I’ve always found something slightly unsettling about visiting a place with a long history of human habitation but only a relatively recent built heritage. Somehow it feels to me that the buildings and other infrastructure sit uneasily on the landscape like they don’t quite belong. So, it was with mixed feelings that I landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia on a sunny but chilly day in late May.
At the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in 2016, its Members Assembly adopted a landmark decision for indigenous peoples and conservation. Members voted to create a new category of membership for Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations (IPOs), strengthening the recognition of their rights, participation, voice and role in IUCN.
The Conservation Initiative on Human Rights (CIHR) is gravely concerned about recent reported actions taken by the Philippine government alleging the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, is a terrorist. Ms. Tauli-Corpuz has a demonstrated record that spans decades of working to protect the rights of indigenous peoples around the world.
The importance of meaningfully involving women in conservation and indeed of striving for gender equality is increasingly recognised, but in many cases it is still men who are, perhaps unconsciously, seen as the ‘natural partners’ based on the ‘natural’ gendered division of labour. Whilst men generally dominate decision-making forums in communities in which conservation organisations work, they are not the only people who affect and are affected by conservation. Women are also farmers, fishers and foresters.
Each year, World Day of Social Justice is celebrated with a particular theme, and the 2018 theme is “Workers on the Move: The Quest for Social Justice.” According to the UN, most migration today is linked directly or indirectly to the search for decent work opportunities. As workers crisscross the world in search of work that is productive, fairly paid, secure and that opens the door to new and greater opportunities for themselves and their families, there are important environmental impacts of migration that are important to consider.
Discussions about democracy, at least as reported in western news media, seem all too often limited to whether elections are “free and fair.” While this is clearly an important issue, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that free and fair elections are really an end product of an extended engagement with democratic processes.