Monday, November 30, 2015

UN Climate Change COP21 Side Event: Monday 7th December 2015


When: Monday 7 December, 15:00 – 16:30 hrs
Where: COP21/CMP11, Parc des Expositions, Le Bourget conference site, side event room - OR 03

This event will share a variety of recent research concerning:

  • Supporting the adaptation practices and traditional knowledge (TK) of Indigenous peoples and local communities, and the importance of biocultural heritage.
  •  The protection of knowledge holders and the sharing of TK in adaptation initiatives.
  •  The role of community protocols as a tool to reach the most vulnerable communities through participation and biodiversity legislation.
  •  The quantity and quality of adaptation finance reaching those most in need.
Who: Dr. Hannah Reid, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Ms. Krystyna Swiderska, (IIED), Mr. Alejandro Argumedo (ANDES), Peru & Dr. Yiching Song (Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Science)

Dr. Cath Traynor (Natural Justice) & Mr. Reino Le Fleur (Griqua representative)

Ms. Roberta Ramos, Grupo de Trabalho Amazonico (GTA), & Munduruku representative

Dr. Carlos Potiatra Castro, University of Brasilia

Mr. Delfin Ganapin, UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme

You are invited to find out more at this side event. Light snacks will be served at 14.45 hrs.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Kukula Traditional Health Practitioners Association Explore Opportunities with Skukuza Indigenous Plant Nursery, Kruger National Park, South Africa

KTHPA  SANParks staff at Nkuhlu
Enclosure (Photo:  Cath Traynor)
KTHPA discussing medicinal plants with
SANParks staff (Photo: Cath Traynor)

The Kukula Traditional Health Practitioners Association (KTHPA) of Bushbuckridge, South Africa visited Kruger National Park’s Skukuza Indigenous Plant Nursery earlier this year. The Kukula were invited by Michele Hofmeyr, the Manager of the nursery after she attended the Kukula’s Biocultural Community Protocol (BCP) Revision Workshop. The aim of the visit was to explore areas of mutual interest: South African National Parks (SANParks) is developing a list of medicinal plant species of interest to communities in the bufferzone areas of the park, and KTHPA are interested to access propagules of medicinal plant species that only occur within the park.
Members of the Kukula spent an afternoon in the nursery, looking at the existing stock of medicinal plant species, learning how the different species are propagated, and discussing which species may be suitable for KTHPA to propagate themselves. The following day, Nursery staff joined the Kukula on a walk in the Nkuhlu Enclosure, a 139 ha fenced area consisting of dense woody vegetation thickets along the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers. The KTHPA members identified species of particular interest, and SANParks staff collected specimens so that scientific names could be ascertained.

The nursery kindly donated seedlings and plants to the Kukula, including saplings of the pepper-bark tree (Warburgia salutaris), this is a highly sought-after medicinal plant, which is critically endangered, and one that the nursery is cultivating on a large-scale.

KTHPA at SANParks Skukuza
Indigenous Plant Nursery
(Photo: Cath Traynor)
Michele Hofmeyer, SANParks
Skukuza Indigenous Plants Nursery 
Manager sharing her knowledge regards
successfully germinating different
plant species (Photo: Cath Traynor)
Natural Justice, together with partners K2C and Wits Rural Facility are supporting the Kukula Traditional Health Practitioners to revise their BCP, and to utilize it to constructively engage with external stakeholders such as SANParks. Running throughout South Africa’s legislation on conservation is the balance between conservation on the one hand and sustainable use for the benefit of communities on the other. Through collaborations such as these KTHPA hope to both conserve biodiversity and to advance the health of their communities through their traditional healing practices.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Workshop on Financing of Infrastructure Held During World Bank's Annual Meetings

(WBG Logo)

On 10 October 2015, during the World Bank's annual meetings in Lima, Peru, several civil society organizations under the leadership of Eurodad and the Center of Concern hosted a Strategy Workshop on "Financing of infrastructure: global and regional trends and impacts on sustainable development and human rights." At the workshop, participants noted several trends regarding the financing of infrastructure, including the growing reliance on private sources to fund large infrastructure projects and the lack of transparency of institutions that provide financing, such as the Brazilian Development Bank. Participants also noted the challenges that communities face when decisions on mega (and even larger) projects are made as part of discussions to which they have no access. Finally, it was noted how difficult it can be to monitor financing for development projects when the money is directed through financial intermediaries. To begin addressing these and other challenges, participants decided on several outcomes, including:

- The need for a mailing list to link different databases on projects, related information and news about legislative changes in order to facilitate responses to infrastructure projects in the region. In this context it was decided to revitalize the "IFIs en la mira" list, which works in Spanish; and

- The formation of a group of volunteers to drive the work on such a list. The group will focus on holding a strategy meeting to take place early next year, developing a methodology for surveying legislative changes to facilitate infrastructure projects and their financing, and building a roadmap for interdisciplinary work on cross-cutting issues emerging in the implementation of megaprojects. Additionally, it will seek to ensure that relevant information is shared among different groups, including those working on the World Bank, the G20, and others.

These outcomes provide a good basis for further collaboration in this field. In particular, Natural Justice and Columbia University, together with the Heinrich Boll Foundation and Center of Concern will hold a workshop in March 2016 that will examine the trends of development finance and the state of accountability in financing large infrastructure projects. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Community conservation initiates: A legitimate solution to climate change and conservation

Fostering Community Conservation Conference Closing Panel: Ms. Vahanen (14th FAO World Forestry Congress), Dr. Campbell (Forest & Farm Facility), Dr. Namirembe (World Agroforestry Centre), Ms. Mulenkei (International Alliance for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests), Dr. Traynor (Natural Justice), Dr. Palenova (All-Russia Research Institute) & Mr. Seiber (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). Photo courtesy of  Ronnie Hall/Critical Information Collective
Partner’s Global Forest Coalition have just released a Community Conservation Special Edition of their newsletter ‘Forest Cover’. The editorial highlights that community conservation initiatives are a real legitimate solution to conservation, ecosystem restoration and climate change. Articles include the role of Indigenous and community conservation in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicators for the 2030 Vision “Transforming Our World” and Natural Justice’s Cath Traynor contributed a piece summarizing the recent “Fostering Community Conservation Conference” and Relevance for the upcoming meetings of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Two CBD meetings are being held this week in Montreal, Canada; they are the Nineteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific and Technical Advice, which will consider strategic scientific and technical issues related to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020; and the Ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Article 8(j) of the CBD. This will consider, among others, issues related to Prior, Informed Consent of communities for accessing their knowledge, equitable sharing of benefits, and regional cooperation in the protection and sharing of traditional knowledge. The findings and recommendations from the Fostering Community Conservation Conference as well as the reports from the individual country studies provide clear evidence that community conserved areas are legitimate initiatives that bring about real and consistent results in the interests of conservation and human well-being.