Wildlife conservation undermines the rights of indigenous people and local communities in India

Wildlife conservation undermines the rights of indigenous people and local communities in India
Featured map in the EJAtlas. Credit: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

An interactive map developed by the Environmental Justice Atlas team at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) reveals that certain forms of wildlife conservation undermine the rights of indigenous people and local communities living within protected areas across India.


The interactive map, led by ICTA-UAB researcher Eleonora Fanari and carried out in collaboration with India’s environmental organization Kalpavriksh, has been launched during the India’s National Wildlife Week. The map is a product of three years of extensive research covering 26 protected areas, carried out in association with numerous organizations, activists and independent scholars, struggling against violations across the ground and in the courts.

A strict protect-and-conserve model, favored by a powerful Indian conservation lobby, has increased the network of protected areas from 67 in 1988 to 870 in 2020. However, these lands

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Indigenous science celebrated in CSIRO finalists for Eureka Prizes

Two teams of researchers from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have been named finalists in this year’s Eureka Prizes for their work with Indigenous communities.

CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM Education Project (ISEP) grows curiosity and passion for STEM, building career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students around the country through six different programs for students of all ages.

The Kakadu NESP Team has developed an Indigenous-led science project in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park, bringing together ethical artificial intelligence and modern science with traditional knowledge to solve complex environmental management problems, and care for animal species and habitats.

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of Australian science, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia’s leading science awards and offer a unique co-operative partnership between government, education and research institutions and private sector companies to recognise and support scientific excellence.

CSIRO’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, said the CSIRO teams were

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Rio-Tinto has the chance to respect indigenous people and not destroy Oak Flat.

In a statement, Chairman Simon Thompson vowed the company would “never again” allow this type of destruction to take place. Rio Tinto has promised to act “in ways that are sensitive and responsive to the values and expectations of Traditional Owners and Indigenous communities.”

The company has an opportunity to make good on that commitment by preventing the destruction of a site considered sacred by Indigenous people here in the United States. Rio Tinto holds controlling interest in Resolution Copper LLC, co-founded with another Anglo-Australian firm, BHP. Resolution Copper is developing a mine in southeastern Arizona to exploit one of the world’s largest-known untapped copper deposits. The copper ore lays under a tranquil, high-elevation expanse known as Oak Flat.

To the nearby San Carlos Apache Tribe, Oak Flat is holy ground. There are ancient petroglyphs on some of Oak Flat’s rock walls. In addition to evidence of shelters and cooking

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