Monday, October 31, 2011

Forest Peoples' Experiences with Implementation of Article 10(c)

On the opening day of the 7th Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8(j)), the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) co-hosted a side event entitled, “Content and Implementation of the New Major Component of Work on Customary Sustainable Use (Article 10(c)) in the Programme of Work on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions”. John Scott (SCBD) stressed the fundamental nature of Article 10(c) to Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ ways of life, highlighted the experts’ meeting on Article 10(c) held in June, and encouraged Parties to take into account the Addis Ababa Guidelines.

Caroline de Jong (FPP) introduced the “10(c) project”, which has been ongoing since 2004 and comprised of documenting customary practices, rules, and laws and their relation to conservation and sustainable use, identifying threats to customary systems, and providing recommendations for more effective implementation of Article 10(c). The remainder of the presentation was given by a group of FPP partners: Kid James (Wapichan people, Guyana); Auchalee Phonklieng and Sakda Saenmi (Karen people, IMPECT, Thailand); and Muhammed Abdul Baten (traditional resource users of the Sundarbans, Unnayan Onneshan, Bangladesh).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

NJ in Montreal for Working Group on Article 8(j)

Kabir Bavikatte and Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice) are in Montreal, Canada, for the 7th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8(j)). The meeting will take place from 31 October to 4 November and will be preceded by a capacity building workshop on access and benefit sharing from 29-30 October.

Natural Justice will co-host and participate in a range of side events and meetings and will post reports on this blog throughout the week. Daily coverage of the negotiations will be provided by IISD Reporting Services.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Exploring Access and Benefit Sharing in the ASEAN Region

Harry Jonas (Natural Justice) attended an ASEAN regional capacity development workshop on access and benefit sharing (ABS) in Manila, Philippines, from 25-26 October. The workshop was organized by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity and was attended by government officials, international organizations, NGOs, and academics. Over the two days, attendees heard presentations on the history of the Nagoya Protocol and experiences of national implementation from across the region and discussed challenges and opportunities. Natural Justice presented on our work and launched a publication entitled Community Protocols and ABS.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Building Capacity of Conservation Groups on ABS

On 26 October, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative and Conservation International hosted a one-day capacity building event for conservation organisations in the Washington, D.C., area on access and benefit sharing (ABS). Entitled "ABS and Conservation: Opportunities and Challenges for the Future", the event included speakers who have been working in the ABS context for many years, including Pierre du Plessis from CRIAA and Jorge Cabrera from INBio, Costa Rica. Johanna von Braun (Natural Justice) also presented on the use of biocultural community protocols for the implementation of ABS at the local level.

The event provided participants with a general overview of ABS, the Nagoya Protocol and a number of case studies, and raised question in terms of the overlaps between ABS and conservation and how ABS should function as an incentive for conservation. A number of participants particularly highlighted the importance of linking questions related to resource governance to conservation and ABS and the importance of connecting questions regarding resource rights to establishing successful ABS incentive schemes that lead to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The day ended with a fruitful discussion and brainstorming session on the particular role that conservation groups such Conservation International can play in making ABS work in practice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Publication on Community Protocols in Peru

Asociacion ANDESthe Quechua communities of the Potato Park, and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) have released a new publication entitled, "Community Biocultural Protocols: Building Mechanisms for Access and Benefit-sharing Among the Communities of the Potato Park based on Quechua Customary Norms".

The description is as follows: "The Potato Park communities in Peru are deeply committed to the conservation of biocultural resources, associated knowledge, and indigenous rights, and undertook this research to further investigate the role of customary norms and institutions in the protection of traditional knowledge (TK) and resources. The development of a Biocultural Protocol, in the form of the Inter-community Agreement for Equitable Access and Benefit Sharing, is the result of their efforts. In addition to providing a valuable example of effective community-based protection of TK and genetic or biological resources in praxis, this initiative is also one of only a handful of examples worldwide of working models that stem directly from customary laws and norms.

Given the present international paucity of models that adequately value and protect indigenous and local community rights, biodiversity and customary norms and practices in relation to benefit sharing and access to resources and knowledge – the present initiative may further serve as an example of best practice in relation to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. Spanish translation is forthcoming." More information is available on the IIED website on biocultural heritage.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

ABS Initiative Workshop in Malawi

Kabir Bavikatte and Sabine Zajderman (Natural Justice) attended the Fourth Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa in Malawi from 17-22 October. The workshop, organized by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa (ABS Initiative) and hosted by the Environmental Affairs Department of Malawi, was the first in the sub-region since the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In light of this development, African countries are now discussing and identifying relevant ABS strategies at national, sub-regional, and regional levels to address the challenge of implementing the Nagoya Protocol. This meeting also echoed the Fourth ABS Sub-Regional Workshop for West Africa and the Maghreb, which was coordinated and facilitated by the ABS Initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation of Mali and held in Bamako, Mali, from 26 September to 1 October.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ABS Training Course in Nairobi

Sabine Zajderman and Laureen Manuel (Natural Justice) attended a 5-day training course on access and benefit sharing (ABS) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 10-14 October. The course was aimed at addressing the capacity constraints faced by African countries in implementing ABS at the national and regional levels. About 30 delegates working in the field of ABS from East and Southern Africa attended the course, which was hosted by the Strathmore Executive Legal Education Programme (SELEP) in collaboration with the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa. The course contents, designed by the Environmental Evaluation Unit of the University of Cape Town, included presentations on the key provisions of the Nagoya Protocol, traditional knowledge issues, and intellectual property rights, as well as case studies of actual experiences with ABS in Africa.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

First Symposium on ICCAs in Indonesia

Harry Jonas and Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice) attended the first-ever national symposium on the status, prospects, options, and opportunities for Indigenous peoples' conserved territories and areas conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCAs) in Indonesia, organized by the People's Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA), the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme for South and South-east Asia (NTFP-EP), Forest Peoples Programme, the ICCA Consortium, and WWF-Indonesia. The symposium took place from 13-14 October at the CIFOR campus in Bogor with support from The Christensen Fund, UNDP, GIZ, and WWF-Indonesia.

The two days comprised a number of presentations on diverse community experiences with conserved territories and areas across Indonesia, as well as a select few from other countries such as Iran, Panama, and the Philippines. The legal framework, including challenges and opportunities for official recognition of ICCAs, was elaborated by local legal NGO HuMa. Working groups discussed a range of questions, including the extent and local expressions and types of ICCAs in Indonesia; barriers to appropriate recognition and support; and future steps to promote the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities, livelihoods, and conservation. Many thanks to Crissy Guerrero and the rest of the organizing committee for hosting us in Bogor!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ICCA Consortium General Assembly in Bogor

Natural Justice participated in the 4th General Assembly of the ICCA Consortium on 12 October in Bogor, Indonesia, at the CIFOR campus. It was attended by 31 people, including representatives of Member organizations, Honorary Members, and the new regional co-coordinators. The Assembly included reports from the President (Taghi Farvar), Coordinator (Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend), Treasurer (Stan Stevens), Auditor of Accounts (Maurizio Farhan Ferrari), Chair of the Statutes Committee (Harry Jonas), regional coordinators, and Global Communications Officer (Vanessa Reid). The Assembly resulted in the adoption of the 2012 budget, revised Statutes, draft Procedural Guidelines and Membership Policy, and Global Communication Plan.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ICCA Consortium Retreat in Indonesia

Harry Jonas and Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice) participated in a retreat of the ICCA Consortium from 6-11 October in Prana Dewi, Bali, Indonesia. The 6-day agenda brought together the new regional co-coordinators, the Consortium Secretariat, and some Member organizations and Honorary Members for the first time to discuss and plan a range of issues and initiatives.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Upcoming ICCA Consortium Events in Indonesia

Harry Jonas and Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice) will be joining other members of the ICCA Consortium from 5-15 October in Indonesia for a series of events. At a retreat from 6-11 October, the Consortium Steering Committee and Regional Coordinators will tackle a number of issues ranging from the action plan, 2020 Vision, and ongoing initiatives and partnerships to a global legal review and strategic inputs to international policy fora.

The 4th General Assembly will be held on 12 October at the CIFOR Campus in Bogor. From 13-14 October, the first ever national symposium on ICCAs will take place in Bogor. It will explore the concept, practice, limitations, and opportunities of ICCAs in Indonesia and, if appropriate, provide initial stimulus and support to a broad alliance of organizations and people willing to engage in appropriate follow-up activities.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Indigenous Declaration on Climate Change and Traditional Knowledge

As the next round of negotiations under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened in Panama, a gathering in Finland of Indigenous leaders from around the world has called upon the international community to remove scientific bias against Indigenous knowledge from climate change science and policy. The meeting adopted the Sevettijärvi Declaration, which calls upon the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to make all efforts necessary to include Indigenous knowledge and local perspectives in its assessment processes.