Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples

Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples

by Mark Dowie
Pub. Date:
MIT Press
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Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples

Since 1900, more than 108,000 officially protected conservation areas have been established worldwide, largely at the urging of five international conservation organizations. About half of these areas were occupied or regularly used by indigenous peoples. Millions who had been living sustainably on their land for generations were displaced in the interests of conservation. In Conservation Refugees, Mark Dowie tells this story. This is a "good guy vs. good guy" story, Dowie writes; the indigenous peoples' movement and conservation organizations have a vital common goal--to protect biological diversity--and could work effectively and powerfully together to protect the planet and preserve biological diversity. Yet for more than a hundred years, these two forces have been at odds. The result: thousands of unmanageable protected areas and native peoples reduced to poaching and trespassing on their ancestral lands or "assimilated" but permanently indentured on the lowest rungs of the money economy. Dowie begins with the story of Yosemite National Park, which by the turn of the twentieth century established a template for bitter encounters between native peoples and conservation. He then describes the experiences of other groups, ranging from the Ogiek and Maasai of eastern Africa and the Pygmies of Central Africa to the Karen of Thailand and the Adevasis of India. He also discusses such issues as differing definitions of "nature" and "wilderness," the influence of the "BINGOs" (Big International NGOs, including the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy), the need for Western scientists to respect and honor traditional lifeways, and the need for native peoples to blend their traditional knowledge with the knowledge of modern ecology. When conservationists and native peoples acknowledge the interdependence of biodiversity conservation and cultural survival, Dowie writes, they can together create a new and much more effective paradigm for conservation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262516006
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 02/25/2011
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 1,317,082
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface ix

A Word about Terms xi

Introduction: "Enemies of Conservation" xv

1 Miwok 1

2 "Nature" 15

3 Maasai 23

4 BINGO 45

5 Forest People 65

6 Exclusion 79

7 Karen 101

8 Natural Capital and TEK 107

9 Adivasi 119

10 Disturbances 133

11 Basarwa 141

12 Fighting Back 153

13 Ogiek 183

14 The Science of Princes 191

15 Kayapo 201

16 Fiasco 209

17 Mursi 223

18 First Stewards 235

19 Gabon: An Irresistible Opportunity 249

Epilogue: Vital Diversities: Balancing the Protection of Nature and Culture 263

Appendix A Indigenous Peoples and Conservation: WWF Statement of Principles 271

Appendix B United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 281

Notes 297

Index 307

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