Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Introducing Biocultural Dialogues

On the 1st and 2nd of March, Natural Justice, the Union on Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) and GIZ hosted a meeting in Cape Town, South Africa to review a joint project on Biocultural Dialogues in Ethical Biotrade. The project focused on three pilot biotrade case studies of community-private sector dialogues in Madagascar, Peru and Brazil in 2011. The review meeting was led by Maria Julia Oliva (UEBT), Barbara Lassen (GIZ) and Johanna von Braun (Natural Justice) who facilitated the process of unearthing the lessons from the case studies for future work on Biocultural Dialogues. Gino Cocchiaro (Natural Justice) and Bern Guri (Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Development) presented further case studies involving dialogues with the private sector by traditional healers of Bushbuckridge (South Africa) and the Shea Nut harvesters of Ghana.

Participants included facilitators from Peru (Gabriela Salinas), Brazil (Luciana Alves) and Madagascar (Rina Razankolona) as well as international experts on biotrade and Access and Benefit Sharing from Brazil, Marcelo Salazar, (Instituto Socioambiental), Pierre du Plessis (CRIAA‐SA DC), Bern Guri (Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Development) and Kabir Bavikatte (Natural Justice). The project aimed to assess the potential role of Biocultural Dialogues as a tool to facilitate and strengthen community engagement with the private sector in ethical sourcing practices. 

The project sought to evaluate and further elaborate on the applicability of Biocultural Community Protocols in the first stage and Biocultural Dialogues in the second stage of biotrade supply chains and potentially Access and Benefit Sharing. The meeting concluded with the sketching of a framework for a Biocultural Dialogue approach as the second step after communities have embarked on the development of their Biocultural Community Protocols and a summary of the next steps for the project as a whole.

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