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What is the Dana Decaration?

The Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation 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 Dana Declaration Committee fully endorses the rights of indigenous peoples as set out in the United Nations draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration is the outcome of the Dana Conference, 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 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 endorse the Dana Declaration by filling in the online endorsement form. Comments and questions about the Declaration are also welcome. 

Standing Committee

The participants to the conference on Mobile Peoples and Conservation requested that the steering Committee for the conference remain in post as a Standing Committee for the Dana Declaration. Several conference members were appointed to join the committee. They include:

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Dawn Chatty

Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, UK

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Gonzalo Oviedo

International Consultant on People and Conservation 

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Ariell Ahearn

Departmental Lecturer in Human Geography at School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

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Marcus Colchester

Senior Policy Advisor, Forest Peoples Programme 

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Helen Newing

Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK

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Michel Pimbert

Principal Researcher, Natural Resources Group, IIED, UK


The Standing Committee is charged with, among other responsibilities, providing overall coordination of the strategy to publicize and move forward the Dana Declaration. It is expected to review quarterly the plan of action adopted by the conference including:

1 / 

Setting up and managing a website 

2 / 

Providing publicity for the Declaration in several languages 

3 / 

securing the support of various bodies including the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)

4 / 

Presenting the Declaration to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the World Parks Congress.

5 / 

Promoting information exchange on mobile peoples and conservation through setting up an e-mail list server

6 / 

Working towards the development of a documentary film series featuring the cases discussed in the conference

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