Kabir Bavikatte (left) and Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice)
discussing key issues in the negotiations towards a plan
of action on customary sustainable use. Photo via IISD-RS.
Natural Justice was recently in India for the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which took place from 8-19 October in Hyderabad. In addition to a range of events and meetings, we actively participated in the negotiations, with particular emphasis on the draft decisions on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions, Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, and Protected Areas. Other key agenda items for which we provided technical guidance and coordination assistance through the CBD Alliance and ICCA Consortium included: Monitoring Progress on the Implementation of the Strategic Plan and Aichi Biodiversity Targets; Review of the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity; Ecosystem Restoration; Marine and Coastal Biodiversity; Biodiversity and Climate Change; Biodiversity for Poverty Eradication and Development; Biological Diversity of Inland Water Ecosystems; Forest Biodiversity; and Agricultural Biodiversity.
The overriding emphasis of the negotiations was on setting the foundations for resource mobilisation and policy alignment for implementation of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Amongst the 33 decisions adopted, there were many provisions of direct relevance to the work of Natural Justice and our partners.
A selection of relevant provisions include (in numerical order):
- Decision XI/1 (Status of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing): Parties to undertake and provide support for capacity building initiatives, including participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities in legal, policy and decision-making processes, and the development of community protocols;
- Decision XI/2 (Review of Progress in Implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans): Parties to include all stakeholders, including Indigenous peoples and local communities, in planning and implementing national biodiversity strategies and action plans;
- Decision XI/7 (Business and Biodiversity): Parties to help businesses assess and effectively address their impacts on biodiversity and on Indigenous peoples and local communities;
- Decision XI/14 (Article 8(j) and Related Provisions): under the section on progress in implementation, Parties to include in requests to the Global Environment Facility and Small Grants Programme and other donors support for Indigenous peoples and local communities to organise themselves, to develop community plans and protocols, to document, map and register their ICCAs, and to prepare and implement their community conservation plans; and to provide support to countries to strengthen recognition of ICCAs;
- Decision XI/14 (Article 8(j) and Related Provisions): under the section on Article 10 and 10(c) as a major component of the programme of work, Parties decided that the three initial tasks for the new work on Article 10 and 10(c) are to incorporate customary sustainable use practices or policy into national biodiversity strategies and action plans; to promote and strengthen community-based initiatives; and to identify best practices to promote the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities in the establishment, expansion, governance, and management of protected areas, to encourage the application of traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use in protected areas, and to promote the use of community protocols to affirm and promote customary sustainable use in protected areas;
- Decision XI/14 (Article 8(j) and Related Provisions): under the section on recommendations from the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Parties to further consider adopting the phrase "indigenous peoples and local communities" (instead of "indigenous and local communities") at the next Working Group on Article 8(j) and at COP12 in 2014;
- Decision XI/16 (Ecosystem Restoration): Parties to promote the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities and the use of traditional knowledge and practices in appropriate ecosystem restoration activities;
- Decision XI/17 (Marine and Coastal Biodiversity: EBSAs): Parties to also use traditional knowledge and social and cultural information to help describe and identify ecologically or biologically significant marine areas;
- Decision XI/21 (Other Matters Related to Biodiversity and Climate Change): Parties to take into account traditional knowledge, innovations and practices when addressing the impacts of climate change;
- Decision XI/22 (Biodiversity for Poverty Eradication and Development): Parties to protect and encourage the customary use of biological resources and to promote biodiversity and development projects that empower women and Indigenous peoples and local communities; an Expert Group on the same topic will, among other things, develop a conceptual framework and guidance on how to assess the role of collective action and the efforts of Indigenous peoples and local communities in conservation, stewardship, and sustainable management of biodiversity and natural renewable resources, including exploring the role of non-market-based approaches;
- Decision XI/24 (Protected Areas): Parties to strengthen recognition of and support for community-based approaches to in situ conservation and sustainable use, including Indigenous peoples' and community conserved territories and areas (ICCAs), and support the development of local and international registries of ICCAs; to direct benefits arising from the use of genetic resources to enhance management and establishment of protected areas and share benefits with Indigenous peoples and local communities; and
- Decision XI/25 (Sustainable Use): Parties to build and strengthen capacities of Indigenous peoples and local communities to exercise rights and responsibilities to sustainably manage wildlife resources.
The advance unedited version of all COP11 decisions is now available online. Daily coverage and a detailed summary report of the negotiations are available online courtesy of the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Services (IISD-RS). The CBD Alliance and CBD Secretariat published the latest issue of their joint newsletter, [square brackets], for the beginning of COP11 and the issues remain relevant.