Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples

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

Dawn Chatty
Marcus Colchester
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 420
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    Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-185-3
    Subjects: Sociology, Environmental Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. vii-ix)
  3. List of Tables and Figures (pp. x-xii)
  4. Preface (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Dawn Chatty
  5. Acknowledgements (pp. xv-xv)
  6. Notes on Contributors (pp. xvi-xxiv)
  7. 1 Introduction: Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples (pp. 1-20)
    Dawn Chatty and Marcus Colchester

    The close of the twentieth century has witnessed an upsurge in international concern about people’s impact on the natural environment. As pressure on natural resources has intensified, the conventional means of protecting habitat and preventing species extinctions, through the establishment of ‘protected areas’, has increasingly come into question. Conventional conservation approaches have been accused of ignoring the wider forces causing environmental damage and, even, of being part of the same mindset, which imposes land use categories from the ‘top-down’, classifying lands as protected areas or zones. This, say the critics, has only legitimized and encouraged unsustainable land use outside protected...

  8. 2 Negotiating the Tropical Forest: Colonizing Farmers and Lumber Resources in the Ticoporo Reserve (pp. 21-35)
    Miguel Montoya

    The last three decades have seen a worldwide surge in awareness and concern about the loss of natural forest environments, resources and wildlife. Simultaneously, man’s encroachment on unexploited or reserved areas has increased, with factors such as population increase, unrelieved poverty, and state agricultural policies contributing to scenarios where peasants resort to colonizing new lands in search of a living. In contrast to the optimism of the 1950s and 1960s, when peasant farmers were often portrayed as a positive force in opening new territories to agricultural production for the benefit of the nation,¹ this sector has more recently been depicted...

  9. 3 Compatibility of Pastoralism and Conservation? A Test Case Using Integrated Assessment in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania (pp. 36-60)
    Kathleen A. Galvin, Jim Ellis, Randall B. Boone, Ann L. Magennis, Nicole M. Smith, Stacy J. Lynn and Philip Thornton

    A major challenge for conservation agencies and advocates is formulating workable compromises between wildlife conservation and the people who live with wildlife. This is sometimes difficult because conflicts expand as human populations expand and because each different situation has its own peculiar dimensions. Various ecological, social, political and economic factors impinge on virtually all human–wildlife interactions, but the weight of each factor varies from one case to another. Thus, despite the attractive advantages of integrating conservation with human development, i.e., community-based conservation, many obstacles remain.

    Community-based conservation is a concept aimed at protecting biodiversity by engaging local people in...

  10. 4 Giving Conservation a Human Face? Lessons from Forty Years of Combining Conservation and Development in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania (pp. 61-76)
    J. Terrence McCabe

    As the human population of the earth grows there is an increased emphasis on the preservation of what remains of the planet’s special places and important natural resources. The number of protected areas and national parks has increased dramatically over the past twenty years, especially in the developing world. New models of conservation have also been introduced, many that emphasize the incorporation of indigenous peoples into the conservation process. However, despite the importance of linking conservation and human development, for both the protection of natural resources and for the economies of indigenous peoples, there have been few examples of real...

  11. 5 National Parks and Human Ecosystems: The Challenge to Community Conservation. A Case Study from Simanjiro, Tanzania (pp. 77-96)
    Jim Igoe

    Community conservation initiatives in Tanzania claim to give rural Tanzanians direct control of natural resources, thereby creating incentives for sustainable resource management at the community level. In practice, however, the agendas of international conservation organizations, private tour companies, and state elites dominate these programmes. The primary objective of Tanzanian community conservation is currently to enrol local people in the protection of national parks. Ironically, the institutional legacy of national parks plays a central role in the very problems that proponents of community conservation are trying to solve. As colonial institutions, national parks in East Africa were gazetted without regard for...

  12. 6 The Mursi and the Elephant Question (pp. 97-118)
    David Turton

    The call for ‘community participation’ in conservation projects has grown to such an extent over the past few years that it has virtually become current orthodoxy, along with similar calls for participation and ‘bottom-up’ planning and management in rural development projects (IIED 1994; Pimbert and Pretty 1995; and numerous references therein). The reasons for this turning away from a ‘preservationist’ approach, which sees local people as an obstacle to effective natural resource management, are as much biological and economic as they are moral and political. Firstly, since virtually all existing ecosystems are a function of human use and disturbance, artificially...

  13. 7 Forced Resettlement, Rural Livelihoods and Wildlife Conservation along the Ugalla River in Tanzania (pp. 119-141)
    Eleanor Fisher

    In the twentieth century, the conservation of wildlife within protected areas in East Africa involved radical change in the relationship between people, land and natural resources. Population resettlement played a part in this change; areas of land now protected under wildlife and forestry laws were once populated and people were moved – forcibly or otherwise – by colonial and post-colonial authorities.² However, the links between population resettlement and the gazettement of protected areas for conservation purposes are complex and have led people to re-interpret and contest both resettlement and conservation goals in many different ways.

    Understanding how experiences of population displacement and...

  14. 8 The Influence of Forced Removals and Land Restitution on Conservation in South Africa (pp. 142-157)
    Christo Fabricius and Chris de Wet

    South Africa is one of the few countries where the forced removal of people from protected areas has been followed by land restitution. This chapter addresses the impact of past forced removals and subsequent land restitution on biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources in South Africa. It focuses on protected areas from which people were removed and on unconserved land, on which people were settled. It questions some of the assumptions about the positive and negative impacts of land restitution on conservation, and highlights emerging challenges to conservationists and land beneficiaries.

    It is widely accepted that the...

  15. 9 How Sustainable is the Communalizing Discourse of ‘New’ Conservation? The Masking of Difference, Inequality and Aspiration in the Fledgling ‘Conservancies’ of Namibia (pp. 158-187)
    Sian Sullivan

    The above quote is from a June 1999 letter to the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia. It was written by two residents of southern Kunene Region, who recently each applied for formal Permission to Occupy Land (PTO) leases to establish campsites and thereby capitalize on a post-independence increased flow of tourists to this wildlife-rich area. Their immediate complaint is that the granting of these applications has been put on hold following a request to this effect by the local ‘conservancy committee’. More revealing, however, is the rationale behind their complaint: that how can this hold on local entrepreneurial activity...

  16. 10 Representing the Resettled: The Ethical Issues Raised by Research and Representation of the San (pp. 188-201)
    Sue Armstrong and Olivia Bennett

    Botswana’s aboriginal people, the San, are fighting a last-ditch battle against dispossession of their ancestral lands. This critical moment coincides with growing resentment at the seemingly endless interest of academics and journalists in their communities, and what they see as the persistent failure of these people to represent the San and their concerns as they would wish them represented. Attitudes have hardened, resulting in the first attempt by San organizations throughout Southern Africa to draw up a protocol for the media and others to govern visits to the San and coverage of their stories. This chapter examines some of the...

  17. 11 Negev Bedouin: Displacement, Forced Settlement and Conservation (pp. 202-211)
    Aref Abu-Rabia

    There are a number of reasons to account for the nomadism of the Bedouin. One decisive factor has been the search for grazing land and water. Another has been the need to escape retribution: when one Bedouin kills another, tribal law requires him and all his relatives to move some distance away, and seek the protection of a sufficiently strong tribe. When Islam spread in the seventh century, a wave of Bedouins came to the Negev from the Arabian Peninsula and settled. A second wave of Bedouin settlement commenced in the ninth century and lasted till the twelfth; then a...

  18. 12 Customs Excised: Arid Land Conservation in Syria (pp. 212-226)
    Jonathan Rae, George Arab and Tom Nordblom

    The steppe area in Syria, as in most other countries in West Asia and North Africa (WANA), is an administrative region based on an agro-ecological division of the country. Running a crude rainfall scale from high to low, zones 1–4 are designated agricultural regions where settlement and cultivation is permitted and predominant. Zone 5, which covers all land below the 200mm isohyte (the so-called ‘steppe line’), is the designated steppe area orbadiyah(Figure 12.1). Covering more than half the country, or 10.2 million hectares, the steppe has been set aside as rangelands where dryland cultivation is illegal. Most...

  19. 13 Animal Reintroduction Projects in the Middle East: Conservation without a Human Face (pp. 227-243)
    Dawn Chatty

    Conservation in the Arabian Peninsula, unlike Africa and elsewhere, does not have a long history. In other parts of the world, ideas and policies for the ‘preservation of nature’ and the conservation of plant and animal species were exported with the colonial administrations of, mainly, France and Great Britain. The Arabian Peninsula, however, was never a ‘colony’ of a Western power. Its neo-colonial period, which might have served to develop such an interest, was very short, and only lasted a few decades between the ends of the two World Wars. In addition, its mainly arid land mass was not suitable...

  20. 14 Environmental Conservation and Indigenous Culture in a Greek Island Community The Dispute over the Sea Turtles (pp. 244-260)
    Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

    In this short narrative quotation, the ‘people’ (oi anthropoi) harmed by the ‘turtle’ are the Vassilikiots, the inhabitants of Vassilikos, a community of farmers and tourist entrepreneurs on the Greek island of Zakynthos in southwestern Greece. The ‘turtle’ (e helona, here emphatically used in the generalizing singular) stands for the Mediterranean loggerhead turtle,¹ a species of sea turtle threatened with extinction. Engaged in a bitter dispute over the politics of turtle conservation, Vassilikiots do not have the most sympathetic attitude towards this particular species. Parts of their land have already become a natural reserve for the reproduction of the turtles,...

  21. 15 Displacement and Forced Settlement: Gypsies in Tamilnadu (pp. 261-276)
    Daniel Meshack and Chris Griffin

    This chapter examines the displacement in Tamilnadu of former Outcaste forest-dwellers known as Narikuravas, Vagri or Kurrivikaran, and the problems they face. Since they are neither agriculturalists nor a ‘service caste’ (see Mines 1984), or for that matter classified ‘tribal’ or ‘indigenous’ with an historical claim to stewardship of, or access to, particular country, they fall outside the social space usually examined by anthropologists. Rather, they are commercial nomads, peripatetics or Gypsies² who (like Gypsies elsewhere) have traditionally lived physically apart from surrounding populations and with little sense of identity or attachment to one particular locality (Werth 1993).

    This raises...

  22. 16 Karen and the Land in Between: Public and Private Enclosure of Forests in Thailand (pp. 277-295)
    Jin Sato

    Thailand has historically been a sparsely populated country with an abundance of open land. With an increasing scarcity of land, however, a legal framework limiting the rights to land use has gradually developed. To halt further ‘encroachment’ on state land, the government has initiated projects for land allotment, purportedly for the landless poor. It has also invested in tree planting and expanding protected areas for the environment, particularly since the late 1960s. Despite these initiatives, illegal logging has continued, forest cover has declined, and socio-economic conditions in rural areas have not improved as intended. Thailand is now considered to be...

  23. 17 Lost Worlds and Local People: Protected Areas Development in Viet Nam (pp. 296-312)
    Pamela McElwee

    In the last ten years, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam has been proclaimed a ‘biodiversity hotspot,’ mainly due to the discovery of several new mammals previously ‘unknown’ to science. As a result, this small country has been the site of a concerted effort on the part of conservation organizations and international development agencies to improve environmental protection. In particular, the rise in deforestation beginning with the end of the Franco–Viet Nam war in 1945, through the American war from 1960 to 1975, and continuing after reunification of North and South in 1975, has been characterized as the most...

  24. 18 The History of Displacement and Forced Settlement in West Kalimantan, Indonesia: Implications for co-managing Danau Sentarum Wildlife Reserve (pp. 313-328)
    Reed L. Wadley

    Co-management or community-based management is seen by many conservationists as a humane and practical alternative to eviction and punitive sanctions of people who inhabit and use lands designated for conservation (Wells et al. 1992; Kemf 1993; Pimbert and Pretty 1995). In its ideal form, co-management involves ‘the active participation in management of a resource by the community of all individuals and groups having some connection with, or interest in, that resource’ (Claridge 1997b: 19), often involving some sort of economic development component. Such ‘integrated conservation and development projects’ are not always easy solutions (Western and Wright 1994; Vandergeest 1996), but...

  25. 19 Planning for Community-based Management of Conservation Areas: Indigenous Forest Management and Conservation of Biodiversity in the Kayan Mentarang National Park, East Kalimantan, Indonesia (pp. 329-346)
    Cristina Eghenter

    Biodiversity conservation, sustainable exploitation of natural resources, and rights of indigenous people are dominating NGOs and government agendas in several countries of Southeast Asia. The issues are not simply juxtaposed. A ‘natural connection’ (Western 1994) is assumed to exist between the interests of biodiversity conservation and those of indigenous people. Moreover, in the rhetoric of conservation organizations, it is often implied that sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity can be achieved insofar as the management of forests and conservation areas is granted to local people (van den Top and Persoon 1998).

    Some critics, however, have noted that the current trend...

  26. 20 Resettlement and Natural Resources in Halmahera, Indonesia (pp. 347-361)
    Christopher R. Duncan

    Generally, when people write their donation cheques to conservation organizations they think about helping endangered species or saving the tropical forests depicted in nature documentaries. The effect of conservation upon the people who live in these forests and depend on them for their survival is rarely mentioned in fundraising circles. The glossy brochures sent out by conservation NGOs do not contain images of people being moved to resettlement sites against their will; yet, this is often the result. Although these conservation groups may have no specific agenda for using force to protect biodiversity,² their support of governments that either lack...

  27. 21 Welcome to Aboriginal Land: Aṉangu Ownership and Management of Uluṟu-kata Tjuṯa National Park (pp. 362-376)
    Graham Griffin

    Uluṟu sits fairly in the centre of the Australian continent. Its landscape is remote, wild and harsh. Few people live anywhere within hundreds of kilometres. Yet, Uluṟu is a place of great cultural and symbolic significance to Australians. Uluṟu-kata Tjuṯa National Park, with the great monolith Uluṟu as its centrepiece, is owned by Aboriginal traditional owners and has a resident community of over 300 Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal (Aṉangu) people. Its tenure history reflects the changing fortunes of conservation and Aboriginal land rights movements in Australia. It has become an environmental and cultural symbol both nationally and internationally. It is...

  28. Index of Subjects (pp. 377-385)
  29. Index of Names (pp. 386-392)


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