Hunter Gatherer Research

‘Our life has turned upside down! And nobody cares.’

Hunter Gatherer Research (2016), 2, (3), 375–384.

Abstract

Many hunter-gatherers today find themselves caught between the dominance of neoliberal perspectives on development and progress that focus on extractive opportunities for supplying markets with natural resources, and on conservationists’ views of landscapes as wildernesses that require protection from any human activity, apart from their own. This dual occupation of hunter-gatherer land in the Congo Basin is putting huge pressure on the BaYaka Pygmies’ and their neighbours’ lifestyles and livelihoods. After giving their views to camera in a short film (https://ishgr.org/hunter-gatherer-voices/), the article examines some of the underlying assumptions about environments that legitimate the current structural and actual violence experienced by these hunter-gatherers. The article ends with a request for more accounts of the pressures facing hunter-gatherers, so we better understand them, and to assist in thinking about what we might do to support this vital part of humanity’s cultural diversity.

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Bayart, J-F 2009. The state in Africa. The politics of the belly. Cambridge: Polity Press. The state in Africa. The politics of the belly Google Scholar

Beltrán, J (ed) (2000). Indigenous and traditional peoples and protected areas: principles, guidelines and case studies. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN: Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK, and WWF International. Indigenous and traditional peoples and protected areas: principles, guidelines and case studies Google Scholar

Brockington, D 2002. Fortress conservation: the preservation of the Mkomazi game reserve, Tanzania. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Fortress conservation: the preservation of the Mkomazi game reserve, Tanzania Google Scholar

Chapin, M 2004. A challenge to conservationists. World Watch. November/December 2004: World Watch institute. A challenge to conservationists World Watch Google Scholar

Lewis, J 2008. Managing abundance, not chasing scarcity: the big challenge for the twenty-first century. Radical Anthropology Journal 2:7–18. Managing abundance, not chasing scarcity: the big challenge for the twenty-first century Radical Anthropology Journal 2 7 18 Google Scholar

Lewis, I & Lewis, J 2013. Voices from the forest. Northern Republic of Congo. 7 mins. www.ishgr.org. Google Scholar

McShane, TO, Hirsch, PD, Trung, TC, Songorwa, AN, Kinzig, A, Monteferri, B, Mutekanga, D, Van Thang, H, Dammert, JL, Pulgar-Vidal, M, Welch-Devine, M, Brosius, JP, Coppolillo, P & O’Connor, S, 2011. Hard choices: making tradeoffs between biodiversity conservation and human well-being. Biological Conservation 144:966–972. Hard choices: making tradeoffs between biodiversity conservation and human well-being Biological Conservation 144 966 972 Google Scholar

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Nelson, J & Hossack L (eds), 2003. Indigenous peoples and protected areas in Africa: from principles to practice. FPP: Moreton-in-Marsh. Indigenous peoples and protected areas in Africa: from principles to practice Google Scholar

OCDH 2005. Rapport de situation. Abus de pouvoir, tortures et mauvais traitements : Les Ecogardes terrorisent les communautés pygmées dans la Sangha. Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l’Homme, Brazzaville. Google Scholar

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Pyhälä, A, Osuna Orozco, A & Counsell S 2016. Protected areas in The Congo Basin: failing both people and biodiversity? London: Rainforest Foundation UK. Protected areas in The Congo Basin: failing both people and biodiversity? Google Scholar

Sarkar, S & Montoya, M, 2011. Beyond parks and reserves: the ethics and politics of conservation with a case study from Peru. Biological Conservation 144:979–988. Beyond parks and reserves: the ethics and politics of conservation with a case study from Peru Biological Conservation 144 979 988 Google Scholar

Stevens, C, Winterbottom, R, Springer, J & Reytar K 2014. Securing rights, combating climate change: how strengthening community forest rights mitigates climate change. Washington: Rights and Resources and World Resources Institute. Securing rights, combating climate change: how strengthening community forest rights mitigates climate change Google Scholar

Survival International 2015. Tribes call on world leaders to recognise their right to hunt. http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10699. Google Scholar

Survival International 2015. Petition in support of tribal people’s right to hunt to feed their families. http://s3.amazonaws.com/assets-production.survivalinternational.org/pictures/10447/hunting-statement-endorsements_original.png. Google Scholar

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UNODC 2016. World wildlife crime report: trafficking in protected species. New York: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna. Google Scholar

WCS-Congo, 2005. Fiche de Synthese des Investigations sur le traitement des populations semi nomads par les ecogardes du PROGEPP. Decembre 2005. Brazzaville: WCS. Google Scholar

Wilshusen, PR 2003. Territory, nature and culture: negotiating the boundaries of biodiversity conservation in Colombia’s Pacific coastal region. In Brechin, SR, Wilshusen, PR, Fortwangeler, CL, West, PC (eds) Contested nature: promoting international biodiversity with social justice in the twenty-first century. Albany: State University of New York Press:73–88. Territory, nature and culture: negotiating the boundaries of biodiversity conservation in Colombia’s Pacific coastal region Contested nature: promoting international biodiversity with social justice in the twenty-first century 73 88 Google Scholar

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Author details

Lewis, Jerome