Conservation interventions can impact on indigenous peoples and local communities in a number of ways. These include: denial of free, prior and informed consent; lack of engagement by outsiders with indigenous institutions; eviction; unjust resettlement; destruction of property and livelihoods; denial of access and use of natural resources; intimidation and physical harm; and exploitative employment.
Such injustices raise an important question: Why, despite the large body of international law, norms and standards relating to the rights of indigenous peoples that has been elaborated over the last two decades, do they continue?
One reason is that there is little rights-based, practical and broadly accepted guidance specifically tailored to conservation initiatives. To address this, Natural Justice and IIED analyzed the following foundational questions (Responsibilities, Rights and Redress):
The partners subsequently drew on this work to produce a draft set of Conservation Standards (Conservation Standards: From Rights to Responsibilities). The Conservation Standards provide conservation actors (including indigenous peoples) easily accessible guidance on the following questions: