NEW FACEBOOK PAGE 'JUST CONSERVATION'

29 November 2010 | News story

Achieving Conservation without sacrificing social justice has been a challenge confronting CEESP members since its inauguration. It lies at the core of what CEESP is about. Considerable progress has been made in highlighting key issues it's not a challenge that has been fully taken up by the major conservation agencies, although it hasn't been entirely ignored by them, as demonstrated by the recent launch of the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights (http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/social_policy/scpl_cihr/).

This initiative comprises IUCN, Birdlife International, Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, The Nature Conservancy, Wetlands International, Wildlife Conservation Society, and WWF. It marks a public admission that human rights can be compromised by conservation and that this needs to be both acknowledged and redressed.

The process of building consensus between major conservation organisations and then establishing common processes and procedures for a transparent and accountable response has been slow and looks as if it will continue to be so. In addition this is an internal debate that is still closed to those potentially affected by the outcome. In order to broaden the debate and create a focus at the sharp end where people work directly with the reality of conservation, a group of us have created a Facebook page called JustConservation (http://www.facebook.com/JustConservation). Facebook was chosen because it is interactive and accessible through mobile phone technology which brings it closer to communities and Community Based Organisations than a traditional web page.

We hope very much than the CEESP community will spread this Facebook page as widely as possible so that those with real information can have a simple to use platform that ensues their active engagement with this debate.

The core team behind this are:

Nick Winer who has over 30 years of experience in Africa, the Middle East and South America managing or consulting on Rural Development, Humanitarian Relief and Conservation programmes. Following a consultancy with Refugees International in Ethiopia in 2004 he began the process of working with many of the major conservation NGOs that resulted in the publication of the CIHR principles in late 2009. He his a member of the CEESP Theme on Governance, Rights & Equity

Dan Brockington who works at the University of Manchester and studies diverse aspects of conservation. He has examined global patterns of eviction from protected areas and detailed livelihood changes following forced removals in East Africa. He has also studied the work of conservation NGOs and conservation publicity. He has written Fortress Conservation and Celebrity and the Environment as well as Nature Unbound (with Rosaleen Duffy and Jim Igoe).

Nicholas Stockton has worked in international development and humanitarian aid for over 30 years and is a specialist in programme quality and accountability systems. He was the Executive Director of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP International) from 2004 to 2010, during which the first international accountability and quality management standard and compliance scheme for humanitarian agencies was launched. Nick is currently an independent consultant.

Jo Woodman is a campaigner at Survival International. Her doctoral fieldwork examined the implementation of the India Ecodevelopment Project in Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. A major interest remains the interface between conservation programmes and tribal peoples' rights and resource needs.

Supported and advised by:

Sian Sullivan who teaches on Environment and Development at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has conducted long-term research on changing people-landscape relationships in the context of a donor-funded Community-Based Natural Resources Management programme in Namibia.

Gordon Bennett, a barrister-at-law in Lincolns Inn, London. He has worked on tribal land claims in Guyana, Kenya and Tanzania among other countries. Most recently, he acted as lead counsel for 200 Bushmen in a successful action in the Botswana High Court to recover lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve from which they had been unlawfully evicted.

Nicholas Winer CEESP TGER member