CBD COP11: Indigenous wisdom, not colonialism, is key to conservation

CBD COP11 (10/10/2012) – Taghi Farvar, President of the ICCA, explains the colonial origins of conservation and explains how the ancient wisdom of nomadic peoples can teach valuable lessons to the modern conservation movement.

Farvar maintains that the conservation areas and game reserves founded by colonialists in Africa and Asia were vastly less effective than the original lifestyles of indigenous peoples in conserving these areas. He attests that the three main principles of the 1980 World Conservation Strategy – strict preservation, sustainable use and restoration – were masterfully delivered by local communities and indigenous peoples for millenia before the rise of colonialism.

Farvar asserts that nomadic peoples comprise a special case, with nomads in Asia, Africa and South America living a way of life that revolves around conserving nature. Farvar explains that the migration of nomads occurs seasonally, both protecting lands from over-use and allowing them to be some of the most resilient indigenous communities in the world.