Whakatane Mechanism launched at the WPC in Sydney, November 2014

The previous IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) was held in Durban, South Africa in 2003. The historic marginalisation of indigenous peoples and local communities from conservation movements and policies resulted in a difficult push for the recognition of local communities’ rights, indigenous peoples’ contribution to conservation and the need for rights-based conservation approaches. Indigenous peoples and local communities were outside the system pushing to get in. However their efforts were successful and helped lead to the recognition of the “new conservation paradigm”.

Including Indigenous and Local Knowledge in the IPBES

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) informs policy and decision-making on biodiversity and ecosystem services. (It is an equivalent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) under the Climate Change Convention.)  However, IPBES goes beyond just conventional scientific knowledge. IPBES recognises indigenous and local knowledge (and diverse knowledge systems) in its conceptual framework and work programme.