed greatly to the current level of recognition and support for Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights. Even with significant gains made in international and, to a lesser degree, national fora, much work remains to ensure proper implementation of supportive provisions and to advocate for further reform of inhibitive ones.

Community conservation, broadly defined, lies at the heart of Natural Justice’s work. We support Indigenous peoples and local communities to voice their own perspectives, concerns, visions, and priorities as they strive to uphold the bundle of rights and responsibilities related to self-determination and environmental governance. We also strive to cross-leverage the gains made in various international environmental and human rights fora to ensure that the highest standards are respected at all levels and in accordance with local values and procedures.

 

Publications

Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation (Agrawal and Gibson, 1999)
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Beyond the Square Wheel: Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of Biodiversity Conservation as Social and Political Process (Brechin et al., 2002)
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The Ties that Bind: Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Governance (Richardson, 2008)
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Protected Planet Report (UNEP-WCMC, 2012)
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Bio-cultural Diversity Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities: Examples and Analysis (Borrini-Feyerabend et al., 2010)
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Traditional Marine Management Areas of the Pacific in the Context of National and International Law and Policy (Vierros et al., 2010)
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Videos

Biocultural Community Protocols: Articulating and Asserting Stewardship (Moving Images & Natural Justice, 2012)
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Rooibos Robbery: A Story of Bioprospecting in South Africa (Steps Southern Africa, 2012)
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Maldhari Biocultural Community Protocol Photo Story (Sahjeevan & Natural Justice, 2012)
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Latest Publication


Biocultural Community Protocols: A Toolkit for Community Facilitators
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Key Links
Community Protocols
Photos


Images from our work in Africa, Asia, and the Americas
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