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Case studies listing

Case studies listing

Strategic Goal E

Strategic Goal E

Strategic Goal D

Strategic Goal D

Strategic Goal C

Strategic Goal C

Strategic Goal B

Strategic Goal B

Strategic Goal A

Strategic Goal A

Namena 1

Vueti Navakavu: A success story from Fiji

The-Kalanguya-experience

The Kalanguya experience of community-based monitoring and information systems in Tinoc, Ifugao, Philippines

T18 education festival Galibi Suriname credit Julie Sutton

Summary data on the global headline indicators adopted by the CBD in relation to Target 18

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Strategic Goal E

Strategic Goal E

Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society

     

Why the goal is important to indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs)

Participatory planning offers an opportunity for IPLCs to contribute to the implementation of the CBD’s Strategic Plan at all levels. Target 18, which comes under Goal E, is of central importance to IPLCs because it deals directly with traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use.

Experiences of IPLCs and contributions to the goal

IPLCs have much to contribute to translating the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets to the national and local level and to enhancing their implementation nationally and locally. The process of developing, updating and/or revising NBSAPs through participatory planning should enable this to happen, but in practice the process leaves much to be desired. A recent study reported that only 20 Parties reported any involvement of IPLCs in this process and 34% of NBSAPs had no targets at all relating to Target 18. Progress on Target 18 is poor: the loss of traditional knowledge is being reversed in some areas but the overall trend is one of continuing decline, with a continued loss of linguistic diversity, a decrease in traditional occupations and large-scale displacement of IPLCs.

More positively, growing recognition of the role of indigenous and local knowledge alongside scientific knowledge and of IPLCs’ collective actions (for example, in recent COP Decisions on resource mobilisation) is reflected increasingly in activities on the ground. The rapid evolution of digital technologies has been significant for IPLCs, greatly enhancing their capacity to ground-truth data derived from remote sensing and global and national data sets. In terms of finance, many IPLCs’ initiatives benefit from existing biodiversity funding sources, but IPLCs have reported that some of these sources are difficult for smaller organisations to access. Meanwhile, in some cases, biodiversity funding that has been allocated without the appropriate consultation and participation of IPLCs is proving  to have harmful effects on IPLCs and their lands and territories.

Key potential actions related to IPLCs that could accelerate progress, if more widely applied

  • Ensure that effective national and sub-national mechanisms are in place for the full and effective participation of IPLCs in policy processes related to the Strategic Plan, including NBSAP processes, the compilation of national reports, and in local implementation.
  • Mainstream the Programme of Work on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions and the Plan of Action on Customary Sustainable Use and scale up their implementation by incorporating Aichi Target 18 and linkages with all other Aichi Targets into NBSAP processes.
  • Establish improved mechanisms for the systematic monitoring of progress on the indicators related to Target 18.
  • Provide systematic support, including funding, for concrete actions: to promote the revitalisation of indigenous languages and traditional occupations, to improve land tenure security, and for effective application of traditional knowledge and customary systems of sustainable use.
  • Explore, in consultation with IPLCs, issues around collective actions and ways to aggregate data on collective actions under all the targets in the Strategic Plan.
  • Broaden the science-policy interface to include indigenous and local knowledge alongside scientific knowledge, and strengthen the interfaces between global, national, and community levels for knowledge generation, dissemination and application.

Strategic Goal D

Strategic Goal D

Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services

    

Why the goal is important to indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs)

The enhancement of benefits from biodiversity and ecosystems depends fundamentally upon legal recognition of customary tenure rights, the restoration and safeguarding of cultural ecosystem services, and the enhancement of ecosystem resilience. IPLCs understand ecosystems as their customary lands, territories, waters and resources, and therefore have a strong interest in these measures. In relation to benefit-sharing, especially where benefits from biodiversity also make use of traditional knowledge, there is additional significance for IPLCs as regards their cultural and intellectual property rights. IPLCs’ territories are often exploited unsustainably to capture services and products for others, causing loss and degradation of resources with negative impacts on IPLCs. Similarly many initiatives designed to safeguard ecosystems and carbon stocks have limited IPLCs’ access to and use of their lands, posing a significant threat to their wellbeing as well as ultimately reducing ecosystem resilience.

Experiences of IPLCs and contributions to the goal

IPLCs around the world are working to safeguard, conserve and restore biodiversity and ecosystems in their lands and territories and there is increasing and compelling evidence of the effectiveness of their actions. Some actions at the ecosystem level include community territorial and cultural mapping; vulnerability and resilience mapping; participatory development of land-use and territorial plans; and community monitoring to track external pressures, ecosystem health and land use change. Building on their traditional knowledge and natural resource management systems, and through participatory research and action, IPLCs have also made major contributions towards strengthening socio-ecological resilience to environmental variability and carbon sequestration. Pastoralists and smallholder farmers have developed an array of strategies for the sustainable use of marginal areas. In relation to the sharing of benefits, some IPLCs have also already begun to use the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to gain recognition for their traditional knowledge, to press for a share of the benefits from commercial products based on traditional use of genetic resources, and to develop biocultural protocols. IPLCs have also contributed in global platforms that offer opportunities for collaborative approaches, such as the Satoyama Initiative, which takes an inclusive approach and offers tools to better understand and support socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes.

Key potential actions related to IPLCs that could accelerate progress, if more widely applied

  • Legally recognise customary rights and tenure of IPLCs over lands, territories and resources and ensure that carbon sequestration and restoration measures give due regards to these rights.
  • Increase support for IPLC practices that enhance ecosystem resilience, restore degraded ecosystems and contribute to carbon sequestration and climate adaptation.
  • Expand awareness-raising, experience-sharing and capacity-building activities in relation to the Nagoya Protocol, and develop national and international legal frameworks for its implementation, with full participation of IPLCs.
  • Strive for greater dialogue and mutual respect and understanding on concepts related to ecosystems/habitats, ecosystem services, resilience, climate change, carbon offsets and equitable benefit-sharing.
  • Take measures to counter the rise in assassinations of environmental and human rights defenders and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Strategic Goal C

Strategic Goal C

Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity

    

Why the goal is important to indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs)

The safeguarding of ecosystems, species and genetic diversity is directly in line with IPLCs’ priorities because it can support their efforts to safeguard their lands and resources. In addition, many threatened species are culturally significant to IPLCs, while genetic diversity underlies the livelihoods and food security of many IPLCs, especially in their agricultural systems. However, all too often, conservation measures continue to be imposed from above, without attention to issues of equity or appropriate opportunities for participation. This can cause extreme suffering, for example, as the result of forced evictions and displacement from traditional lands and resources; loss of livelihoods and food security following the criminalisation of traditional hunting and harvesting practices; and the loss of life, livestock and crops because of increased human-wildlife conflicts.

Experiences of IPLCs and contributions to the goal

Many IPLCs actively manage their customary lands and waters in ways that conserve them effectively, and these merit greater recognition and support. This positive relationship is exemplified by Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs), which are among the most effective territory or area-based conservation measures and cover about 12% of the world’s land area. Many threatened species, including emblematic species, are actively conserved by IPLCs through customary rules and laws that guide and restrict their use. Communities are also increasingly active in monitoring threatened species and in the early identification of problems or threats. IPLCs also contribute to the maintenance of genetic diversity, particularly through their agricultural practices, and in many cases these practices provide important lessons for wider strategies to protect genetic diversity. Maintenance of crop diversity on farms and of wild plant relatives goes hand in hand with food security and security of incomes. Indigenous women play particularly important roles in this, often making key decisions about which seed varieties to maintain, propagate or discard. Livestock-keeping communities (pastoralists) play a crucial role in ensuring the continued existence of different breeds, safeguarding the genetic diversity of farmed and domesticated animals.

Key potential actions related to IPLCs that could accelerate progress, if more widely applied

  • Support area-based conservation by IPLCs through formal recognition of customary rights under national law, and through appropriate recognition of ICCAs and sacred sites.
  • Enhance implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas and review national institutional and legal frameworks on protected area governance and management.
  • Urgently address equity and human rights issues related to conservation (particularly protected areas). Displacement of IPLCs from their lands and resources in contravention of international law should cease immediately.
  • Promote the development of national monitoring and conflict resolution mechanisms to complement existing international mechanisms.
  • Increase training opportunities for IPLCs and engagement with traditional knowledge-holders, to increase the effectiveness of conservation actions.
  • Increase technical and financial support for community mapping, community-based monitoring and wider community conservation actions.
  • Enhance support for on-farm and in-situ conservation by IPLCs, with a special focus on women’s contributions and on the role of traditional knowledge.

Strategic Goal B

Strategic Goal B

Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use

          

Why the goal is important to indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs)

Biodiversity loss and unsustainable use have led to severe hardship among IPLCs and threaten the very survival of those who meet their daily needs directly from the local environment. Deforestation and reduced access to forest resources have left many IPLCs without a secure source of food and livelihoods. Unsustainable fishing is damaging not only to biodiversity but also to the survival of those who rely on aquatic resources for their basic needs. Environmental pollution directly affects the health and wellbeing of many IPLCs, and together with the spread of Invasive Alien Species (IAS), also threatens the cultural and ecological integrity of their societies, lands and resources. Many IPLCs are already experiencing severe impacts of climate change, and some have suffered forced relocations linked to melting permafrost and rising sea levels.

Experiences of IPLCs and contributions to the goal

IPLCs’ customary systems, as related to their land and resources, have immense potential to contribute to efforts to reduce pressures on biodiversity and develop more sustainable forms of use. For example, research has shown that community-managed forests in the tropics have lower deforestation rates than strict protected areas; that local rule-making autonomy is associated with improved forest management; that given sufficient land, traditional shifting cultivation in South and South-east Asia is sustainable; that traditional fire management often benefits biodiversity, and that many customary fishery systems limit harvest levels and impacts. Customary systems can inform more sustainable, ecosystem-focused practices on a wider scale. Through their customary systems of land and resource use, together with safeguarding Indigenous Territories and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs), IPLCs are working to reduce anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs and other vulnerable ecosystems. They are also limiting local and global levels of pollution by maintaining and improving traditional agricultural practices. In addition, environmental monitoring by IPLCs is becoming an increasingly important component in efforts to control invasive alien species, as well as in early warning and risk prevention systems and, together with campaigns and litigation, in holding polluters to account.

Key potential actions related to IPLCs that could accelerate progress, if more widely applied

  • Develop national and local plans and targets for the effective implementation of the CBD Plan of Action on Customary Sustainable Use.
  • Involve indigenous knowledge-holders in relevant expert groups and include case studies of community actions in CBD reports and databases.
  • Enhance collaboration between traditional knowledge-holders and scientists to develop innovative approaches to sustainable resource use and to climate change mitigation.
  • Recognise, award and support IPLC practices related to sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry including collaborating with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) initiative Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).
  • Increase institutional support and funding for community-based environmental monitoring, including monitoring related to combating invasive alien species, pollution, and anthropogenic pressures on vulnerable ecosystems.
  • Provide technical and financial support for participatory community risk and vulnerability assessments and for community-based adaptation action plans.
  • Ensure that zero deforestation commitments safeguard IPLCs’ livelihoods and tenure security.
  • Support IPLCs’ calls for moratoria on unsustainable resource extraction and monoculture plantations.

Strategic Goal A

Strategic Goal A

Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society

      

Why the goal is important to indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs)

Addressing the causes of biodiversity loss is crucially important to IPLCs because the future of biodiversity and the future of IPLCs are inextricably linked. Together, biological and cultural diversity underpin socio-ecological systems and increase resilience to environmental and social change. Mainstreaming values related to biological and cultural diversity into all aspects of governance and planning is essential if the powerful drivers of biodiversity loss are to be countered.

Experiences of IPLCs and contributions to the goal

IPLCs, with their diverse local economies, customary systems and traditional knowledge, offer complementary perspectives on the causes of biodiversity loss and are actively working to counter some of the drivers of loss. Through community land use and territorial management plans, many IPLCs are working to keep natural resource use on their lands and territories within safe ecological limits. IPLCs are also contributing to the establishment and implementation of sustainability standards in commodity supply chains. Incentive systems such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) can bring either benefits or challenges for IPLCs; those systems that have appropriate levels of IPLC participation and due respect for their rights can be cost-effective in conserving biodiversity while simultaneously contributing to climate change mitigation and community wellbeing.

IPLCs are actively seeking to raise awareness of biological and cultural diversity at all levels through the organisation of events; the production of written and audiovisual materials; the use of the internet and social media, and the facilitation of intercultural dialogue. IPLC networks and international fora, such as the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) and the CBD’s Traditional Knowledge Information Portal (TKIP), also play an important role in raising awareness of global biodiversity perspectives amongst their members. Thus IPLCs are contributing to information flow in both directions: from the local to the global and from the global to the local.

Key potential actions related to IPLCs that could accelerate progress, if more widely applied

  • Increase support and strengthen communication channels for education and awareness-raising about biodiversity and cultural diversity, including activities under the joint awareness-raising programme between UNESCO and the CBD Secretariat on the importance of biological and cultural diversity and IPLCs’ knowledge, lifestyles and low-impact development models.
  • Increase engagement in intercultural dialogues on biodiversity, maintaining respect for diverse views and values.
  • Integrate values related to biodiversity and cultural diversity in planning and decision-making, consistent with the CBD’s ecosystem-based approach.
  • Establish inclusive and robust mechanisms for increased participation and engagement of IPLCs in sustainable development planning and decision-making at all levels.
  • Develop guidelines on the use of monetary and non-monetary incentives (including the granting/recognition of secure land tenure and access rights) to ensure respect for IPLCs’ rights and consideration of their needs and cultural perspectives.
  • Develop partnerships with IPLCs to implement and monitor compliance with economic, environmental, social, and cultural sustainability standards.
  • Develop binding national regulations that complement existing voluntary standards in order to address underlying drivers of biodiversity loss. These should include national regulations for commodity supply chains

Vueti Navakavu: A success story from Fiji

Vueti Navakavu, an LMMA and registered ICCA on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, is a community conserved marine area. Designated in 2002 to address the decline of fish populations observed by the communities in their traditional fishing ground (locally known as qoliqoli and covering an area of 19.1 km²), this area is managed by the Yavusa Navakaavu clan to improve the management and protection of their marine area. Its aim is to conserve a healthy ecosystem that can support abundant and diverse marine life as a source of food and income. Following the creation of the Qoliqoli Committee and several consultations with the wider community, a system of community fish wardens was introduced to stop illegal fishing, and a no-take area constituting 20 per cent of the total area was created. Following the establishment of the reserve, the condition of the coral reefs has stabilised and fish catches and invertebrate populations have increased. This in turn has reduced the time and effort required for catching fish and increased the income of the fishermen in the local community.

The Kalanguya experience of community-based monitoring and information systems in Tinoc, Ifugao, Philippines

From 2008 to 2010, ecosystems assessments were conducted in Tinoc, Ifugao, using CBD indicators on land use and land use change, land tenure, indigenous languages, traditional occupations and people’s wellbeing (See case study “Summary data on the global headline indicators adopted by the CBD in relation to Target 18”). Community research was carried out in 5 of the 12 barangays or administrative villages of Tinoc: Ahin, Wangwang, Tulludan, Tukucan, and Binablayan. This assessment employed cultural and GIS mapping, workshops, surveys and interviews, as well as secondary data and government rural health clinic records on frequency of childhood illnesses.

When Tebtebba started the work, people were very cautious to speak about their traditional knowledge, owing to long experience of discrimination. Also, research was seen as the work of academics and professionals, and information seldom ended up in the hands of the community. Demystifying research encouraged participation. It was important for people to realise that anyone can be involved in research and the creation of knowledge, and that this is part of everyday life, and can be transmitted through storytelling, songs, rituals and art, and in other ways.

The research project showed that traditional territorial management was vibrant up to the mid 1990s, but with the adoption of chemical-based commercial vegetable production, communities veered away significantly from traditional practices. A new category of land-use and associated technologies appeared in which the land is privately owned and managed outside the customary community rules. This has caused forest degradation and river siltation, drying up of natural springs, exploitation of farmers by the market system, and food insecurity, among other effects1

Traditional monitoring systems still exist, such as the giti, for monitoring irrigation systems and changes in seasons and weather. For example the maturing of the pullet plant signals the time to start land preparation in the irrigated riceland, and the arrival of kiling birds indicates that storms have passed and that it is time to start planting rice. The accuracy of these traditional indicators in the context of climate change needs further study.

The process of participatory action research enabled the Kalanguya people to :

  • Revitalise their indigenous knowledge systems and practices for territorial management;
  • Understand negative impacts arising from their adoption of chemical-based, commercial vegetable farming;
  • Adopt a Community Land Use Plan addressing the problems that were identified.

After more than a year of participatory action research the Kalanguya fully appreciated the wisdom and science of their indigenous knowledge, which embodies sustainable resource use and equitable sharing of resources. The study showed that indigenous territorial management among the Kalanguya is based on land use patterns that manifest man-land-nature and spirit relationships, based on biodiversity, culture and spiritual values.

Communities used the emerging data to draw up action plans which varied from village to village. In the Wangwang community, where data showed that the forest is largely intact, the community’s aim is to upgrade their traditional knowledge and to strengthen customary sustainable use and customary laws. On the other hand in Tukucan the data showed a significant reduction in the coverage of the bel-ew watershed protection forest, from 1108.73 hectares in 1970 to 717.65 hectares in 2009. Much of the forest had been cleared for commercial vegetable farming and the range of foods eaten by the community was less diverse compared to those previously collected from the forests and swidden farms. Here, the aim of the community is to reclaim the watershed area from degradation and privatisation, assist in forest regrowth and shift from chemical-input farming to ecological or sustainable farming. One member of Tukucan concluded:

“For as long as one is willing to work the land, no one will be hungry. But hunger will occur if we deprive man of the land that is the basic means of production”2

A land summit was held to unite the communities around the findings of the community assessment. Policies were developed to protect watershed areas and river systems, and to monitor crop yields. Through this process it was realised that although people spoke the Kalanguya language in family conversations, terms relating to customary laws were no longer widely known.

A unity pact or covenant to arrest environmental degradation and promote peoples’ wellbeing was agreed among community leaders. To realise this covenant, a comprehensive land use plan was formulated with the following goals:

  1. Enhanced ecosystems for increased food sovereignty and community resilience;
  2. Strengthened customary governance for the promotion of traditional values, customary sustainable use and equitable sharing of resources; and
  3. Strengthened people’s advocacy for appropriate development programmes and improved social services

Activities related to awareness-raising, capacity-building, project development, community resource mobilisation, policy advocacy and networking were agreed upon, and indicators were adopted for monitoring progress.

Summary data on the global headline indicators adopted by the CBD in relation to Target 18

Linguistic diversity

The interconnectivity that exists between global biodiversity and cultural diversity3 highlights the importance of preserving indigenous languages. (see Figure 18.2)2 Biodiversity hotspots and high biodiversity areas are home to 70 per cent of all languages on Earth, many of them endemic.3 Indigenous languages contain a wealth of traditional ecological knowledge, including of species unknown to Western science,4 and of practices crucial to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. However data compiled by UNESCO, based on the degree of transmission between generations 5 and used in GBO-4, indicate that at least 43 per cent of languages are in danger of disappearing.

Land-use change and land tenure in territories of IPLCs

Traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use have been evolving over millennia. Their continued evolution can best be secured if they are nurtured, practised and transmitted in the daily lives of IPLCs in their territories and lands. Land-use change and secure land tenure in these territories and lands are therefore critical indicators for the achievement of Target 18. A recent report states that up to
2.5 billion people depend on community-based management systems based on customary tenure rights (see Figure 18.3); of these, some 370 million are indigenous and 1.5 billion are dependent on forests.

Traditional occupations

Traditional occupations are a key source of livelihoods and income for many IPLCs, and also provide multiple biodiversity benefits.6 They are tailored to their natural environments and have been developed over generations as sophisticated knowledge-based practice systems. They encompass a variety of activities such as hunting, fishing, collecting wood and non-timber forest products, agriculture, aquaculture, livestock-keeping, and practising traditional healing and traditional crafts and skills.

Data provided by 17 respondents from 13 countries about their own communities for a recent rapid assessment by Forest Peoples Programme point to a decline in the practice of traditional occupations in half (50 per cent) of the communities, but an increase in other communities (31 per cent) (see Figure 18.4) . In 20 per cent of communities there was significant variance between different occupations: some are declining, others increasing. The data indicate that the role of the government can be decisive in the survival of traditional occupations (for example through promoting them in school curricula and creating supportive legal frameworks and policy environments). Furthermore, certain traditional occupations are negatively affected by the loss or degradation of biodiversity in communities’ territories, or by climate change impacts.7

Integration and safeguarding of traditional knowledge and practices at the national level

The main vehicle for integration of traditional knowledge and practices into national implementation is through IPLCs’ participation in the updating and implementation of NBSAPs and in the compilation of national reports. Information on this has already been given under Target 17 and at the beginning of this target, and shows that levels of participation are poor.

More positively, 35 Parties have established National Focal Points for Article 8(j) and related provisions.8. Among them, Guatemala has set a good precedent by designating both a government representative and an indigenous representative as the national Focal Point.