Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Baka hunter-gatherer indigenous peoples in Cameroon forced from their land

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) supports conservation zones on the traditional land of the Baka hunter-gatherer indigenous peoples in . According to Survival International Baka wild collectors and hunters are denied access, abused, and even murdered by anti-poaching squads when they hunt, forage or visit their sacred sites. Survival has submitted a formal complaint to the OECD accusing WWF of supporting anti-poaching agents to drive the Baka from large areas of their ancestral land. Survival claims that thousands of tribal people have been dispossessed and mistreated through WWF projects.

This is a major development and raises the importance of agreements such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and conservation mechanisms such as the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods group (SULi) to engage communities as an alternative to the increasingly exclusive and militarized approaches toward conservation.

Further reading and related work at IUCN:

Indigenous culture and conservation of nature in Vietnam

Bayesian Networks for modeling conservation impacts

Decision modeling for trees, nutrition, and livelihoods

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