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Decolonize Conservation: Global Voices for Indigenous Self-determination, Land, and a World in Common

Common Notions9781942173762

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With a deep, anticolonial and antiracist critique and analysis of what “conservation” currently is, Decolonize Conservation presents an alternative vision–one already working–of the most effective and just way to fight against biodiversity loss and climate change. Through the voices of largely silenced or invisibilized Indigenous Peoples and local communities, the devastating consequences of making 30 percent of the globe “Protected Areas,” and other so-called “Nature-Based Solutions” are made clear.

Evidence proves indigenous people understand and manage their environment better than anyone else. Eighty percent of the Earth’s biodiversity is in tribal territories and when indigenous peoples have secure rights over their land, they achieve at least equal if not better conservation results at a fraction of the cost of conventional conservation programs. But in Africa and Asia, governments and NGOs are stealing vast areas of land from tribal peoples and local communities under the false claim that this is necessary for conservation.

As the editors write, “This is colonialism pure and simple: powerful global interests are shamelessly taking land and resources from vulnerable people while claiming they are doing it for the good of humanity.”

The powerful collection of voices from the groundbreaking “Our Land, Our Nature” congress takes us to the heart of the climate justice movement and the struggle for life and land across the globe. With Indigenous Peoples and their rights at its center, the book exposes the brutal and deadly reality of colonial and racist conservation for people around the world, while revealing the problems of current climate policy approaches that do nothing to tackle the real causes of environmental destruction.