World Wildlife Day 2021: Learning from indigenous peoples and local communities to restore our relationship with nature

Baiga women collecting leaves. Credit - ephotocorp

Today, the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, the Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network, the Centres of Distinction on Indigenous and Local Knowledge, Forest Peoples Programme and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity are marking World Wildlife Day by publishing the digital version of Local Biodiversity Outlooks 2 (LBO-2) in English, Spanish and French. 

LBO-2 is a landmark piece of collaborative research and analysis that features contributions from over 50 indigenous and local authors and communities. The report highlights the critical roles played by indigenous peoples and local communities in maintaining and enhancing biological and cultural diversity and outlines indigenous and local perspectives on the transformational changes needed in order to realise the vision of a world living in harmony with nature.

“From connectedness to nature comes the drive to safeguard it. From valuing our natural and cultural heritage comes the drive to ensure it is passed on. These are the things we learn in school and at home, from our peers and elders.” 

Josefa Tauli, Global Youth Biodiversity Network

The theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day, Forests and livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet, foregrounds the importance of indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as the challenges they face as a result of insecure tenure, discrimination, climate change, declining biodiversity and the continued expansion of extractive industries. We know, for instance, that

  • At least 50% of the world’s land is collectively managed by indigenous peoples and local communities under customary tenure systems. Only 10% of these lands are legally secured.
  • The lands of indigenous peoples and local communities contain much of the world’s remaining biodiversity, and biodiversity managed by indigenous peoples and local communities is declining less rapidly than in other areas of the world.

As negotiations towards the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework continue, LBO-2 demonstrates that to protect biodiversity at any scale, indigenous peoples and local communities’ own territories and systems of governance must be recognised. 

“Today, as an elder of the Wapichan people, I call on our young leaders to diligently follow the ways of our ancestors in keeping our communities and our precious lands and resources healthy for the future of our people and the world. The earth is our mother so we need to take care of her. Let us make sure that our actions today and visions for tomorrow account for our people, our lands and our resources.  I call on governments to reflect and take into consideration policies and actions that negatively impact and destroy nature. One big step governments can take is give our people title to the land, territories, and resources.” 

Chief Kokoi, Wapichan elder (read the full statement on World Wildlife Day below)

In a series of six key transitions, LBO-2 explores the lessons drawn from the rich cases it contains to outline key changes that we need to see in our economic, financial and production systems, in governance, in land ownership and use, and in how we understand and use knowledge. The lessons drawn out here have much to offer policy makers as renewed commitments to climate change mitigation are being made and our global community confirms how the biodiversity crisis will be met.

Explore the digital report here.

Statement from Chief Kokoi, Wapichan elder, on World Wildlife Day 2021

“It is common knowledge that Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories are the last sanctuaries where pristine forest and healthy fresh waters rich in flora and fauna can still be found. These fragile ecosystems and habitats play an important role in the culture of our Wapichan People. Our traditional lands and territories are under threat like none before through climate change and extractive industries. 

With the understanding of the challenges we face today, we have developed a management plan to help us to maintain this delicate balance of interdependency. The Wapichan people continue to fight for the security of our traditional land and the landscapes within which wildlife needs to thrive. 

This struggle faces many challenges: the lack of political will to resolve Indigenous Peoples’ land issues leaves large tracts of lands insecure and without legal protections. Policies promoting and supporting large scale agro projects and extractive industries on these lands significantly add to the destruction of key ecosystems and habits. They heighten the threat to survival of our people and the wildlife that supports our livelihoods.

Climate change has significantly altered our understanding about nature, our seasons have become confusing. And we see this confusion in the life of our forest, our plants, our fish, our birds and animals. Due to these unfavourable and unpredictable conditions, our wildlife and the environment which they depend on are now under extreme pressure to survive.  

Today, as an elder of the Wapichan people, I call on our young leaders to diligently follow the ways of our ancestors in keeping our communities and our precious lands and resources healthy for the future of our people and the world. The earth is our mother so we need to take care of her. Let us make sure that our actions today and visions for tomorrow account for our people, our lands and our resources.  I call on governments to reflect and take into consideration policies and actions that negatively impact and destroy nature. One big step governments can take is to give our people title to the land, territories, and resources.”

Event: The ways forward – indigenous and local perspectives on our biodiversity crisis

Restoring the woodland. Credit: Verdegaia

This event explored the vital contributions made by indigenous peoples and local communities to the protection of biodiversity.

 

Ahead of the UN Summit on Biodiversity – aimed at accelerating action on biodiversity for sustainable development – this event explored the vital contributions made by indigenous peoples and local communities to the protection of biodiversity.

The event brought together experts from the UN and representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities who discussed new research into these contributions, their importance, and what can be done to support them.

Speaker included:

  • Joji Carino, co-lead author of Local Biodiversity Outlooks 2
  • Debbie Gowensmith, co-founder of Kua’aina Ulu ‘Auamo, Hawaii
  • Miguel Guimaraes, FECONAU, Peru
  • Peter Kitelo, Cheptikale Indigenous Peoples Development Programme, Kenya
  • Tonio Sadik, Assembly of First Nations, Canada
  • John Scott, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Sefa Tauli, Global Youth Biodiversity Network

Watch the event here.

Press release: Islands of nature – the contributions of indigenous and local communities to conserving the world’s biodiversity

  • The world is facing unprecedented challenges from biodiversity loss and climate change, and one million species are at risk of extinction.
  • Some of the world’s most biodiverse areas are found within the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • More than a quarter of the global land area is traditionally owned, managed, used, or occupied by indigenous peoples, and has been for millennia.

Ahead of the UN Biodiversity Summit, more than 50 indigenous and community authors have contributed to a new report, providing their perspectives on what should be done to bend the curve of biodiversity loss and change our direction of travel. This report, the 2nd edition of Local Biodiversity Outlooks (LBO-2), is a landmark collaborative piece of research and analysis, and acts as a sister publication to the 5th edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said:

“LBO-2 embodies an optimism that the destruction of Nature and the dramatic loss of biodiversity and cultural diversity can be successfully reversed, by embracing the values, and building on the collective and local actions of the World’s indigenous peoples and local communities.”

A Fulani family watering seedlings in Mali. Credit: Giacomo Pirozzi.
A Fulani family watering seedlings in Mali. Credit: Giacomo Pirozzi.

The LBO-2 publication assesses progress against all 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets which expressed global ambitions between 2011 and 2020. It finds that the contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities have too often been neglected and marginalised, signifying global underachievement in meeting a majority of these goals.

In a statement, the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity said, “In order to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, we need to bend the curve of inequality and ensure the equitable sharing of benefits and costs. To achieve the vision 2050, there is a need for a paradigm shift in terms of values at the core of society that influence their behaviour for a transformation towards a responsible and sustainable society.”

The authors of this publication argue that future global biodiversity goals must embed the vital role of indigenous peoples and local communities in protecting biological and cultural diversity.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment Report on the state of the world’s biodiversity stated that “nature managed by indigenous peoples and local communities is under increasing pressure…but declining less rapidly than in other areas of the world.”

Increasingly, these ‘islands’ of great biological and cultural diversity found on indigenous and local community lands are being surrounded by declining resilience in vast tracts of the earth. This difference in biodiversity directly corelates with the value systems through which societies view nature.

“Indigenous peoples don’t see nature as separate from people,” said Lakpa Nuri Sherpa of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and member of International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB).

“We interact with nature every day, and we think carefully how we manage our resources – we have spiritual and sacred relationships with our natural resources, which means we must manage our lands in a sustainable way so we can pass it on to the next generation.

“For this reason, we must continue to fight for the rights to our lands, territories and resources – if we don’t have rights, if we are attacked, we cannot protect our forests – they take the resources from our lands, but we care for these lands.

“Without security for our collective land rights, the land can be exploited, nature loses out, and there’s nothing to pass on to the next generation,” he said.

This link to security of tenure is threaded through the findings in LBO-2, highlighting that protecting biodiversity at all scales must embed indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ own territories and systems of governance and management.

The LBO-2 reveals local solutions to the pressing global challenges, developed, implemented and sustained by indigenous peoples and communities.

“Indigenous peoples’ values and knowledge provide insights for reciprocal human-nature relationships amidst the crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change,” said Joji Cariño, (Philippines) of Forest Peoples Programme, representing Centres of Distinction on Indigenous and Local Knowledge and a Member of IIFB.

“Biodiversity needs the voices of indigenous peoples,” she said. “Putting the cultures and rights of IPLCs at the heart of the 2050 biodiversity strategy would deliver sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing, and positive outcomes for biodiversity and climate.”

LBO-2 is released during crucial negotiations towards a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and the findings presented here are of fundamental importance to the outcome of those negotiations. The authors demonstrate through grounded cases that effective conservation and restoration of our natural world happens through a mosaic of locally tested and proven systems of sustainable use. And this contributes to resilience, where locally grounded food systems can provide sustainable and nutritious food for our families and communities in good times and bad times. But support for these solutions is needed.

“In order for the 2050 vision to be successful, the contribution of all sectors must be taken into account,” said Ramiro Batzin, Co-Coordinator of the IIFB. “In our case, it must be in line with indigenous worldviews that place emphasis on the intrinsic relationship between human beings, Mother Nature and the universe, and the essential link that exists between nature and culture.”


Background

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO5), published by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), offers an authoritative overview of the state of nature. It is a final report card on progress against 20 global biodiversity goals agreed to in 2010 with a 2020 deadline, and offers lessons learned for getting on track.

Local Biodiversity Outlooks (LBO-2) presents the perspectives and experiences of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) on the current social-ecological crisis, and their contributions to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and to the renewal of nature and cultures. The first edition (LBO-1) was produced in 2016 as a complement to the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4) and has become a key source of evidence about the actions and contributions of IPLCs towards achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Following up on the publication of the first global assessment of nature and biodiversity in 2019, which suggested that IPLC lands are ‘islands of nature in a sea of decline’, this publication points to the reasons for these slower rates of decline and provides powerful recommendations about how to support these local efforts and to re-think our global relationships with our planet.

The 2nd edition of Local Biodiversity Outlooks also addresses transformation towards a more reciprocal and balanced relationships between humans and nature. Outlining 6 key transitions underpinning such a journey, the report provides concrete and real steps that can be taken towards meeting biodiversity goals and our global commitments on climate change and on sustainable development.


Note to media outlets

Panellists and experts from this session are available for interview. Images are available on request. Please contact: Tom Dixon, Communications Manager, Forest Peoples Programme (tdixon@forestpeoples.org / +44 7876 397915)

We will be holding a full press briefing on LBO-2 on 23 September, where contributing authors and experts will be available for comment: Please register here for the press briefing.

Event: Launch of the 2nd edition of Local Biodiversity Outlooks

The 2nd edition of Local Biodiversity Outlooks, a landmark collaborative piece of research and analysis which acts as a companion publication to the Global Biodiversity Outlook, was launched on September 16th 2020 as part of the Special Virtual Sessions for SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3 organised by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Watch the event here. 

World Environment Day 2020: three lessons from indigenous peoples and local communities on restoring our relationship with nature

World Environment Day is an opportunity to not only celebrate nature, but the peoples and communities who protect and steward it worldwide. Here, three lessons from indigenous and local communities in Colombia, the Day’s host, are highlighted: women’s knowledge is critical for protecting biodiversity; frontline communities’ efforts are defending their human rights and collective territories preventing further losses of biodiversity, and culture and traditional knowledge are vital for sustainable use and ecological restoration.

Read more on Forest Peoples Programme’s website. 

Sign up to be notified when the second edition is published

The second edition of Local Biodiversity Outlooks will be published this year: sign up to be notified when it goes live.

 

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Local Biodiversity Outlooks 2 – peer review now closed

Sorry, peer review is now closed.

 

We welcome your thoughts, comments and review of LBO2.

How to provide feedback:

  1. Download the Local Biodiversity Outlooks 2 (Draft 1):
  2. Download and complete the peer review form:
  3. Once complete, please send form to: biodiversity (at) forestpeoples (dot) org

 

How to fill in the feedback form

Please use the peer review form to submit comments to the ‘Local Biodiversity Outlooks 2 – Draft 1’.

  • Use section 1 (the first box) for general comments on the overall document and/or:
  • use box on the second page for specific comments.
  • send form to: biodiversity (at) forestpeoples (dot) org

Note: Deadline for comments: 6 Jan 2020

 

Local Biodiversity Outlooks: Call for case studies from indigenous peoples and local community organisations

Local Biodiversity Outlooks are an opportunity for all organisations and networks of indigenous peoples’ and local communities (IPLCs) working on biodiversity issues to showcase their work.

Who should contribute? This is a general invitation for sharing and contributing to the Local Biodiversity Outlooks Online. Submissions are welcome from all indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) with examples, stories, case studies, information and data.

Please note: Contributions for LBO-2 are now closed, however we still welcome contributions to LBO online.

What is a case study?

Information can be submitted in any form (audio, PowerPoint, Word/PDF documents, photos, videos, and web links) and in most languages (we can have them translated).  Contributors can indicate which Aichi Biodiversity Targets and/or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate commitments they would like to address with their contribution, or leave it open. For details, and how to submit, see end of document.

About Local Biodiversity Outlooks and Global Biodiversity Outlook

LBO-2 is a joint publication by the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB), the Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network (IWBN), the network of Centres of Distinction on Indigenous and Local Knowledge (COD-ILK) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), with support from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD).

LBO Online is an online version of the publication Local Biodiversity Outlooks. It uses multimedia formats to collate and share cases and stories provided by IPLCs on their contributions to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. It is being developed by IIFB, IWBN, COD-ILK and Forest Peoples Programme.

IPLCs are the main contributors to the publications by sharing their living experiences about protecting, governing and managing their lands, territories and waters. LBO-2 is a complementary publication to the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5), the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity on the current state of biodiversity, and nature’s futures.

Background: The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

The first edition of the LBO (2016) showcased the contributions of IPLCs to the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, to tackle the global biodiversity crisis. It demonstrated IPLCs’ achievements in advancing all the twenty Aichi targets and provided recommendations for actions at the local, national and global levels. With the current strategic plan ending in 2020, a process is underway to develop the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, a new plan that is expected to synergise with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Accord on Climate Change to find integrated solutions to the biodiversity-climate-development challenge.

GBO-5 will be the final assessment of progress towards achieving the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. It will also provide key inputs for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and recommendations for transformative changes required to achieve Vision 2050 of “living in harmony with nature”. LBO-2 will follow a similar structure to GBO-5, complementing it by highlighting the activities and collective actions of indigenous peoples and local communities contributing to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Its findings and key messages will inform the post-2020 global biodiversity framework from the perspective of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Submissions

Submission can be in the form of stories, case studies, reports, videos, songs, poetry and art, as well as additional data and information showing the current state of biological and cultural diversity on IPLCs’ lands and waters. Your contributions on the following themes are critical for the success of this venture:

  • What are your experiences about the inter-linkages between nature and culture on the ground?
  • What are some relevant activities and initiatives undertaken by IPLCs towards achieving biodiversity, climate and sustainable development goals and targets?
  • How are these contributing towards implementation of national commitments and plans (e.g. National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and their mainstreaming in economic, environmental and social policy)?
  • What key actions are recommended to Parties and others arising from these experiences by IPLCs at all levels?

The first draft of LBO-2 aims to be completed by the end of August 2019, with a peer review expected to take place in September 2019. The publication will be launched in May 2020, in conjunction with the GBO-5. It will be available in English, Spanish and French, and the summaries should be available in all the six UN languages.

Each of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the sections on the SDGs, climate change and transformative change is expected to highlight one central case study, which will be complemented with other relevant material on status and trends, brief examples, data and references.

How to submit a case study

LBO Online will host all contributions, both in written and visual formats. All input is therefore welcome and will be used. All published material will require FPIC, intellectual property rights and copyrights from the contributing community(ies), including photo material.

Contributions for LBO-2 are now closed, however we still welcome contributions to LBO online.

Please send your contributions or queries to biodiversity@forestpeoples.org

Hardcopies may be sent to: Forest Peoples Programme, 1c Fosseway Business Centre, Stratford Road, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 9NQ, United Kingdom

Indigenous & local collective action key to addressing biodiversity crisis – Local Biodiversity Outlooks online goes live today

From the Arctic North, to the Pacific Island South, to the Tropical Forests of Latin America, Local Biodiversity Outlooks online highlights how indigenous peoples and local communities are rising to the challenge to counter the effects of some of the most pressing threats to our planet. The outlooks, provided by indigenous peoples and local communities, outline issues they face including deforestation, and pressures on cultures and languages. They also describe solutions including indigenous-led conservation, and community-based monitoring.

Local Biodiversity Outlooks* (LBO) is a key resource for the review of progress in the implementation of the strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020, as referenced in agenda Item 8 of the CBD COP14 draft decisions (see boxed text)

BOX:

“For Target 18, increase efforts in the protection of and respect for traditional knowledge and make use of information contained in the Local Biodiversity Outlooks, inter alia, on the customary sustainable use by indigenous peoples and local communities to contribute to updated reporting on progress in the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets”

This online ‘living’ site will serve to build on the key messages from the current edition of the Outlooks, while making the information much more readily available to governments, media, and the indigenous peoples and local communities who contributed. It shows the cross-cutting contributions of the collective actions to all the 20 Aichi Targets.

The case studies are searchable by their connections with each Aichi Biodiversity Target (both primary target, and other relevant targets), Strategic Goal, by map, or by area of interest (for example, ‘community-based monitoring’ or ‘climate change’).

LBO online enables more detailed case studies including video and audio materials. It allows new case studies and materials to be uploaded in real time, prior to release of the print publication. This format also allows anyone to download materials, for example for use in educational curricula, or as evidence cases for policy briefings.

Finally, LBO online will set the standard for the second round of the Local Biodiversity Outlooks (LBO-2), complementing the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlooks (GBO-5), both due for release in 2020, and serve as a linkage to other related global agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

 

BOX: The Local Biodiversity Outlooks online will be launched at COP14:

·        Date: Saturday 17 November, 13.15 – 14.45

·        Location: M3 – IGOs Room, Building 1

·        Lunch and drinks provided

 

*The Local Biodiversity Outlooks’ key findings include:

  • Collective actions of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) are advancing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and all 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
  • IPLCs’ lands hold much of the world’s biodiversity; supporting their actions can be one of the most effective ways to secure biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
  • Biological and cultural diversity together increase resilience to social, environmental and climate changes.
  • Policy commitments on traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use must be translated into programmes and projects in partnerships with IPLCs.
  • Recognising customary land tenure and traditional occupations, and protecting human rights secure social well-being, and ecosystem and climate benefits.
  • Community-based mapping and monitoring complements wider data and reporting systems and promotes accountability for social, biodiversity, development and climate commitments.

Opening remarks from CBD Executive Secretary, Cristiana Pașca Palmer, highlight the crucial connection of nature and culture

“Nature is not something apart from ourselves. We are a part of nature. As a unique species we have the ability to imagine the future and then create it: the hard part comes when we have to execute our vision.”

Opening remarks at the Pre-COP 14 Meeting from Cristiana Pașca Palmer, CBD Executive Secretary.