Do you protect nature by walling it off from people, or do you put people at the center?
Climate scientists agree that protecting and conserving 30 percent of the planet is the absolute minimum needed to slow down the alarming loss of biodiversity, which sounds like a movement everyone can get behind. Yet nearly 50 foundations and Indigenous rights activists sent a joint letter to the plan’s drafters at the United Nations, saying that the 30×30 focus on creating new protected lands would, as they write, “lead to human rights abuses across the globe,” with millions of people evicted from their ancestral lands.
Critics say 30×30 is more of the same fortress conservation, separating nature from people. That’s the debate between Western- and African-led conservation models. What is the role of people? Do you protect nature by walling it off from people, or do you put people at the center?
This season on Africa Forward, we’re looking at African-led conservation. You could call it a “new” model of conservation, but its roots are in Africa’s traditional ways of conserving nature. African-led conservation takes a holistic approach, connecting the dots between conservation, climate change, and economic development. Above all, Africans are leading the charge.
In this episode, we’ll look at the linchpin of this model: people.
About Africa Forward: Season 2: Introducing Season 2 of Africa Forward, a podcast supported by the African Wildlife Foundation and produced by FP Studios. In this season, host Carol Pineau explores green infrastructure, Africa’s tremendous biodiversity, and how African-led conservation may not only help save endangered species but also the planet. The show will also challenge the Western model of conservation. That system, which was started under colonialism, protected nature by walling it off from people. It made it so that Africans, who for millennia had coexisted—and protected—nature could no longer access their own traditional lands. Get ready for a tour of the continent, seeing how African-led conservation is changing the way Africa sees its biodiversity—not just protecting it but sustainably using it to create a biodiverse economy that can be a driver of social and economic development. See All Episodes
More Africa Forward: Season 2 episodes:
Innovative Solutions to Financing African Conservation
Who pays for nature? And who gets to benefit?
Africa’s Natural Infrastructure and Green Development
Host Carol Pineau talks African biodiversity.
How African-Led Conservation Protects Both People and Wildlife
Host Carol Pineau discusses the need to rethink conservation in Africa.
Other Foreign Policy podcasts:
Africa Forward: Season 1
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