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Rethinking conservation through the lens of food sovereignty (Workshop report, World Conservation Congress, Oct. 2008)

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G02362
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At the centre of Food Sovereignty is the right to food, including rights of access to productive resources needed for food production and provisioning. Many initiatives to conserve natural resources and biodiversity rich ecosystems in which food systems are embedded increasingly rely on or advocate market based approaches, e.g., payments for ecosystem services; land, biodiversity and water markets; and partnerships between public and private sector. Such market-based approaches can conflict with rights-based approaches, including Food Sovereignty, by inter alia, exacerbating the negative pressures that land conservation can have on livelihoods (e.g., carbon offset forests and expanded private protected areas leading to increased physical, economic, or access-related displacement); creating new market incentives that ‘out compete’ food production systems (e.g., agrofuels); benefitting and expanding individual and private forms of ownership and tenure that can undermine collective rights and cultures; and creating a dominant discourse and policy direction about nature’s ‘value’ (as global services) and peoples’ roles (as service providers) that does not align with peoples’ own understandings and practices, and that can as a result displace local people and their systems of knowledge.

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G02362