Human Rights

One of the curious features of wildlife conservation is that while conservation policies have profound implications for human well being and society these consequences are not always recognized or grappled with. This is changing, and one of the manifestations of that is the way that conservationists are tackling the human rights implications of their work.

Human Rights are complex. Recognising them is not easy, indeed human rights concerns can involve problematic politics. Ignoring them however can be equally strange. In order to promote the recognition and cognizance of human rights in conservation I have been collaborating with a number of scholars and colleagues. Nick Winer has been the driving force, with Dilys Roe of the IIED, of the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights, which, in collaboration with some major conservation NGOs has produced a set of shared principles.

In order to draw attention to incidences where human rights issues need promoting, and to facilitate the exchange of views and perceptions around them, I have joined with Nick Winer, Nick Stockton and Jo Woodman to set up the Facebook site ‘Just Conservation’, which is accessible here.

The publications which touch human rights issues are these:

With Jim Igoe and Kai Schmid-Soltau I have written a polemical think piece on Conservation Biology:

Brockington, D., Igoe, J. and K. Schmidt-Soltau, K. 2006. Conservation, Human Rights, and Poverty Reduction. Conservation Biology 20 (1): 250-2. PDF

With Nick and David Turton I have written a longer polemical think piece based on problematic conservation experiences in Ethiopia:

Winer, N., Turton, D. and Brockington, D. 2007. ‘Conservation, Protected Areas and Humanitarian Practice.’Policy Matters 15: 232-40. Link PDF (7.7 MB)

Kai Schmidt-Soltau and I have debated the merits or otherwise of ‘voluntary’ displacement:

Schmidt-Soltau, K., and Brockington, D. 2007 ‘Protected Areas and Resettlement: what scope for voluntary relocation?’ World Development 35 (12): 2182-2202. PDF

That paper was contested in a debate in Conservation and Society which you can see here.

Other writings in this area include these papers:

St John, F., Brockington D., Bunnefeld N., Duffy R., Homewood K., Jones J.P.G., Keane A.M., Milner-Gulland E.J., Nuno A., and Razafimanahaka J.H. 2016. Research ethics: Assuring anonymity at the individual level may not be sufficient to protect research participants from harm. Biological Conservation 196: 208-209. PDF