CfP POLLEN22: Decolonizing conservation: Strategies of local-to-global initiatives

Session organizers: Dr. Riccarda Flemmer (FU Berlin), Dr. Charlotte Schumann (FU Berlin)

The current redefinition of global initiatives to halt biodiversity loss and prevent climate change (COP 15 CBD; Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework) calls into question the conventional measures to achieve reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the conservation of livelihoods. Especially, classical “fine-and-fence” or “fortress-conservation“ models are challenged by critique of traditional and indigenous peoples and scandals involving the denial of access to traditional land, displacement, persecution, and killing of these communities.

International actors, such as the World Food Organization (FAO), Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as well as IUCN or WWF, increasingly acknowledge that indigenous peoples and local communities have proved to be more successful in sustaining ecosystems with their traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), than the global system of protected areas (FAO and FILAC 2021; IPBES 2019). Further, civil society actors denounce that conservation projects violate rights to self-determination and Free, Prior and Informed consent as well as in many cases even rights to cultural and physical integrity. In this context, the panel aims to revise and discuss counter-strategies that offer models of local-to-global conservation, in which community driven strategies are at the heart of programs and implementation steps. In between these strategies, we identify for example the strategic use of (inter)national law (Rights of nature and indigenous guardianships); technical solutions (Earth Defender Toolkit); participation structures from below (ICCA Consortium); interventions in (inter)national conservation projects (grievance redress mechanisms); or international funding initiatives (GEF inclusive conservation initiative).

The aim of this panel is to present an overview about current strategies to oppose colonial conservation models as well as to exchange on success stories – what worked, why, and how? Thereby, the panel will contribute to the networking of a global initiative of local-to-global conservation activists and scientists.

We invite contributions on cases from the Global South and North by scholars, practitioners, and activists. If you are interested to join our panel, please send us your abstract (max 250 words) including the title of the paper and your affiliation until 5 December 2021.

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