• Poland’s border wall will cut Europe’s oldest forest in half
    (sorti en 2021)

    Poland is planning to build a wall along its border with Belarus, primarily to block migrants fleeing the Middle East and Asia. But the wall would also divide the vast and ancient #Białowieża Forest, a #UNESCO World Heritage site which harbours more than 12,000 animal species and includes the largest remnants of primeval forest that once covered most of lowland Europe.

    Frontiers like this are of conservation priority because they often host unique biodiversity and ecosystems but are increasingly threatened by border fortification. We are experts in forest ecosystems and two of us combined have more than three decades of experience working in Białowieża, at the intersections of forest, plant and bird ecology. In the journal Science, we recently described how the border wall planned by Poland would jeopardise this trans-boundary forest.

    The core of Białowieża is characterised by old-growth forest rich in dead and decaying wood on which mosses, lichens, fungi, insects and also many vertebrates depend. Big animals such as the European bison, boar, lynx and wolf inhabit the forest on both sides of the border.

    A wall would block the movement of these animals, for instance preventing brown bears from recolonising the Polish side of the forest where they were recently observed after a long absence. The wall would also risk plant invasions, and would mean noise and light pollution that will displace wildlife. The influx of people and vehicles, and already accumulated garbage (mainly plastics) also pose risks, including disease – we already know that humans can transmit COVID to wild species, like deer.

    Poland’s wall will be 5.5 metres high, solid, with barbed wire at the top, and will replace a 130 km provisional 2.5m high razor-wire fence built during summer to autumn 2021. This wall will be high enough to affect low-flying birds, such as grouse.
    Impeding wildlife more than people

    Poland’s proposed wall resembles the barrier built along parts of the US-Mexico border. Research there based on camera-traps shows that such walls deter people less than they impede wildlife. Animals affected by the US-Mexico barrier include jaguars, pygmy owls, and a bison herd whose food and water were split by the border.

    The fences across Europe are highly varied, and no mitigation standards exist. A razor-wire fence, constructed in 2015 by Slovenia along its border with Croatia, killed deer and herons with a mortality rate of 0.12 ungulates (hoofed mammals) per kilometre of fence. Along the Hungary-Croatia border, mortality in the first 28 months following construction of a fence was higher, at 0.47 ungulates per kilometre. Large congregations of red deer were also observed at the fence-line which could spread disease and upset the predator-prey dynamic by making them easier for wolves to catch.

    People can and will use ramps, tunnels, and alternative routes by air and sea, whereas wildlife often cannot. Walls have a big human cost too. They may redirect people, and to a lesser extent wildlife, to more dangerous routes, for example, river crossings or deserts, which may intersect with areas of high natural or cultural value.

    Physical barriers such as fences and walls now line 32,000 kilometres of borders worldwide with significant increases over the past few decades. According to one recent study, nearly 700 mammal species could now find it difficult to cross into different countries, thwarting their adaptation to climate change. The fragmentation of populations and habitats means reduced gene flow within species and less resilient ecosystems.
    Border security over climate action

    According to the Transnational Institute, wealthy nations are prioritising border security over climate action, which contravenes pledges made at COP26 such as protecting the world’s forests. Some of the 257 World Heritage forests are now releasing more carbon than they absorb, but Białowieża Forest is still a healthy, well-connected landscape. Poland’s border wall would put this at risk.

    The construction of such walls also tends to bypass or be at odds with environmental laws. They devalue conservation investment and hamper cross-boundary cooperation. It was already hard for us to collaborate with fellow scientists from Belarus – the new wall will make cross-border scientific work even harder.

    It is possible to mitigate the effects of certain border barriers. But that requires, at the very least, identifying at-risk species and habitats, designing fences to minimise ecological harm and targeting mitigation at known wildlife crossing points. It may also mean assisted migration across a barrier for certain species. To our best knowledge no formal assessment of either social or environmental costs has yet been carried out in the case of Poland’s planned wall.

    It’s time conservation biologists made themselves heard, particularly when it comes to the issue of border barriers. As climate change threatens to disrupt borders and migratory patterns of people and of wildlife, we will need to reform, not only policies and frameworks, but also how we perceive borders.

    This is already happening without us as “natural borders flood, drift, crumble, or dry up”. Walls – like reactive travel bans – are out of sync with the global solidarity and coordinated actions we urgently need to safeguard life on earth.

    #forêt #nature #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #flore #faune #Pologne #Biélorussie #migrations #asile #réfugiés

    v. aussi la métaliste sur la situation à la #frontière entre la #Pologne et la #Biélorussie :

  • Milos Popovic/Милош Поповић sur Twitter :

    “My new map shows the % of female researchers in #Europe, according to #UNESCO data. Link to the data source is in the map just below the legend. 👩‍🔬 #women #science #womenintech #stats #maps #dataviz #DataScience” / Twitter


    #données #femmes

  • Le travail de recherche de #Emilio_Distretti sur l’#Italie_coloniale

    Je découvre grâce à @cede le travail de recherche de #Emilio_Distretti, post-doc à l’Université de Bâle, sur le #colonialisme_italien et les #traces dans l’#architecture et l’espace.

    Sa page web :

    Je mets dans ci-dessous des références à des travaux auxquels il a participé, et j’ajoute ce fil de discussion à la métaliste sur le colonialisme italien :

    #colonisation #colonialisme #Italie #histoire #géographie_urbaine #urban_matter

  • Liverpool perd sa place au #Patrimoine mondial de l’#Unesco à cause du surdéveloppement de son port

    Le sanctuaire de l’oryx arabe, un type d’antilope, avait été retiré en 2007 après la décision d’Oman de réduire sa superficie de 90 % pour un projet de prospection d’hydrocarbures. Deux ans plus tard, c’est la vallée de l’Elbe, à Dresde (Allemagne), qui s’était vu retirer cette mention en raison d’un projet de construction de pont routier.

    En cause, pour Liverpool : les plans de réaménagement du port, dont les très hauts immeubles et le nouveau stade de football risquent d’« endommager de manière irréversible » son patrimoine, ainsi que l’a affirmé le comité de l’Unesco. Liverpool avait été classé au Patrimoine mondial en 2004, après une ambitieuse réhabilitation du front de mer et des docks, au terme de plusieurs décennies de déclin.

  • Pourquoi l’#Unesco agace l’#Australie en voulant classer la Grande #Barrière_de_corail « en danger » | Le HuffPost

    L’Australie contestera le projet de l’Unesco d’inscrire la Grande Barrière de corail sur la liste des sites “en danger” du patrimoine mondial en raison de sa dégradation provoquée par le changement climatique, a annoncé le gouvernement ce mardi 22 juin.

    L’Unesco a publié lundi un rapport préliminaire recommandant de rétrograder le statut de la Grande Barrière de corail, inscrite au patrimoine mondial depuis 1981, à cause de sa détérioration, pour beaucoup due à la récurrence des épisodes de blanchissement des coraux, une conséquence des bouleversements climatiques.

    Pour les organisations de défense de l’environnement, cette recommandation témoigne d’un manque de volonté du gouvernement en matière de réduction des émissions de carbone.

    “Je conviens que le changement climatique mondial constitue la plus grande menace pour les récifs coralliens mais il est erroné, à notre avis, de désigner le récif le mieux géré au monde pour une liste (de sites) ‘en danger’”, a déclaré la ministre de l’Environnement australienne, Susan Ley.

    L’Australie s’organisera pour contester ce projet, une “volte-face” après “de précédentes assurances de responsables de l’ONU”, a affirmé Susan Ley dans un communiqué, à un mois de la prochaine session du comité du patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco, prévue en juillet depuis la Chine.

    Selon elle, la décision de l’Unesco ne tient pas compte des milliards de dollars dépensés pour tenter de protéger la Barrière, située au nord-est de l’Australie. Elle “envoie un mauvais signal à des pays qui ne réalisent pas les investissements que nous faisons dans la protection des récifs coralliens”, a argué la ministre.
    “Forte déception” australienne

    Le rapport préliminaire souligne cependant les efforts de l’Australie pour améliorer la qualité des récifs, notamment sur un plan financier. Mais il regrette “que les perspectives à long terme pour l’écosystème (de la Barrière) se soient encore détériorées, passant de médiocres à très médiocres”, faisant notamment référence à deux épisodes de blanchissement en 2016 et 2017.

    La ministre australienne a affirmé avoir eu un entretien dans la nuit de lundi à mardi avec la directrice générale de l’Unesco, Audrey Azoulay, pour lui faire part de “notre forte déception”.

    L’inscription sur la liste des sites en danger n’est pas considérée comme une sanction par l’Unesco. Certains pays y voient même un moyen de sensibiliser la communauté internationale et de contribuer à la sauvegarde de leur patrimoine.

    L’Australie n’a pas fixé d’objectif de neutralité carbone d’ici 2050. Le Premier ministre conservateur Scott Morrison avait affirmé que le pays espérait l’atteindre “dès que possible”, sans mettre en péril les emplois et les entreprises. L’Australie est un des plus importants importateurs au monde de charbon et de gaz naturel.

    Pour l’organisation de défense de l’environnement Climate Council, la recommandation de l’Unesco couvre “de honte le gouvernement fédéral, qui reste passif devant le déclin du récif corallien au lieu de le protéger”.

    Elle “montre clairement et sans équivoque que le gouvernement australien ne fait pas assez pour protéger notre plus grand atout naturel, en particulier contre le changement climatique”, a commenté de son côté le responsable des océans pour le WWF, Richard Leck.
    Valeur inestimable du récif

    Outre sa valeur inestimable d’un point de vue naturel ou scientifique, on estime que l’ensemble corallien qui s’étend sur 2300 kilomètres de long, génère 4,8 milliards de dollars américains de revenus pour le secteur touristique australien.

    En décembre, l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature (UICN) avait affirmé que le changement climatique constituait la plus grande menace pour les merveilles de la nature et la Grande Barrière avait rejoint la liste des sites classés “critiques”.

    Pour Imogen Zethoven, consultante au sein de l’Australian Marine Conservation Society, ce rapport préliminaire montre à quel point limiter le réchauffement à +1,5°C est essentiel à la sauvegarde de ce joyau. Elle estime que les données climatiques relevées en l’Australie correspondent plutôt à une hausse de 2,5 à 3°C de la température, niveau qui conduira “inévitablement” à la “destruction de la Grande Barrière et de tous les récifs coralliens du monde”.

    La Grande Barrière a déjà connu trois épisodes de blanchissement en cinq ans alors que la moitié des coraux ont disparu, depuis 1995, en raison de la hausse de la température de l’eau. Le blanchissement est un phénomène de dépérissement qui se traduit par une décoloration. Il est provoqué par la hausse de la température de l’eau qui entraîne l’expulsion des algues symbiotiques qui donnent au corail sa couleur vive.

    La Barrière a également été touchée par plusieurs cyclones et est aussi menacée par les ruissellements agricoles et par l’acanthaster pourpre, une étoile de mer dévoreuse de coraux.

  • L’UNESCO appelle à considérer le vaccin contre le COVID-19 comme un bien public mondial

    Le Comité international de bioéthique de l’#UNESCO (CIB) et la Commission mondiale d’éthique des connaissances scientifiques et des technologies (COMEST) ont appelé à un changement de cap dans les stratégies actuelles de #vaccination contre le #COVID-19, en demandant instamment que les #vaccins soient considérés comme un #bien_public_mondial. L’objectif serait de garantir que leur mise à disposition soit équitable dans tous les pays et ne constitue plus un privilège réservé aux États les plus offrants. Ces deux instances ont une longue expérience en matière d’orientation éthique sur les questions sensibles*.

    La déclaration a été prononcée le 24 février, au cours d’un événement en ligne rassemblant à la fois les organes traitant de l’éthique à l’UNESCO, le Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Directeur général de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) et le Professeur Jeffrey Sachs de l’Université Columbia.

  • Verso un Ente di Decolonizzazione

    Alla Quadriennale d’Arte 2020 a Roma la nuova installazione di Decolonizing Architecture Art Research con dossier fotografico di Luca Capuano.

    Nel 1940 il regime fascista istituì l’Ente di Colonizzazione del Latifondo Siciliano, seguendo il modello dell’Ente di Colonizzazione della Libia, e delle architetture coloniali in Eritrea e in Etiopia, e di quanto già sperimentato con i piani di bonifica integrale e di “colonizzazione interna” dell’Agro Pontino negli anni trenta. Utilizzando diverse forme di violenza e oppressione, forme genocidiarie nei confronti dei popoli colonizzati e ingegneria sociale e violenza di classe sul fronte italiano, il fascismo aveva individuato in questi “territori”, uno spazio geografico astratto, uniforme e omogeneo da “modernizzare” e “ripopolare”, in quanto considerato “vuoto”, “sottosviluppato” e “arretrato”. A tale scopo la Sicilia era diventata agli occhi del fascismo, l’ultimo fronte della modernizzazione, il cui mondo rurale, in contrapposizione alla città, era considerato un terreno “vergine” da occupare.

    Prima che il conflitto mondiale lo impedisse il fascismo inaugurò fino al 1943 otto borghi siciliani, mentre altri rimasero incompiuti. Seguendo i principi dell’estetica e di planimetrie moderniste, dell’architettura coloniale fascista, i borghi venivano costruiti attorno al vuoto della piazza, “centro civico” delle istituzioni dello Stato atte a “civilizzare” campagne considerate vuote e senza vita: la Casa del fascio, l’Ente della Colonizzazione, la Chiesa, le Poste, la Scuola sono soltanto alcune delle istituzioni designate a forgiare l’educazione culturale, politica e spirituale del “nuovo colono fascista”. I nuovi borghi di fondazione avrebbero cosi “connesso” tra di loro le varie parti del nuovo Impero italiano.

    Per celebrare questa unità fittizia, molti dei villaggi siciliani tra cui Borgo Bonsignore, Borgo Fazio e Borgo Giuliano presero il nome di martiri fascisti, camice nere, soldati e coloni morti in Etiopia durante la guerra coloniale di occupazione. Allo stesso tempo, il fascismo aveva continuato la “colonizzazione interna” come strumento e strategia di oppressione del dissenso interno. Se da un lato i borghi erano stati pensati come strumento e spazio di trasformazione agricola delle campagne siciliane in chiave estensiva, estrattiva e capitalista, i piani di migrazione forzate verso Sud servivano al regime ad impedire rivolte nelle campagne del Nord, spezzare i legami tra i lavoratori agricoli con i movimenti antifascisti, e trasformare i braccianti in piccoli proprietari terrieri.

    Oggi la maggior parte di questi borghi sono caduti in rovina. Il depopolamento e le migrazioni delle campagne siciliane nel dopoguerra, con il tempo hanno fatto si che gli edifici che ospitavano le istituzioni fasciste cadessero in abbandono, o in alcuni casi venissero trasformate dai residenti in abitazioni. Questi villaggi sono oggi la materializzazione di una sospensione, non la definitiva eliminazione di un percorso storico e politico. Nonostante la caduta del fascismo e la fine del colonialismo storico, la de-fascistizzazione e la decolonizzazione dell’Italia rimangono processi purtroppo incompiuti. Ad oggi il mancato processo di revisione critica ha fatto si che l’apparato culturale e politico del colonialismo e fascismo sia sopravvissuto: tra questi il razzismo istituzionale e un sentimento diffuso della presunta superiorità della civiltà europea, la conseguente deumanizzazione delle popolazioni proveniente dal mondo (post)coloniale, il sopravvivere di monumenti e strade che celebrano l’ideologia e la storia fascista e coloniale, e la carenza di un’educazione alla conoscenza critica del passato all’interno del sistema educativo italiano.

    In Italia, come dimostrato dai villaggi siciliani, questa impasse politica e culturale di lunga durata è molto visibile attraverso la normalizzazione o la noncuranza dell’architettura fascista. Come è stato dibattuto dalla critica e letteratura postcoloniale negli ultimi anni e contestato a gran voce nel 2020 sull’onda dei moti globali contro la presenza dei simboli che celebrano le violenze imperiali e coloniali negli spazi urbani dell’emisfero Nord, in Italia è molto comune trovare edifici coloniali/fascisti (oltre a monumenti, targhe, memoriali e toponomastica) che piuttosto che essere rimossi, smantellati o distrutti, sono stati lasciati intatti. Sin dalla conclusione della Seconda Guerra mondiale, l’architettura fascista (e progetti urbanistici) sono stati riutilizzati o sviluppati dai governi repubblicani per dare una casa alle nuove istituzioni liberal democratiche italiane. Le reliquie del fascismo e del colonialismo sono state progressivamente normalizzate all’interno dei paesaggi urbani, sfuggendo allo sguardo critico della cultura e della politica antifascista.

    Ad oggi, con il “ritorno” dei fascismi su scala globale e il crescente arrivo negli ultimi decenni dei migranti dall’ex mondo coloniale, la necessità di riaprire i processi di decolonizzazione e defascistizzazione si è resa più che mai urgente. E con essi, nuove domande sul “che fare” del “patrimonio” architettonico coloniale fascista. È possibile immaginare un ri-uso, senza correre il rischio di perpetuare eternamente questa stessa ideologia, e contro il pericolo dell’autoassoluzione e della nostalgia?

    Nel 2017 Asmara la capitale dell’Eritrea è stata nominata patrimonio dell’umanità dall’UNESCO. La nomina, intitolata “Asmara – Citta modernista d’Africa”, fa riferimento alla trasformazione architettonica e urbana coloniale fascista e modernista di Asmara avvenuta durante l’occupazione coloniale italiana. Non esente da critiche, l’iscrizione di Asmara pone una serie di elementi problematici: dal rischio di presentare la città coloniale costruita dagli italiani come il modello di patrimonio urbano del continente africano, al pericolo di rinforzare impulsi nostalgici o costituire uno strumento di propaganda per il regime eritreo, fino al rischio di cedere ai paradigmi di conservazione dei beni architettonici e culturali eurocentrici imposti dall’UNESCO.

    Nonostante queste controversie, la nomina di Asmara ha comunque posto per la prima volta una serie di domande fondamentali che riguardano e accomunano entrambi ex-colonizzati ed ex-colonizzatori: chi ha il diritto a preservare, riutilizzare e ri-narrare l’architettura coloniale fascista?

    L’installazione presentata per la Quadriennale d’arte 2020 – FUORI a Palazzo delle Esposizioni a Roma, sede della Prima mostra internazionale d’arte coloniale (1931) e di altre mostre di propaganda del regime, propone di ripensare i borghi costruiti dal fascismo in Sicilia a partire dalla nomina di Asmara come patrimonio dell’umanità. L’installazione è il primo intervento verso la creazione di un Ente di Decolonizzazione che sarà aperto a coloro che avvertono l’urgenza di mettere in discussione un’ampia eredità storica, culturale e politica intrisa di colonialismo e fascismo, ed iniziare dunque un percorso comune verso nuove pratiche di decolonizzazione e defascistizzazione[1].

    L’occasione della mostra vuole dunque contribuire ad ampliare il raggio critico, a partire dal cosiddetto “patrimonio” architettonico. L’architettura a differenza di monumenti e targhe, si erge su delle fondamenta, ponendo cosi questioni di fondazione e di profondità. In questo senso, l’architettura si occupa di un problema strutturale, dando una forma alle fondamenta coloniali e fasciste sui cui si costruisce l’Italia contemporanea, a testimonianza di una continuità storica e politica tra passato e presente. Ora che molti di questi edifici coloniali e fascisti sono in buona parte in rovina, si corre il rischio che cadendo a pezzi, si portino via la memoria, ma lasciando le fondamenta di una lunga storia di violenza, oppressioni e discriminazione, come ultimo atto dell’amnesia italiana.

    Verso un Ente di Decolonizzazione presentato a Roma, è il primo atto di un lungo percorso che intende coinvolgere coloro che sentono l’urgenza di mettere in discussione concetti e pratiche ereditate dal passato e di costruire oggi spazi critici in cui incontrarsi tra uguali. Il secondo atto si svolgerà la prossima estate in Sicilia, nell’ex-ente di colonizzazione di Borgo Rizza, nel comune di Carlentini, dove cittadini, politici, studiosi, artisti e studenti cercheranno di fare i conti con la difficile eredità´ del patrimonio dell’architettura fascista e coloniale.

    La formazione di un Ente della Decolonizzazione vuole così porre la questione della riappropriazione e ri-narrazione degli spazi e simboli del colonialismo e del fascismo all’interno di un ampio percorso decoloniale, e cosi contribuire a invertire la tendenza italiana al racconto auto-assolutorio di un colonialismo “meno peggio” degli altri. In un contesto internazionale in cui le rivendicazioni degli ex-colonizzati ad una vera riparazione e al risarcimento per i crimini del colonialismo e della schiavitù si fanno sempre più forti e trascinanti, l’Ente della Decolonizzazione intende partire da semplici domande che permettano di rivendicare il diritto a re-inquadrare la narrazione storica, cominciando dalla presenza dell’eredità architettonica coloniale e fascista: dato che i borghi sono stati costruiti per dare forma e corpo alla ideologia fascista, in che modo è possibile sovvertirne i principi fondanti, partendo da questi stessi luoghi come nuovo “centro” della lotta ai fascismi contemporanei? Come trasformare questi borghi in un antidoto al fascismo? Chi ha il diritto a ri-narrare e al ri-uso di questi villaggi che vennero costruiti per celebrare i martiri fascisti nelle guerre di occupazione in Africa? È possibile immaginare un ri-uso critico di questi luoghi, che si faccia alleato di un percorso di riparazione dei crimini del passato? È ipotizzabile un ri-uso inteso come riparazione? È forse possibile un percorso di riparazione che vada oltre la sfera dei trattati bilaterali tra governi e stati? In quali forme questa riparazione o risarcimento può prendere forma? Può l’eredità architettonica giocare un ruolo in tutto ciò?


    #décolonial #Italie #colonisation #colonialisme #architecture #fascisme #histoire #Ente_di_Colonizzazione_del_Latifondo_Siciliano #Ente di_Colonizzazione_della_Libia #Erythrée #Ethiopie #Agro_Pontino #ingéniérie_sociale #violence #oppression #vide #géographie_du_vide #ressources_pédagogiques #modernisation #Sicile #toponymie #toponymie_politique #colonisation_interne #espace #racisme_institutionnel #monuments #architecture_fasciste #normalisation #patrimoine #Asmara #UNESCO

    #photographie #Luca_Capuano

    #TRUST #master_TRUST


    ajouté à la métaliste sur le #colonialisme_italien:

  • Keep Out... Come Again. The underbelly of American-styled conservation in the Indian Himalayas.

    IN DECEMBER, THE ROAD leading to the #Tirthan_Valley entrance archway of the #Great_Himalayan_National_Park (#GHNP), a #UNESCO World Heritage site in India’s mountain state of Himachal Pradesh, is a potholed mudslide: For miles, a fleet of excavators and tunnel-boring machines are lopping and drilling the mountains to widen and extend the highway. Most of the traffic passing through a big, dark tunnel blasted through the mountain is headed to Manali — the mass-tourist hub of the Western Himalayas, about an hour’s drive farther north.

    My partner and I pass through the archway and weave the motorcycle along a cliffside road into the gorgeous, narrow valley. Villages and orchards dot the ridges. The first snow is melting off the roofs, and far below the Tirthan River runs free and fast. This is still the off-beaten path. But around every turn, we see signs that development is on the rise. Guesthouses, campsites, cottages, hotels, and resorts are sprouting up outside the park’s boundaries. Trucks carrying construction material drive traffic off onto the shoulder. On the opposite ridge, a new helipad access road is being carved out. The area appears to be under construction, not conservation.

    It seems that by putting this once little-known national park on the global map, conservationists have catalyzed a massive wave of development along its border. And ecotourism, though ostensibly a responsible form of development, looks over here, as one researcher put it, more like “old wine in a new bottle.”

    In the two decades since it was formed, the park has displaced over 300 people from their land, disrupted the traditional livelihoods of several thousand more, and forced yet more into dependence on a risky (eco)tourism industry run in large part by outside “experts.” In many ways, the GHNP is a poster child of how the American national park model — conceived at Yellowstone and exported to the Global South by a transnational nexus of state and nonstate actors, continues to ignore the sociopolitical and cultural realities of a place. As a result, protected areas around the world continue to yield pernicious impacts on local communities, and, to some extent, on the local ecology as well. It also raises the question: If protecting one piece of land requires moving its long-time human residents out, developing adjacent land, and flying in tourists from around the world — what is actually being conserved?

    IN THE EARLY 1980s, at the invitation of the Himachal government, a team of Indian and international wildlife biologists led by a British researcher named Tony Gaston surveyed the Western Himalayas for a possible location for the state’s first national park. The state government had been eyeing the Manali area, but after a broad wildlife survey, Gaston’s team recommended the Upper Tirthan and Sainj valleys instead.

    The ecosystem was less disturbed, home to more wildlife, and thus had “excellent potential for attracting tourists”— especially foreign tourists — who might constitute both a “substantial source of [park] revenues” as well as “an enormous input to the local economy,” the team’s report said.

    The proposed 754.4-square-kilometer park included the upper mountain glacial and snow melt water source origins of the Jiwa Nal, Sainj Tirthan, and Parvati rivers, which are all headwater tributaries to the Beas River and subsequently, the Indus River. Given its location at the junction of two of the world’s major biogeographic realms — the Palearctic and Indomalayan — its monsoon-fed forests and alpine meadows sustain a diversity of plant, moss, lichen, bird, and mammal species, many of which are endemic, including the Himalayan goral, blue sheep, and the endangered western Tragopan pheasant and musk deer.

    The park’s boundary was strategically drawn so that only four villages needed to be relocated. But this glossed over the problem of resource displacement. To the northwest, the proposed park was buffered by high mountain systems that include several other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, but the land in and around its southwest boundary was home to about 150 villages with a total population of at least 11,000 people, all of whom were officially dispossessed of the forests they depended on for centuries when the Indian government inaugurated The Great Himalayan National Park in 1999. These villages are now part of a 265.6-square-kilometer buffer, or so-called “ecozone,” leading into the park.

    A large majority of these families were poor. Many of them cultivated small parcels of land that provided subsistence for part of the year, and they relied on a variety of additional resources provided by the forestlands in the mountains around their homes to meet the rest of their food and financial requirements. That included grazing sheep and goats in the alpine meadows, extracting medicinal herbs that they could sell to the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, and collecting gucchi, or morel mushrooms, that fetched high prices in international markets.

    “IN THE INDIAN CONTEXT, the notion that you can have a landscape that is pristine and therefore devoid of humans is an artificial creation,” says Dr. Vasant Saberwal, a wildlife biologist and director of the Centre for Pastoralism, an organization based in Gujarat state that aims to enhance our understanding of pastoralist ecosystems. “India has [long] been a heavily populated country. So, when you think of alpine meadows at 15,000 feet above sea-level, they have been used by pastoral communities for several hundred years. You cannot now go into those landscapes and say we want a pristine alpine meadow. There’s no such thing.”

    In keeping with the lingering idea, tracing back to early American conservationism, that pastoral societies destroy their own land, the Gaston team’s original report claimed that firewood collecting, hunting, and especially overgrazing, were degrading habitat within the area. It recommended a ban on grazing and medicinal plant collection in order to maintain the park’s biodiversity.

    But Saberwal’s research shows that grazing practices in the park’s high alpine meadows — which constitute almost half the park’s area — were likely necessary to maintain its high levels of herb diversity. Before the area was closed off to people, traditional herders of the Indigenous Gaddi tribe would travel up to the alpine meadows with about 35,000 sheep and goats entrusted to them by individual families, and graze them in these meadows for six snow-free months from April through September.

    “So, when you talk to people and suggest to people that their use of the park leads to degradation, they say that we have been using these resources for the past 150-200 years,” he says. “They say, if our presence here has been such a threat, then why would there be biological diversity here?”

    Saberwal’s findings are consistent with reams of scholarship in recent years documenting how local and Indigenous communities, without external pressures, live convivially with nature.

    That is not to say that external pressures aren’t impacting the region. There has definitely been an uptick in morel and medicinal herbs extraction from the park area, especially since the early 1990s when India “liberalized” its economy. Yet today, without adequate enforcement, it remains unclear just how much the park actually helped curtail extraction of these herbs or instead just forced the market underground.

    Other threats include poaching, human-wildlife conflicts, and hydropower development. Ironically, a 10-square-kilometer area was deleted from the original map of the GHNP for building of a hydro-power project, underscoring a typical approach towards conservation “wherein local livelihoods are expendable in the interests of biodiversity, but biodiversity must make way for national development,” Saberwal says.

    India’s Wildlife Protection Act, which prohibits all human activities within a national park, does recognize people’s traditional rights to forest resources. It therefore requires state governments settle or acquire these rights prior to finalizing a new national park’s boundaries, either through financial compensation or by providing people alternative land where such rights can be exercised. But India’s record of actually honoring these rights has been sketchy at best. In GHNP’s case, the state chose to offer financial compensation to only about 300 of the 2,300 or so impacted households, based on family names listed in a colonial report with census data for the area dating back to 1894. It eventually provided the rest of the villagers alternative areas to graze their livestock, but this land was inadequate and nutrient-poor compared to the grasses in the high alpine meadows. Only a handful of families in these villages still have sheep and goat herds today.

    Saberwal, and many mainstream conservationists, says there is an argument to be made for allowing villagers into the park, and not only because it supports their livelihoods. “The presence of people with a real stake in the biological resources of the park can also lead to far greater levels of support for effective management of the park, including better monitoring of who goes into the park, for what, and at what times of the year. Poaching could be more effectively controlled, as could the excessive extraction of medicinal herbs,” he says.

    DESPITE STIFF LOCAL RESISTANCE, the forest department — with support from an international nonprofit called Friends of GHNP, as well as the World Bank, which chipped in a $2.5 million loan — developed an ecotourism industry in the area to help local communities adapt.

    Eco-development, of course, is the current cool idea for making exclusionary conservation acceptable. On paper, it requires community involvement to create “alternative livelihoods” to reduce locals’ dependence on a park’s resources. So, with the support of Friends of GHNP, the forest department helped form a street theater group. It developed firewood and medicinal herb plantations in an effort to wean villagers off of foraging for these the park. A women’s savings and credit collective called Sahara was set up to produce vermicompost, apricot oil, and handicrafts. The Forest Department also handed out “doles” — stoves, handlooms, televisions, pressure cookers — what Mark Dowie, in his book Conservation Refugees, calls “cargo conservation,” or the exchange of commodities for compliance.

    Yet, the project was mired in corruption and mismanagement. The male director of the women’s collective, for instance, was discovered to be siphoning off the collective’s funds. Meanwhile, local ecodevelopment committees set up to coordinate expenditure on livelihood projects were run by the most powerful people in the villages, usually upper-caste males of the devta (deity) community, and chose to spend the money on things like temple and road repairs. According to a 2001 study of the ecodevelopment project, 70 percent of the funds were spent on infrastructure initiatives of this kind. Much later, in 2002, in an attempt to distance itself from the program, the World Bank concluded ecodevelopment had left “very little or no impact … on the ground.”

    In 2014, the park, along with the adjacent Sainj and Tirthan wildlife sanctuaries, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, again in spite of more protests from the impacted local communities. Friends of GHNP wrote the application.

    If creating the park cracked the door to development in the Tirthan Valley, minting it a UNESCO World Heritage site flung it wide open.

    On the economic front, it’s certainly true that the influx of tourists has injected more money into the Tirthan Valley than ever before. And it’s true, too, that many locals, the youth especially, are excited, or at least hopeful, that the industry will improve their lives and alleviate poverty. But on the whole, locals are losing opportunities to outside entrepreneurs who come with deeper pockets, digital marketing savvy, and already established networks of potential clientele.

    “That kind of investment and marketing involvement is difficult for locals for figure out,” says Manashi Asher, a researcher with Himdhara, a Himachal-based environmental research and action collective. “Basically, what many locals have done instead, is circumvent local ecotourism policies by turning their properties into homestay or other kinds of [tourist] lodgings and leasing them out to outsiders to run.”

    Though there are no official estimates yet, there’s a consensus among locals that outsider-run guesthouses have already cornered a majority of the valley’s tourism revenue. “City-based tourism operators are licking out the cream, while the peasantry class and unemployed youth earn a pittance from the seasonal, odd jobs they offer,” Dilaram Shabab, the late “Green Man” of Tirthan Valley who spearheaded successful movements against hydropower development on the Tirthan river, wrote in his book Kullu: The Valley of Gods.

    When I read this quote to Upendra Singh Kamra, a transplant from the northwestern state of Punjab who runs a tourism outfit for fishing enthusiasts called Gone Fishing Cottages, he emphasizes how, unlike at most properties, they don’t lay off their local staff during low season. Some have even bought motorcycles or cars. “Logically, you have nothing and then you have something and then you’re complaining that something is not enough. So it doesn’t make sense for me.”

    Many locals see it differently. Narotham Singh, a veteran forest guard, told me he leased his land for 30 years, but now worries for his son and grandchildren. “If they don’t study, what they’re going to be doing is probably cleaning utensils and sweeping in the guesthouses of these people. That’s the dark future.” Karan Bharti, one of Shabab’s grandsons, told me many youth are so ashamed to work as servants on their own land that they’re fleeing the valley altogether.

    More broadly, tourism is also a uniquely precarious industry. Global market fluctuations and environmental disasters frequently spook tourists away for years. (The Western Himalayas is primed for an 8.0-plus magnitude quake tomorrow). And when destination hotspots flip cold, once self-reliant shepherds turned hoteliers are left holding the bill for that high-interest construction loan.

    Sadly, this is exactly what’s happened. In Himachal, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed just how dependent the state has become on tourism. After the borders were shut in late March, pressure to reopen to salvage a piece of the summer high season was palpable in the press. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur proposed Himachal advertise itself for “Quarantine Tourism.” The hotel unions shot down the idea as absurd.

    THERE’S NO SIGN NOR ROAD to Raju’s Guesthouse. To get to it, you have to cross the Tirthan River in a cable basket or makeshift plank bridge and climb up the opposite bank into a fairytale. Vines climb the dark wood facade. There are flowers, fruit trees, and a fire pit. When I visit, kittens are playing around an old cherry tree and a pack of dogs bark up the steep south face; leopards, I learn, come over the ridge at night sometimes and steal dogs.

    Raju, in his late sixties, toothpick-thin, and wearing a baseball cap, is the pioneer of ecotourism in Tirthan Valley. He is also Shabab’s son. When I first spoke with him on the phone, he called the park an “eyewash.” What he meant was that most people don’t come to the park for the park. It’s a steep, half-day trek just to the official boundary, and, inside, the trails aren’t marked. Most tourists are content with a weekend kickback at a guesthouse in the ecozone.

    Still, if real ecotourism exists, Raju’s comes as close as I’ve ever seen. Food scraps are boiled down and fed to the cows. There’s fishing and birding and trekking on offer. No corporate groups allowed, even though that’s where the big bucks are. And no fume-expelling diesel generator, despite guests’ complaints after big storms. There’s a feeling of ineffable wholesomeness that has kept people coming back year after year, for decades now.

    In a 1998 report titled “Communtity-Based Ecotourism in the GHNP,” a World Bank consultant was so impressed by Raju’s that she recommended it be “used as a model for the whole area.” But this was a consultant’s fantasy. Rather than provide support to help locals become owners in the tourism industry, the government and World Bank offered them tour guide, portering, and cooking training. Today, similar second-tier job trainings are part of an $83 million project funded by the Asian Development Bank to develop tourism (mainly by building parking lots) across Himachal.

    Varun, one of Raju’s two sons who runs the guesthouse, doesn’t think any tourist property in the area is practicing ecotourism, even his own. People are illegally catching trout for guests’ dinners, cutting trees for their bonfires, and dumping their trash into the river, he says.

    In 2018, Varun founded the Tirthan Conservation and Tourism Development Association (https://www.facebook.com/Tirthan-conservation-and-tourism-development-association-101254861218173), a union of local guesthouses that works to “eliminate the commercialization of our neighborhood and retain the aura of the valley.” They do tree plantings, enforce camping bans around the river, and meet regularly to discuss new developments in the valley.

    Yet, Varun doesn’t see any way of stopping the development wave. “I mean, it’s inevitable. No matter how much you resist, you know, you’ll have to accept it. The only thing is, we can delay it, slow it down.”

    #Inde #montagne #conservation_de_la_nature #nature #protection_de_la_nature #parc_national #Himachal_Pradesh #Manali #tourisme #colonialisme #néo-colonialisme #circulation_des_modèles #Hymalayah #Jiwa_Nal #Sainj_Tirthan #Parvati #rivières #Beas_River #paysage #conservationnisme #biodiversité #Gaddi #élevage #ressources #exploitation_des_ressources #Friends_of_GHNP #banque_mondiale #éco-tourisme #écotourisme #cargo_conservation #corruption #devta #deity #éco-développement #développement #World_Heritage_site #énergie_hydroélectrique #Asian_Development_Bank #Tirthan_Conservation_and_Tourism_Development_Association


  • L’invention du colonialisme vert
    Pour en finir avec le mythe de l’Éden africain
    de Guillaume Blanc

    Lu ce #livre pas mal du tout

    L’histoire débute à la fin du XIXe siècle. Persuadés d’avoir retrouvé en #Afrique la #nature disparue en Europe, les #colons créent les premiers #parcs_naturels du continent, du Congo jusqu’en Afrique du Sud. Puis, au lendemain des années 1960, les anciens administrateurs coloniaux se reconvertissent en #experts_internationaux. Il faudrait sauver l’Éden ! Mais cette Afrique n’existe pas. Il n’y a pas de vastes territoires vierges de présence humaine, et arpentés seulement par ces hordes d’animaux sauvages qui font le bonheur des safaris touristiques. Il y a des peuples, qui circulent depuis des millénaires, ont fait souche, sont devenus éleveurs ici ou cultivateurs là. Pourtant, ces hommes, ces femmes et enfants seront – et sont encore – expulsés par milliers des parcs naturels africains, où ils subissent aujourd’hui la violence quotidienne des éco-gardes soutenus par l’#Unesco, le #WWF et tant d’autres ONG.
    Convoquant archives inédites et récits de vie, ce livre met au jour les contradictions des pays développés qui détruisent chez eux la nature qu’ils croient protéger là-bas, prolongeant, avec une stupéfiante bonne conscience, le schème d’un nouveau genre de #colonialisme : le colonialisme vert.

    Guillaume Blanc parle de « conservationnistes » (exploiter les ressources naturelles, mais sans les épuiser) mais selon Thierry Paquot il serait plutôt question de « préservationnistes » (protéger des territoires de toute activité humaine)

  • #Emploi. Reconnaissance des diplômes : en Suisse, des progrès en vue

    En Suisse, 38 % des personnes nées à l’étranger se disent surqualifiées pour leur emploi, faute d’avoir pu faire reconnaître leurs diplômes. Une #convention de l’Unesco devrait prochainement leur simplifier (un peu) la vie.


    #reconnaissance_des_diplômes #diplômes #travail #intégration_professionnelle #Suisse #UNESCO #asile #migrations #réfugiés #disqualification

  • L’#île_Henderson, lieu à « l’#écologie pratiquement intacte » désormais noyé sous le #plastique

    C’est pour son « écologie pratiquement intacte » que l’île Henderson, atoll désert du Pacifique, fut inscrite en 1988 sur la liste du #Patrimoine_mondial. Elle est aujourd’hui noyée sous un océan de déchets de plastique face auquel les scientifiques se disent démunis. Rattachée à la colonie britannique de Pitcairn, l’île se trouve à mi-chemin entre la Nouvelle-Zélande et le Pérou, distants d’environ 5 500 kilomètres.


  • Vor 25 Jahren wurde die Fachwerkstadt Quedlinburg in die Liste des ...

    Vor 25 Jahren wurde die Fachwerkstadt Quedlinburg in die Liste des UNESCO-Welterbes aufgenommen. Der Titel hat die Stadt vor dem Verfall gerettet - und das Engagement der Bürger. Ein Kurzbesuch im Mittelalter. Geschichtsträchtig, aber höchst lebendig: die Welterbe-Stadt Quedlinburg | DW | 31.05.2019 #Quedlinburg #Fachwerk #Weltkulturerbe #UNESCO

  • Culture : L’exception faite au marché - #DATAGUEULE 89 - DataGueule

    Prenez tout mais laissez moi la #culture !
    On lui doit certainement nos plus beaux chefs d’oeuvre mais on la méconnaît. Voici, l’#exception_culturelle. Qui affirme que la culture n’est pas une #marchandise comme les autres. Qui place notre #production_audiovisuelle hors de griffes de la libéralisation continue. L’idée a permis au #cinéma_français d’exister malgré la force de frappe des majors d’#Hollywood. Mais face aux géants #Netflix, #Amazon et consorts et à l’orée d’une nouvelle ère d’hyperoffre audiovisuelle, le risque d’homogénéisation culturelle se fait à nouveau sentir. Les industries américaines voudraient nous faire croire que la culture se résume à un catalogue de produits. Que le plus compétitif gagne ! Laissons le choix au consommateur ! Mais souhaitons-nous vraiment que des marchandises envahissent nos imaginaires ? Peut-on accepter que les créations audiovisuelles ne deviennent qu’un article sur les étagère d’un supermarché mondial ?

  • Polémique autour d’un projet de #parc_photovoltaïque sur le #Larzac

    Initiative s’inscrivant dans le cadre de la #transition_énergétique ou « projet industriel à objectifs financiers, camouflé sous un vernis environnemental » : la « concertation » autour d’un vaste parc #photovoltaïque sur une zone du sud Larzac, classée #Natura_2000 et #patrimoine_mondial de l’#Unesco, a été lancée ce 16 avril dans la discorde.

    #industrie #énergie

  • Incendie de #Notre-Dame de Paris : les collectivités mobilisées pour la reconstruction de la cathédrale

    L’incendie qui a ravagé la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, dans la nuit du 15 au 16 avril 2019, a soulevé une vague d’émotion et provoqué un afflux de dons pour financer sa reconstruction. Les collectivités locales participent à l’élan. Le secteur privé aussi, qui promet déjà près de 700 millions d’euros.

    #fondation_du_patrimoine #patrimoine #collectivités_territoriales #unesco #

    Jacky Favret, président de l’Union régionale des communes forestières de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, a demandé aux 3.000 communes forestières du secteur de « jouer la solidarité » en « donnant un #chêne (...) pour Notre-Dame de Paris ».
    À noter, la ville hongroise de Szeged a annoncé faire un don de 10.000 euros, s’estimant redevable à Paris. En 1879, la capitale française avait aidé à la reconstruction de cette ville du sud du pays, dévastée par une inondation.

    […] Du côté de l’#industrie_du_bois, Groupe Charlois, premier producteur français de #bois de chêne, a annoncé qu’il fera un don en nature pour la reconstruction de la #charpente incendiée. Son dirigeant, Sylvain Charlois, jugeant qu’il « n’y a pas en France des stocks de bois déjà sciés disponibles pour un tel chantier », lance un appel à « toutes les bonnes volontés » de la filière pour constituer ce stock. L’exploitant a proposé d’être « le réceptacle », notamment sur son site historique de Murlin, dans la Nièvre, aussi siège du groupe.
    Abritée par la Fondation du Patrimoine, la fondation Fransylva, qui assure la promotion des forêts privées de France, demande quant à elle aux « 3,5 millions de propriétaires privées de #forêts en France de donner un chêne pour la reconstruction de Notre-Dame ».
    La Caisse des Dépôts a de son côté annoncé qu’elle offrira des chênes issus de ses forêts gérées par la Société forestière.

  • Maghreb : une labellisation du couscous moins anodine qu’il n’y paraît - Le Point

    Un plat de couscous pourrait-il adoucir les relations diplomatiques compliquées entre pays d’Afrique du Nord ? Un projet commun d’inscription du plat emblématique de la région à l’Unesco pourrait au moins amorcer un réchauffement.

    Où fait-on le meilleur couscous ? Quels ingrédients sont légitimes, lesquels sont apocryphes ? Maroc, Algérie, Tunisie... Les pays du Maghreb ont tous leur idée et revendiquent le savoureux plat, y compris sur les réseaux sociaux.

    Voulant sans doute éviter un psychodrame comme celui de la « guerre du houmous » entre le Liban et Israël, qui se disputent la paternité de la purée de pois chiches, plusieurs experts des pays du Maghreb doivent débattre d’une éventuelle demande commune d’inscription du couscous au patrimoine immatériel de l’humanité.

    Slimane Hachi, directeur du Centre algérien de recherches préhistoriques, anthropologiques et historiques (CNRPAH) et promoteur du projet, a précisé à la radio algérienne que l’initiative devrait réunir Algérie, Maroc, Tunisie, Libye, Mauritanie et même Mali, sans donner de date ni de lieu.

    Une démarche à l’issue incertaine mais qui a plus de chance d’aboutir qu’une tentative unilatérale : en 2016, l’Algérie avait suscité un tollé au Maroc, son voisin et rival, en voulant la jouer solo à l’Unesco.

    C’est que le couscous n’appartient à aucun des pays du Maghreb en particulier, soulignent experts et gastronomes.

    « Le couscous a une origine berbère, bien avant que les pays du Maghreb tels qu’on les connaît aujourd’hui n’existent », explique l’historien français des pratiques culinaires et alimentaires, Patrick Rambourg.

    « Il remonte incontestablement aux Berbères, même si l’histoire commence avec les Romains, venus avec du blé », abonde l’anthropologue, gastronome et restauratrice à Paris Fatema Hal, né à Oudja (Maroc).

    Néanmoins, même l’origine de l’introduction du blé ne fait pas l’unanimité, certains évoquant un apport arabe.

    Souvent citée, l’historienne culinaire Lucie Bolens avait décrit des pots primitifs de couscous retrouvés en Algérie, remontant au règne du roi Massinissa (202-148 av. JC), Berbère qui unifia la Numidie (nord de l’Algérie et des portions de la Tunisie et de la Libye).❞

    #maghreb #unesco

  • Ami·es seenthisien·es... petit appel...

    @albertocampiphoto et moi sommes à la recherche de références pour des cours sur le #journalisme et le #photojournalisme à donner à des adolescents (autour des 11-12 ans).

    Connaissez-vous des #BD, #livres ou #jeux qui pourraient être soit directement utilisés en classe ou alors comme ressources pour les enseignant·es ?

    Ci-dessous, les ressources déjà trouvées... si vous avez des idées, n’hésitez pas à les partager !

    #ado #ados #ressources_pédagogiques #éducation #éducation_aux_médias #presse #médias

  • Les États-Unis et Israël quittent l’Unesco ce lundi soir
    Gwendal Lavina, Le Figaro, le 31 décembre 2018

    Les deux pays exécutent une décision annoncée en octobre 2017 en réponse à plusieurs résolutions de l’organisation qu’ils jugent « anti-israéliennes ». L’Unesco regrette ces deux retraits mais minimise leurs impacts.

    Certains observateurs craignent qu’au-delà d’affaiblir politiquement l’Unesco, ces deux retraits entament sérieusement le budget de l’organisation. Un diplomate bien informé balaye cet argument de la main et rappelle que les États-Unis et Israël ne payent plus leur cotisation obligatoire depuis 2011. Leur dette auprès de l’organisation s’élève ainsi à 620 millions de dollars pour les États-Unis et 10 millions de dollars pour Israël.

    Feuilleton à plusieurs épisodes :

    #UNESCO #USA #israel #Palestine #ONU #dette #escrocs #voleurs