Indigenous livelihoods and the global environment: Understanding relationships

N. Collier, A. K. Boedhihartono, J. Sayer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedings

    Abstract

    Simple simulation models have been built in remote locations with participation of local Indigenous peoples and their representatives to develop a shared understanding of the livelihood implications of conservation initiatives and the potential environmental impacts of measures to improve local livelihoods. Models were built with Ba'aka people in the Congo Basin, Punans and other Dayak groups in East Kalimantan, Indonesia and rural communities in Ghana. Recently, the program began developing landscape partnerships and modeling initiatives with Papuans in the West Papua province of Indonesia. The models facilitated discussion and negotiation between Indigenous peoples and representatives of conservationist groups, resource extraction companies and government officials and allowed exploration of different scenarios for both conservation and development interventions. The models failed to produce empirical evidence to support claims made by conservation organisations of the positive livelihood impacts of their conservation programmes. In all cases the material benefits to local Indigenous people of activities such as mineral extraction, logging, agro-industrial developments etc. greatly exceed the often hypothetical benefits postulated from the small-scale local development activities of conservation organisations. The modelling exercises also provoked debates and awareness of the broader dimensions of livelihoods as perceived by Indigenous peoples. Health care, education, infrastructure and employment consistently emerged as the highest priorities for Indigenous communities in all the study sites. Including Indigenous people in the process of participatory modelling, alongside other stakeholders such as government officials, conservation NGOs, and scientists is important in confronting the challenge of making trade-offs between human well-being and nature. Biodiversity conservation will only succeed in the long term if it is based upon approaches that fully recognize and address the inevitable trade-offs between the development needs of local people and the maintenance of areas of intact nature. Forest conservation programmes still do not give enough attention to the legitimate needs of people living within and dependent on the forests. It is all too easy to lay blame on developers, corrupt government officials, and other parties for forest destruction. Successful conservation programmes must allow for the improvement of and the stability of income streams and increasing food security.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM 2009 - International Congress on Modelling and Simulation
    Subtitle of host publicationInterfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Proceedings
    EditorsR.S. Anderssen, R.D. Braddock, L.T.H. Newham
    PublisherModelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (MSSANZ)
    Pages2833-2839
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)9780975840078
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
    Event18th World IMACS Congress and International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Interfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences, MODSIM 2009 - Cairns, Australia
    Duration: 13 Jul 200917 Jul 2009

    Publication series

    Name18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM 2009 - International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Interfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Proceedings

    Conference

    Conference18th World IMACS Congress and International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Interfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences, MODSIM 2009
    CountryAustralia
    CityCairns
    Period13/07/0917/07/09

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  • Cite this

    Collier, N., Boedhihartono, A. K., & Sayer, J. (2020). Indigenous livelihoods and the global environment: Understanding relationships. In R. S. Anderssen, R. D. Braddock, & L. T. H. Newham (Eds.), 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM 2009 - International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Interfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Proceedings (pp. 2833-2839). (18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM 2009 - International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Interfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Proceedings). Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (MSSANZ).