Science & Technology

The greatest guardians of biodiversity need protection

In the late 19th century, Yellowstone, Sequoia, and Yosemite became the first wonderful US national parks, as described by author and historian Wallace Stegner: America’s “best idea.However, the park was devastating to the exiled Native Americans who lived or hunted within the border. In essence, it was an act of colonialism in the name of conservation. In the 20th century, similar reserves began to be opened up in developing countries, with millions of “Conservation refugeesEven if the neighboring forest is handed over to the mining industry. Protected areas were unable to offset the destructive aspects of development. Fauna and flora are disappearing faster than ever since the incident that wiped out most of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Even humans are not guaranteed to survive.

The United States has taken a small step to make amends. In June, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the first Native American to take office, expressed his intention to protect both nature and justice by returning the National Bison Range to the Salish-Koutenai coalition. Now the Biden administration needs to go further. At the 2021 Conference of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), ambitious plans to promote biodiversity will empower indigenous peoples and other communities around the world, rather than punishing successful conservation. Must be ensured.

In 2016, biologist Edward O. Wilson responded to the biodiversity crisis by calling for half of the planet to remain in the wilderness. The cry of his rally “30×30” campaign To protect 30% of the earth’s land and sea surfaces by 2030. It is supported by many scientists, major conservation groups and more than 60 member countries. High Ambition Coalition For $ 1 billion from nature and people, and Swiss entrepreneurs, this goal could be adopted by the CBD in October.

But critics say some of the 30×30 supporters “A new model of colonialism” Therefore, those who are least responsible for climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental crises must pay the highest price to avoid them. 30×30 could be used as an excuse to steal land from marginalized groups by the elite of democratically challenged nation-states.Currently, the home range of indigenous peoples Evacuation center 80% With the rest of the biodiversity of the earth Isolate about 300 trillion tons Of carbon. Exactly because of this abundance, these areas could be some of the first places to be “protected”. When that happens, those who protect nature from the greedy desires of the North and Global South, often at the expense of their lives, will be punished for their efforts.Up to 300 million forests Residents, etc. One estimate is that they may be expelled from their territory.

Such seizures have already occurred.For example, in the Congo Basin, an armed eco-guard Cruelly expelled the indigenous pygmy To open up protected areas from the rainforest. These wildlife sanctuaries expanded in accordance with the 2010 CBD resolution, devoting 17% of the Earth’s land surface to nature. Still, protected areas are surrounded or sometimes overlapped with oil, mining, and logging rights. Not surprisingly, chimpanzee, gorilla and elephant populations continue to decline, despite the poverty and misery of the pygmy people.

There are ways to get global protection right.Indigenous communities Equivalent or better Governments to protect biodiversity and already save A quarter of the earth’s earth. CBD needs to ensure them Get a safe right to their territory, And resources to protect them. In addition, CBD signatories must promise to bring some protected areas, which currently cover about 17% of the Earth’s land, back under the control of the communities they were suffering from.

The United States has the potential to lead this effort.Biden administration Vision In the case of 30×30, released in May 2021, it includes a pledge to support local populations, especially tribal administration, in the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. The United States needs to bring its determination to the global stage at the United Nations Conference to help save nature and its most ardent defenders from the militarized conservation model pioneered a century and a half ago. It is an important step towards the amnesty of incredible life forms and their indigenous guardians who share our planet.

The greatest guardians of biodiversity need protection The greatest guardians of biodiversity need protection

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