The impact of conservation on Indigenous Peoples: a case study of the Loliondo pastoralists in Tanzania


In Africa, the protected area model known as "fortress conservation" is encroaching on Indigenous lands and infringing on their rights. A very clear case is that of the Maasai people in Loliondo, in whose ancestral lands and territory the Tanzanian government wants to create a conservation area in the form of a Game Reserve. As a result, the Maasai communities have suffered forced evictions and human rights violations. Instead of recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge about how to protect nature, the fortress conservation methods regrettably undermine Indigenous ways of life and endanger the balance of their ecosystems.

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Self-determination, conservation and Tarimat Pujut in the Wampís Nation


Despite progress at the international level, the environmentalism movement and the Peruvian state have not yet fully recognized the role played by Indigenous Peoples in the protection of Amazonian biodiversity. For the communities, man and nature form a whole and, as such, they take advantage of the benefits of the forests, while at the same time imposing limits on their extraction. The Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampís Nation seeks to implement a comprehensive system of territorial control based on traditional teachings, constant monitoring, Indigenous justice and "sustainable bio-businesses". 

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Indigenous governance and conservation of the commons in Bolivia


The relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the environmental movement has not always been on the best or terms. Although the communities have protected nature where they have lived for centuries, it took years for conservationist organizations to understand that wild flora and fauna do not only occupy forests. While some conservationists continue to call for the expulsion of Indigenous people from protected areas, others have understood the role Indigenous communities play in the reproduction of life. In Bolivia, the Guarani have created protected areas under their own regulations, while five Amazonian peoples have just created a protected area rich in biodiversity.

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A Saami youth holds up a microphone

Press Release - Sámi Activists Demand Removal of Wind Turbines in Fosen

Cover photo by the Saami Council

October 14, 2023

In a powerful display of determination and solidarity, hundreds of Sámi activists, alongside environmental advocates, have converged in Oslo to demand the immediate removal of wind turbines from the Fosen region. The protests, which are part of continued advocacy and protest by the Sámi over the last two years, commenced on October 11, 2023, have garnered national and international attention.

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The colonial face of environmental conservationism in Ecuador


Throughout history, colonialism has taken many forms. First, it manifested in religious missionaries then rubber companies, and, finally, in oil companies. Today, under the guise of their so-called green agendas, environmental NGOs continue the oppressive legacy of their predecessors. In this case, the aim of their self-proclaimed green capital is to appropriate our ancestral territories in order to sell carbon credits. In this scheme, the commodification of the Amazon’s forests has become a new attempt to divide Indigenous organizations. Faced with this new threat, one viable solution is to bet on the self-determination of the communitarian society of the Sumak Kawsay.

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IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Read more.

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