Ecologies of Earth Bodies: Understanding the Trauma of Fortress Conservation

Global health research communities and contributions to improving the health and well-being of indigenous peoples.

The creation of protected areas such as national parks, game reserves and natural sanctuaries are often seen as environmental solutions to protect biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change around the world. Their creation often follows the “fortress conservation” model, a predominant way of protecting the biodiversity that separates ecosystems from their original human inhabitants.

Yet the creation and management of these protected areas often centers on violence against indigenous peoples and land-dependent local communities. A recent investigation by Minority Rights Group uncovered horrific human rights violations committed against indigenous Batwa living in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The atrocities were part of a campaign of violence by national park rangers and members of the Congolese army, all in the name of conservation.

Focusing on Central and East Africa, this event will shed light on how the practice of fortress conservation is grounded in colonial ideologies. Speakers will discuss how the practice perpetuates violence against the land and land-dependent indigenous communities, forcing them to endure untold trauma.


  • Sylvia Kokunda, Executive Director of Action for Batwa Empowerment Group (ABEG) and member of the Land Body Ecologies research group
  • Colin Luoma, lecturer in law at Brunel University and researcher at the Minority Rights Group
  • Yannick Ndoinyo, Executive Director of Traditional Ecosystems Survival Tanzania
  • Samrawit Gougsa, communications manager at Minority Rights Group and member of the Land Body Ecologies research group

Please note that this event will have a strictly limited capacity and seats are reserved.

If you can no longer attend, please let us know by canceling your order on Eventbrite (or, alternatively, by emailing [email protected]), so that we can offer the seat to someone. other.

When? Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. BST

Where? The Hub, 5th Floor, 183 Euston Road, Wellcome Collection, London NW1 2BE, UK

How to register? Click here to reserve your spot. Reservations are strictly capped.

This event is organized as part of the Earth, Body, Ecologies research project of which MRG is a part. Click here to learn more about the project.

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