2nd August 2019
A young Batwa boy has been shot dead after being found in a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo with his father.
Steps will be made to grow the Whakatane Mechanism into a device that can help redress power imbalances against indigenous peoples, and become a conflict resolution tool that can be available to all for the long-term.
Progress has been made on the issue of recognising the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities where protected areas have been created on their lands.
The value of an innovative mechanism designed to resolve conflicts where indigenous peoples and local communities live in formally-listed protected areas will be explored in a workshop at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s World Conservation Congress next month.
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”.
“We have never conserved. It is the way we live that conserves. These customary bylaws we have had forever, but we have not written them down until now."
With generous assistance from the Rights and Resources Intiative (RRI) and IUCN’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) supported Thai and Kenyan partners to attend the 5th IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC5) from 6-15 September in Jeju, South Korea.
The Whakatane Mechanism, an IUCN “One Programme” initiative in which FPP is deeply involved, aims to ensure that conservation policy and practice respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. The Mechanism includes undertaking a fieldwork assessment in a protected area by a multi-stakeholder taskforce. This taskforce provides recommendations to address human rights violations and facilitates a dialogue in order to reach joint solutions to be put in place by the various parties involved.
A draft Framework for the Whakatane Mechanism has been developed jointly by the IUCN secretariat, IUCN-CEESP, IUCN-SPICEH and FPP with feedback by many others and based on the experience of the two pilot Assessments in Thailand and Kenya. The aim is to circulate it within IUCN for wider feedback in order to agree on a final Framework by the end of the World Conservation Congress in Jeju.
A workshop about the Whakatane Mechanism will be held at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 10th September from 7pm to 9pm (in Room 202 of the Jeju ICC).
Since its inception at the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) ‘Sharing Power’ conference in Whakatane, New Zealand, in January 2011, the Whakatane Mechanism has been piloted in two places: at Mount Elgon in Western Kenya and most recently in the Ob Luang National Park in Northern Thailand.
Update 3rd August 2011
The concept note for pilot Whakatane Assessment has been finalized. You can download it here
As mentioned in Forest Peoples Programme’s February E-Newsletter, a meeting was held at the IUCN CEESP Sharing Power conference in Whakatane, New Zealand, January 2011, between indigenous representatives, the chairs of three IUCN commissions (CEESP, WCPA and SSC) and sub-commissions (TILCEPA and TGER), key staff of the IUCN secretariat (the Director of the Environment and Development Programme and the Senior Adviser on Social Policy), and other staff from IUCN, Conservation International and Forest Peoples Programme.
The main outcome of the meeting and subsequent follow-up discussions was an agreement to implement a series of measures to review the implementation of resolutions related to indigenous peoples adopted at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC4) in 2008 and to advance their implementation should there be a gap.
Over the last 10 years, governments and conservation organisations have made significant commitments at the international level to promote participatory conservation, and uphold the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in protected area policies and activities. But, on the ground, progress to implement these commitments has been very patchy. In many cases, protected areas are still imposed through top-down policies and approaches, leading to the displacement of indigenous peoples, curtailment of their livelihoods and conflict over resources.
Indigenous peoples’ representatives met with Chairs of Commissions of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other conservation organizations, for a high-level dialogue during the Sharing Power conference, in Whakatane, New Zealand, on January 13th, 2011. IUCN agreed to review the implementation of resolutions related to indigenous peoples taken at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC4) in 2008, in Barcelona, Spain, and to advance their implementation. These resolutions, along with the Durban Action Plan and the Programme of Work on Protected Areas of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), are often termed as the “new conservation paradigm”. They are crucial for ensuring that conservation practices respect the rights of indigenous peoples and their full and effective participation in policy and practice. Unfortunately, the actual implementation of these decisions in support of indigenous peoples has been very patchy. The information gathered by the IUCN review processes will feed into its 2013-2016 Programme, to be discussed and adopted in September 2012 in Jeju, Republic of Korea.
Specifically, the meeting participants agreed that IUCN will:
· Reinforce its multi-level process (encompassing international, regional, national and local levels) to assess and advance the implementation of the “new conservation paradigm”. This process would focus on specific WCC4 resolutions relevant to indigenous peoples.
· Implement pilot assessments of protected areas at the local level that should be carried out by teams composed of indigenous peoples, IUCN national and international offices, government officials and other relevant actors. The pilot assessments should specify recommendations to address gaps between the observed practices and the ‘new conservation paradigm’. The findings will be reported in national workshops, which will then explore ways to implement the recommendations from the assessments. The assessments would also bring examples of successful projects and best practices to the international community.
· Carry out a review of the implementation of each of the WCC4 resolutions relevant to indigenous peoples, based on information from commissions and regional and global thematic programmes. This review will identify gaps and make recommendations to address them, which will be included in IUCN’s 2013-2016 Programme.
· Submit reports on these matters to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the CBD.
· Spread awareness of WCC4 resolutions on indigenous peoples to all national IUCN offices.
· Improve the coordination between regional and national IUCN offices and indigenous peoples’ organizations.