With the recognition of the scope for human rights violations in the name of conservation, Harry Jonas and Jael Makagon, set out to produce a set of ‘Conservation Standards’. Harry Jonas, our Program Director, shared the work they produced at the monthly Skill and Information Sharing Session.
He set out the purpose of these ‘Conservation Standards’ to serve as guidance to right-bearers and stakeholder groups involved in conservation interventions. It aims to be as clear as possible on what precisely are the standards to be complied with when undertaking conservation initiatives. These standards are specifically based on the rights of indigenous peoples, with a focus on the law as it is stated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration is an articulation of already established customary international norms and standards as found in international law.
He also discussed the importance of the Whakatane Mechanism in relation to the Conservation Standards. The Whakatane Mechanism serves as a redress mechanism in assessing disputes arising in different protected areas around the world.
Natural Justice presented these ‘Conservation Standards’ at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii early September 2016. It is also currently being discussed at a meeting in Geneva hosted by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, and will be further discussed at a meeting focusing on the Whakatane Mechanism in October.