Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council

The Arctic Council is a leader in the inclusion of indigenous peoples in strategic planning for sustainable development. Out of a total of 4 million inhabitants of the Arctic, approximately 500,000 are indigenous. Indigenous peoples’ organisations have been granted Permanent Participants status in the Arctic Council, with full consultation rights in the Council’s negotiations and decisions. The Permanent Participants represent a unique feature of the Arctic Council, making valuable contributions to its activities in all areas. The guiding tenet of the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) is to pursue initiatives that provide practical knowledge and contribute to building the capacity of indigenous peoples and Arctic communities to respond to the challenges, benefits and opportunities in the Arctic region. The SDWG also contributes to Arctic Council priority areas including Arctic human health, Arctic socio-economic issues, Arctic cultures and languages, adaptation to climate change, energy and Arctic communities, and management of natural resources, taking into account issues such as increases in shipping, petroleum activities, fishing and mining as well as external influences such as climate change and variability.

Target 20 – Mobilizing resources from all sources

Aichi-20

Target 20 – Mobilizing resources from all sources

By 2020, at the latest, the mobilization of financial resources for effectively implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 from all sources, and in accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy for Resource Mobilisation, should increase substantially from the current levels. This target will be subject to changes contingent to resources needs assessments to be developed and reported by Parties.

Key message

The collective actions of IPLCs on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are making important contributions towards this target and many IPLCs’ initiatives benefit from existing biodiversity funding sources. However, these sources can be difficult for smaller organisations to access. Increased accessibility of existing sources of finance and a relatively modest increase in total financial resources available for IPLC initiatives would be a cost-effective way to increase progress towards the attainment of all the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Summary of progress towards the target

Primary case studies

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Target 19 – Sharing information and knowledge

Aichi-19

Target 19 – Sharing information and knowledge

By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied.

Key message

Community-based monitoring, data-gathering and information sharing can enrich the monitoring of progress under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. The sharing of new and improved technologies has greatly enhanced local capacities to ground-truth data derived from remote sensing, global and national data sets and provide evidence of community outcomes. In addition, there is increasing recognition that indigenous and local knowledge plays a complementary role to scientific knowledge in broadening knowledge and policy platforms at multiple scales.

Summary of progress towards the target

Other relevant case studies

Target 18 – Traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use

Aichi-18

Target 18 – Traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use

By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and their customary use of biological resources, are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations, and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, at all relevant levels.

Key message

Building on the progress that has been made towards this target will require continued efforts by IPLCs and others to raise awareness of the importance of their traditional knowledge and systems of customary sustainable use, and of their essential role in meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Ensuring recognition of and respect for traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use in the implementation of the Convention will necessitate enhanced policy, legal and institutional support at all levels.

Summary of progress towards the target

Target 17 – Biodiversity strategies and action plans

Aichi-17

Target 17 – Biodiversity strategies and action plans

By 2015, each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.

Key message

The process of developing, updating and/or revising an NBSAP provides Parties with a major opportunity to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity with all relevant stakeholders. IPLCs are essential partners for achieving tangible outcomes at the local and national level and as such should be fully involved in the development, updating and/or revision of NBSAPs. However, the engagement of IPLCs in the NBSAP process is not yet receiving sufficient attention by Parties and needs to be urgently addressed.

Summary of progress towards the target

Case Studies

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Target 16 – Access to and sharing benefits from genetic resources

Aichi-16

Target 16 – Access to and sharing benefits from genetic resources

By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.

Key message

The successful implementation of the Nagoya Protocol can provide opportunities for the recognition of traditional knowledge and the provision of a range of benefits for IPLCs, including fair compensation. However, positive outcomes require full recognition of IPLC rights as well as extensive capacity-building, guidance on free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), education, and provision of financial and legal resources in order to ensure the effective participation of IPLCs. Experiences from early implementation of the Protocol provide important lessons to enhance progress towards meeting this target.

Summary of progress towards the target

Target 15 – Ecosystem restoration and resilience

Aichi-15

Target 15 – Ecosystem restoration and resilience

By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15% of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.

Key message

Through their natural resource management systems, IPLCs have made major contributions towards conserving carbon stocks and increasing socio-ecological resilience of ecosystems to climate change. Traditional knowledge can increase the effectiveness of ecosystem restoration and carbon sequestration. Supporting relevant IPLC initiatives not only contributes to the achievement of this target but can also provide multiple benefits (including livelihood benefits) to communities.

Summary of progress towards the target

Target 14 – Ecosystem services

Aichi-14

Target 14 – Ecosystem services

By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.

Key message

IPLCs understand “ecosystems and habitats that provide essential services” as their customary lands, territories, waters and resources, which provide for their multiple livelihoods and spiritual and cultural needs and also provide ecosystem services not only for themselves but also for others. However, these territories are often exploited unsustainably to capture services and products for others, causing loss and degradation of resources with negative impacts on IPLCs. Progress towards this target will be greatly facilitated if issues related to the customary rights of IPLCs over their lands, waters, and resources are addressed. IPLCs around the world are working to safeguard, conserve and restore their territories and resources, especially through community mapping and development of plans to care for their territories, and greater recognition and support for these efforts will accelerate progress on this target.

Summary of progress towards the target

Target 13 – Safeguarding genetic diversity

Aichi-13

Target 13 – Safeguarding genetic diversity

By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.

Key message

IPLCs, through their traditional agricultural practices and innovations, are helping to maintain the genetic diversity of wild relatives and of species with particular cultural and socio-economic values. In many cases this also provides important lessons for the wider implementation strategies for the protection of genetic diversity. Indigenous women play particularly important roles in the maintenance of genetic diversity, including by making key decisions about which seed varieties to maintain, propagate or discard. Maintenance of crop diversity on farms goes hand in hand with the fostering of livelihoods, benefits, and income generation from microenterprises.

Summary of progress towards the target

Target 12 – Reducing risk of extinction

Aichi-12

Target 12 – Reducing risk of extinction

By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.

Key message

IPLCs’ traditional knowledge, conservation actions and expertise on the status and trends in abundance of threatened species will be invaluable for achieving this target, in particular through the use of community-based monitoring for early identification and signalling of problems or threats. Many threatened species, including emblematic species, have been actively conserved by communities through totem restrictions, hunting/harvest taboos, sacred groves, or use restrictions.

Summary of progress towards the target