Tag Archives: environmental justice

Fortress Conservation

At the end of a week that included wildly premature celebrations over the passage of a profoundly flawed climate bill, we relay a letter from Extinction Rebellion Global Support, reporting on an often overlooked aspect of conservation in the global south:

Since early 2022, the Maasai in northern Tanzania have intensified their fight against eviction from their ancestral lands in the Ngorongoro conservation area and Loliondo.

The government wants to use the lands to make a safari park and expand trophy hunting opportunities, and have subjected the Maasai communities to waves of violence, exclusion, and evictions. Over the past months, XR Youth Solidarity and other rebel groups have organised joint international solidarity actions with the Maasai.

In February, the Maasai organised a blockade at the entrance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. At the same time, rebels in London and Edinburgh protested outside the Tanzanian High Commission and several travel agencies who fuel the tourism that is driving the Maasai evictions.

Conservation projects often involve the violent theft of land from indigenous and other local communities, most of whom have lived in harmony with that land for millennia. It is known as Fortress Conservation, or colonial conservation, and the Environmental Justice Atlas currently records 141 cases worldwide.

Fortress Conservation is accepted or even practiced by many well-known organizations, for example WWF, and is used by corporations to greenwash their extractivism. The Maasai and rebel groups have launched a boycott of companies that benefit from the practice and the tourism it fosters.

80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity is on indigenous lands, and communities like the Massai want to lead our efforts to protect the planet and stop ecocide, not be displaced by them.

In July, a delegation of indigenous East African people travelled to a major conservation conference in Rwanda and demanded an end to Fortress Conservation, and the beginning of indigenous led conservation without Western intervention.

 

MAASAI BLOCKADE IN NGORONGORO

 

 

 

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Where Grizzlies Dance

As the long-suppressed transition from a culture of extraction to a culture of connection gains momentum, there are increasingly frequent occasions to celebrate, such as the death knell for a decades-long effort by developers to brutally transform pristine and sacred wilderness into a glaciated playground for the world’s most conspicuous consumers. From the press release:

 

 

For those not familiar with the long struggle to keep Jumbo wild:

 

Fortunately, we can now change the verb tense in the first sentence above, from “is” to “was”.

 

DEFEATED MASTER PLAN FOR A JUMBO DESECRATION

 

As for the noble Griz:

 

CLICK FOR VIDEO FROM THE KTUNAXA NATION

 


Slow Violence

We are once again grateful to a DP correspondent for bringing the work of Rob Nixon to our attention, in particular his research on  the environmentalism of the poor as recounted in Slow Violence. The book is on order (NOT from Amazon); for now, we turn to a 2011 interview which provides a concise summary of his core thesis. Images are from the studio of the Nigerian artist Jerry Buhari.

 

 

MAN AND ENVIRONMENT

 

 

DEATH OF A LEAF

 

 

PROPHECY

 

 

GENERATION OF DRY BONES

 

 

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SLOW VIOLENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENTALISM OF THE POOR

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