First international counter-conference on conservation will denounce “world’s biggest land grab”

August 27, 2021

The world’s first major international congress on decolonizing conservation, “Our Land, Our Nature”, will take place in Marseille, France, on September 2, 2021, immediately before the IUCN World Conservation Congress in the same city.

At this congress indigenous representatives and speakers from around 18 countries will share evidence and first-hand testimonies of conservation atrocities and land theft, and will present a model for an alternative conservation.

‘Our Land, Our Nature’, supported by Minority Rights GroupRainforest Foundation UK, and Survival International among others, will highlight the global opposition to attempts by governments, industry and big conservation NGOs to turn 30 per cent of the globe into “Protected Areas” (“30x30”). It will also challenge the idea of “Nature-Based Solutions” (NBS) which put a price on the value of nature and offer a false solution to combating climate change.

"The current 30×30 plan and other false solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises such as nature-based solutions (NBS) and carbon offsetting schemes, fail to address the underlying causes of environmental destruction while penalising those least responsible for the climate and biodiversity crises. Without urgent action, these plans are likely to harm hundreds of millions more people, including Indigenous Peoples whose voices have been silenced by the conservation industry."

Joe Eisen, Executive Director of Rainforest Foundation UK

© Survival International
© Survival International

These khadia men were thrown off their land after it was turned into a tiger reserve. They lived for months under plastic sheets. Millions more face this fate if the 30% plan goes ahead. © Survival International

‘Our Land, Our Nature’ will provide a platform for marginalised local leaders and indigenous activists as well as academics and scientists from every continent. It will challenge governments currently negotiating the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which will set the stage for international conservation over the coming decade, to put people and social justice at the centre of these efforts.


“Our land, our nature”– September 2-3 2021 – Coco Velten, 16 rue Bernard du Bois, Marseille. Online participation will also be possible. Register here.

The congress will be followed by a press conference September 3 2021, 10:00-11:00. You can register for the press conference here.

Speakers will include:

  • Mordecai Ogada, Kenyan conservationist and author of “The Big Conservation Lie”, who will explain the subterfuge behind so-called “community conservancies”.
  • Pranab Doley and Birendra Mahato, Indigenous activists from Kaziranga National Park in India and Chitwan National Park in Nepal, who will expose the atrocities behind conservation in their lands.
  • John Vidal, former environment editor at the Guardian, United Kingdom.
  • Lottie Cunningham Wren, Indigenous human rights advocate from Nicaragua, and winner of the Right Livelihood award 2020.
  • Victoria Tauli Corpuz, Tebtebba and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Philippines.
  • Blaise Mudodosi Muhigwa, Congolese lawyer and environmental jurist.
  • Dina Gilio-Whitaker, Lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and an independent educator in American Indian environmental policy and other issues.
  • Archana Soreng, UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, India.

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