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How do we change a whole sector? Colonialism in nature conservation is the cause of institutionalised racism – by Mya-Rose Craig

nature conservation racism


Our communities love wildlife, nature and the planet as much as yours. So why is it that I am outdoors in Somerset and am the only person enjoying nature that is not white? Despite rural roots and a natural human love for nature, many people claim that Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) are not interested in nature. The question we should really be asking is why do the White Nature Conservation & Media and Environmental Sectors (NCMES) apply a colonial view to nature, excluding VME from ‘their’ space?

First, the terminology; most use Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) or Black Minority Ethnic (BME). However, this includes white minorities so I use Visible Minority Ethnic (VME). I prefer not to use the USA term ‘People of Color’ due to the negative connotation in the UK with the word ‘Coloured’. I also do not like the word ‘Black’ to describe people who are ethnically African or African Caribbean as they are not actually black. I feel it is better to use descriptions, not a reference to colour, which is in any event incorrect. Some prefer Global Majority, as VME people are a minority in the West. However, I do not align with this as we are talking about British people, not people living abroad. The only exception is that I use ‘White British’ as this is the only phrase I have heard used. MORE

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