Wednesday, December 21, 2005

refugees in their own lands

I worked for conservation the Philippines for about 7 years now. It is alarming that conservation activities have caused traditional owners become refugees in their own ancestral domain. It might be different here in the Philippines where we have the IPRA Law or the Indigenous People's Rights Act. IPRA enables these people to have their Certificate of Ancestral Domain like the case of the Tagbanua's in Coron and the highlanders in Mt. Guiting Guiting. They are protected from being evicted from their own ancestral domain that has been declared a national park.

But this is not true for all countries. There has been refugees of conservation.

In the name of "preserving biodiversity" large conservation organizations (with the help of The World Bank, governments, and corporate donors) have caused massive displacement and cultural genocide across six continents. Tens of millions of native people have so far been evicted from their traditional lands, many to languish in border town shanties.

But when exactly did human communities become incompatible with "nature?" And why exactly does 90% of all biodiversity lie outside those protected areas?

The big non governmental NGO are nicknamed BINGO...

It's no secret that millions of native peoples around the world have been pushed off their land to make room for big oil, big metal, big timber, and big agriculture. But few people realize that the same thing has happened for a much nobler cause: land and wildlife conservation. Today the list of culture-wrecking institutions put forth by tribal leaders on almost every continent includes not only Shell, Texaco, Freeport, and Bechtel, but also more surprising names like Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Even the more culturally sensitive World Conservation Union (IUCN) might get a mention.

read complete article here.


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