In case it was keeping you awake at night I had some feedback from the exam officer at OCR for spec A. To date, my experience with him has only been positive and he has been keen to work through issues we have had...
In terms of 'indigenous people' there is no strict definition but we are thinking along the lines of Tuareg, San, Bedouin etc. - some of whom are undergoing or have undergone change in their lifestyles. A useful link here regarding trying to define indigenous: http://www.iwgia.org/culture-and-identity/identification-of-indigenous-peoples
The whole of Enquiry Question 6 is looking at peoples use of hot deserts, much like in the 2009 version of the spec, to include how, why and scale of use (indigenous people, tourists, MNCs). The use of 'named indigenous people on a named hot desert environment.' is to make it clear that we are expecting detailed knowledge and understanding about a real indigenous group in the desert that the students are studying, rather than generalisations that could apply to any desert region. Much like in similarities and differences we want that depth of knowledge and understanding of the chosen places to study. In terms of assessment this will link into the different levels within the mark scheme - Low level candidates making simplistic generalisations and top level candidates really showing that they know about these people and places. In terms of impacts on the environment, this could link well with other areas of the spec e.g. sustainable farming methods, over-cultivation etc. The exploitation of energy and mineral resources is much more likely to be at the MNC/National scale.
Hope this helps - please do get in contact if anything isn't clear or you have any further queries.
All the best,
I sent back the following...
Thanks for this... I appreciate your feedback on this but I want to still clear up a few things here...
For example, we are looking at the Bedouin of the Sinai as our named group of indigenous people. In terms of negative impacts on the environment, as they traditionally lead a nomadic lifestyle the issues of overcultivation don't really apply to this group.
While we will come to look at desertification later on, which will certainly affect some groups which could be considered indigenous, the spec does state "negative impacts on the environment for a named group of indigenous people". Your reply would suggest that it would be better if the indigenous group we study is a group of people living in the desert whose use contribute negatively to the environment and cause some of the triggers for desertification. If that is the case, would you then agree that the Sinai Bedouin (or other nomadic groups) are not desirable primary examples to use with students to meet the needs of the new spec?
He responded with...
No, nomadic groups (like Sinai Bedouin) are absolutely fine to study. The final column details "impacts" on the environment and this is the main point. Considering what impacts their lifestyle has on the environment they live in - be it positive and/or negative, weak and/or strong.
Seems as though what is required here is an assessment of indigenous groups environmental impact rather than a more rigid approach which documents the positive and negative impacts of their use. That isn't really obvious in the wording of the spec but I hope it helps those doing the forced last minute curriculum planning for this new improved and rigorous specification