Indigenous voices to be heard for first time in EU debate on conservation

By agency reporter
November 18, 2020

For the first time, indigenous people and activists affected by protected areas on their land will have the chance to tell European policy makers what they think about conservation.

A unique conference, What’s in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for Indigenous Peoples and local communities? taking place on 19 November 2020, is hosted by European parliamentarians and will bring together representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, NGOs, European Commission officials, and MEPs.

The debate will be livestreamed and comes against the backdrop of a push by the EU, UN and others to turn 30 per cent of the world’s surface into protected areas by 2030.

Survival International and others are campaigning to stop this, saying it would constitute the biggest land grab in world history, reducing hundreds of millions of people to landless poverty.

Among the activists present will be:

  • Pranab Doley, indigenous activist from the Mising tribe, Kaziranga, India
  • Mordecai Ogada, conservationist, Kenya
  • Delcasse Lukumbu, Congolese activist and member of Lucha RDC, Congolese citizen movement, DRC
  • Guillaume Blanc, Environmental historian, specialist in contemporary Africa and lecturer at University of Rennes 2, France

They will debate with officials such as:

  • Herbert Lust, Vice President and Managing Director of Conservation International Europe
  • Chantal Marijnissen, Head of Unit, Environment, Natural Resources, Water, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission (the department linked to the notorious Messok Dja park in Congo)
  • Luisa Ragher, Head of Division Human Rights, European External Action Service (EEAS)

The event is free and there will be simultaneous translation in English, French, Spanish and Russian.

* Register via Zoom here

* Or watch the livestream on Facebook here

* Survival International


Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.