Photo: Concrete Africa (Some rights reserved)
I will be running a series of “translations” to help the lay people decipher the bullshit that they commonly hear from Conservationists. It’s called “Conservationspeak”
Conservation: The field where a foreigner can come to Africa and claim responsibility for “saving” a system or species that has existed for millennia. Nonsense on steroids
Conservationspeak 1: “We work with the locals”
Meaning: “We shouldn’t be here, but we’re trying to justify it”
Conservationspeak 2: (JOB REQUIREMENTS):- “Should have working knowledge of Kiswahili”.
Means: “We need a white person, but you should already be in Kenya”
Conservationspeak 3:”Alternative livelihoods”
Means: “Destroy their skill set, resilience and sustainability. Place them in donor-funded bullshit jobs that create dependency”
Meaning: faceless disenfranchised black people.
Example in use: Community Conservancy.
Conservationspeak 5:”_______dedicated their life to_____”
Means: “_______sought self-glorification through__________”.
Have fun filling the gaps! George Adamson and lions, Jane Goodall and chimpanzees, Diane fossey and gorillas, etc.
Conservationspeak 6: “Creating awareness”
Means: Informing the locals that you’ll be informing them about their birthright.
Conservationspeak 7: “Capacity Building”
Means: Teach locals to build a lockable box in which you can store their brains for the duration of your project