Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A Question of Race and Class?

Beddington Farmlands Friend David Lindo recently asked the question:

Why are there so few people of colour involved in birding/nature in the UK? I don't think that its due to overt racism. I certainly don't think that people are being prevented and dissuaded from getting interested in nature due to the threat of being racially abused.
However, I do think the media's portrayal of nature is a big problem. Switch the TV on and you usually see a white middle class middle-aged man presenting. Inner city kids (of all colours and creeds) watching fail to connect because they do not identify with the tone of the presenting.
What are your thoughts?

Here are my thoughts on that: 

Please click on David's original post for discussion and interesting points from a wider community 


Arjun Dutta said...

Yet to meet another Indian/Asian birder of my age...

Peter Alfrey said...

Do you follow Mya-Rose's blog or twitter etc? :

Really keen and focused.

Brett said...

I'm currently dealing with an issue with the BBC with regards Mya-Rose.

Anyways, I agree with everything you said about the RSPB. Locally in Weymouth, the reserves of Radipole and Lodmoor have been seriously neglected when it comes to habitat management. When someone like me, with over 35 years of birding experience and someone who has done practical conservation work, talks to the Dorset RSPB staff, they either don't understand, or give the impression that they are not interested in my opinion. It's a fucking insult.

I think what you are doing in speaking out and trying to start a revolution in wildlife conservation is great and I am interested.

For my part, I'd like to seen on a local level to myself, the likes of Radipole and Lodmoor taken out of the hands of the RSPB and managed by people like yourself. Someone with knowledge and vision.

Brett said...

I think the "oh I say, la de da" of conservation organisations puts a lot of people off. The future is with enpassioning young people of all colours/creeds.

Peter Alfrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Alfrey said...

Hi Brett,

Sorry for delay in reply- been in Ghana with no internet access.

Definitely agree with more power devolved to the local level and a weakening of centralisation in cases where responsible receptors of that power exist.

It makes economic sense to manage things locally- a few thousand pounds make a massive difference locally but disappears into the bottomless pit of centralisation- it's literally a black hole.

I would say there has already been a revolution in Conservation (and society at large) through tech innovation and social media. However there is currently a delay in perception of that revolution and the next revolution (or rather progression) is the re-distribution of power through that tech from traditional centralised bodies to local levels.

Part of that redistribution will take the form of conflict. There has been a capitalist intrusion into conservation organisations which is part of wider growing inequality and austerity policies as part of the current wave of disaster capitalism which followed the 2007 financial crash- a panic reaction that has put us a road to ruin. I'm certain this is a necessary but very tough stage ahead of fundamental reform that will take the form of a renaissance of rule-based ethical capitalism, de-centralisation and individual and local community empowerment.

A great time to be alive- but very dangerous!