Can the needs for environmental protection and biodiversity and the needs of indigenous people be reconciled?

Authors: Robert S. Cole

Disciplines: Environmental Studies, Native American Studies

Themes: Activism, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, International Indigenous

This case addresses the tension between preserving land for biodiversity health and preserving land for the needs of indigenous peoples. It examines some of the organizations that work for land preservation for biodiversity throughout the world, but who often do not take into account the needs, concerns and rights of indigenous peoples who inhabit regions sought for preservation. The starting point for the case is the paper “A Challenge to Conservationists” by Mac Chapin, published by the Worldwatch Institute in its November/December 2004 publication World Watch. The case can be used to examine one instance of indigenous peoples fighting for a voice in land preservation campaigns, or any of a number of different indigenous peoples with these issues.