Case Studies and Synthesis Paper
Article 10(c) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) states that Parties shall: (...) protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements.
Some years ago, Parties to the Convention requested practical information about, and examples of, sustainable use of biological diversity by indigenous and local communities, and asked for advice on how best to implement this article (see Decision V/24 and Decision VII/12). In response to this request, indigenous peoples, local communities, and support organisations from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Guyana, Suriname, Thailand and Venezuela set up a project to produce case studies in which they documented sustainable customary use within their communities.
This complemented an existing desire to create a written record of their traditional practices, which until then had largely relied on oral transmission from one generation to the next. The project therefore enabled this knowledge to be documented and safeguarded, and demonstrated to others how these forest peoples use their lands and resources.
The case studies provide insights into the sophistication of local management systems, in particular the customary law systems, which guide the wise use of biological resources. The communities also describe the threats which their customary management systems are facing and identify obstacles to effective implementation of Article 10(c) in these countries.
In addition, a synthesis paper was produced, which collates and summarizes the country case studies. This synthesis explores the themes that are common to the case studies, and the communities jointly present their recommendations to improve implementation of Article 10(c) at the national and local levels. They also share various initiatives that they are taking themselves to support and accelerate this process. The synthesis paper and all the case studies can be downloaded using the links on the right of this page.