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