Saving What Remains
Views on Conservation: Western vs. Indigenous
Conservation is difficult, if not impossible without reconciling the different philosophies on conservation between the West and Indigenous communities. "Eco-colonialism," or the imposition of Western conservation views on conservation projects involving indigenous people are doomed to failure and can be destructive of indigenous culture.
In 1996, a meeting of representatives from 229 indigenous groups in the Amazon produced a document that affirmed their sovereignty in environmental matters. To the Community of Concerned Environmentalists stated that indigenous Amazonians "have not delegated to any outside NGO the right to speak on their behalf: they wish to speak to the Western world directly and forthrightly."
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Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2005