The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress was held in Hawaii and brought together 500 conservation organisations, with that comes a new website which exposes the dark side of national parks and the abuses carried out in the name of habitat protection launched by environmental writer and researcher, Chris Lang.
Featuring a mixture of posts written by Mr Lang, guest contributors from and interviews with a variety of people working in the field of protected areas, Conservation Watch, aims to facilitate discussion about the real impacts of protected area policy and practice in the Global South. The online platform will aim to hold to account those responsible for human rights abuses and land grabs in the name of conservation.
The current model of conservation is too often flawed and unfair
“The current model of conservation is too often flawed and unfair,” said Mr Lang. “With Conservation Watch we aim to shed light on how indigenous peoples and local communities continue to pay the price for conservation.”
Posts on Conservation Watch will highlight evictions and human rights abuses and also document the impact of national parks on peoples’ livelihoods. The website will also highlight positive examples of community-based conservation with the aim of encouraging a more widespread sustainable approach to habitat protection.
“There is a growing consensus that securing the rights of indigenous people and other forest-dependent communities and genuinely engaging them is one of the most effective and sustainable ways of conserving biologically-rich habitats. Despite promises made at the Durban Accord in 2003, these peoples’ rights still need to be translated into meaningful action on the ground,” Mr Lang added.