We would like to bring to your attention the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation. The Declaration calls for a new approach to conservation: one which recognises the rights and interests of 'mobile' peoples. The term mobile peoples covers indigenous and traditional peoples whose livelihoods depend on extensive common property use of natural resources, and who use mobility as a management strategy and as an element of cultural identity.The Declaration is the outcome of an international meeting of social and natural scientists and NGOs that took place in Wadi Dana Nature Reserve in Jordan in early April 2002. The Declaration is an attempt to forge a new partnership between conservationists and mobile peoples in order to ensure that future conservation policies and programmes help maintain the earth's ecosystems, species and genetic diversity while respecting the rights of indigenous and traditional communities which have been disregarded in the past.
The Declaration recognises that the world is facing unprecedented threats to biodiversity, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources which jeopardise the traditional livelihoods and distinctive cultures of mobile peoples. Conservationists and mobile peoples need to work together, pooling their knowledge and skills to confront these threats. The Declaration sets out five principles for promoting this new approach to conservation based on respect for human rights, partnership and collaborative management.
The Wadi Dana conference participants recognise that this is only the first step. The principles need to be considered and developed further in dialogue with mobile peoples and other interested groups and organisations. We would like to encourage you to send us any comments or questions that you may have about the declaration. These will be posted on this site. Endorsements are also welcomed.
It is out intention to ensure that these issues, which are of vital importance to us all, are brought to the urgent consideration of governments and international decision-making bodies. We hope you will actively support our efforts to promote a constructive debate about the future of conservation and mobile peoples at the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August 2002 and at the World Parks Congress in 2003.
Standing Committee for the Dana Declaration:
Adrian Phillips (retired)