People around the globe are increasingly noticing contradictions and flaws in the way global mainstream conservation is managed. Big NGOs are funded by huge donations from the world’s worst polluters, and often model themselves after commercial businesses which strive for production over protection. The murder of endangered species is considered conservation, so long as it is framed as luxurious sport hunting which pays large sums to big NGOs and tourism companies. Local and Indigenous people, who were the guardians of the environment for millennia, are now considered the enemies of nature, being separated from it by fences and shotguns. With such a flawed system, it is no surprise that despite millions of dollars being poured into mainstream conservation projects, the extinction crisis is only worsening and human rights are being regularly violated.
Although both the general public and conservation practitioners are increasingly aware of the shortfalls in conservation, not many are aware of the alternatives available. However, these alternatives do exist: local people, Indigenous people, and activists are initiating and carrying out effective conservation actions all over the world. Unfortunately their work is ignored, marginalized and even blocked by the dominant conservation groups and economic interests.
Reclaim Conservation is a new, radical, anti-racist, anti-colonialist, pro-animal rights organization. We have two main aims:
- To expose mainstream conservation, making the public aware that if we want to protect nature and our future on this planet we must dismantle and restructure dominant conservation systems.
- To promote alternative conservation systems through activism and locally run initiatives based on social justice, inclusion, high morals, sincerity and compassion towards nature and humanity.
We are planning a field course which will explore these issues in depth. The course will take place in Nanyuki, Kenya, where participants will have the chance to witness local Maasai communities’ traditional conservation initiatives and learn first-hand about the contradictions in the work of international NGOs, while appreciating Kenya’s amazing wildlife. This is a twelve-day course that will start on the 28th of August and will include both theoretical and practical components. The course is organized by Reclaim Conservation and Conservation Solutions Afrika.
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