World: "Marseille Manifesto" calls for a total halt to new Protected Areas which exclude Indigenous and local communities

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Added 2021-10-15


The “Marseille Manifesto: a people’s manifesto for the future of conservation” has been released on 14 October 2021 by Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists and experts who gathered for the “Our Land Our Nature” congress. Key demands are:

- that governments “fully respect, protect and uphold Indigenous peoples’ land and forest rights, respect collective customary land and forest use by local communities, to ensure protection of that land in accordance with their wishes” as the primary means of protecting the world’s biodiversity

- “Governments and conservation organisations must acknowledge the huge toll that strictly protected conservation areas have taken on the lands, livelihoods and rights of many communities worldwide; they must make concrete plans for reparations of past wrongs, including through transferring control back to the historical and local guardians”

- “High income countries… must cease funding conservation programmes which destroy local people and livelihoods, including by failures of FPIC, irrespective of whether this is intentional or not.”

The manifesto calls for “a conservation model that fights against the real causes of environmental destruction and is prepared to tackle those most responsible: overconsumption and exploitation of resources led by the Global North and its corporations.”

Fiore Longo, head of Survival International's "Decolonize Conservation" campaign, points out that: “Most governments and NGOs these days are good at producing nice-sounding rhetoric about respecting Indigenous rights. But the same people are promoting a massive drive to create new Protected Areas on Indigenous lands as part of the 30×30 plan that constitutes the biggest land grab in world history."

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