The CBD COP 7 and related conferences/meetings, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 6-20 February, 2004

The CBD COP 7 and related conferences/meetings, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 6-20 February, 2004

 

Report on Protected Areas

Contents

PART I:    SUMMARY REPORT

1     Key issues at CBD COP 7

2     Key Achievements

3     Evaluation of COP 7 outcomes on Protected Areas

4     Review of IIFB effectiveness at COP 7

5     Remaining problems and potential risks

 

PART II:   COP 7 NEGOTIATIONS ON PROTECTED AREAS

1     The Programme of Work

2     Approving the Goals

3     Approving the Targets

4     Approving the suggested activities of the Parties and the Executive Secretary

5     Approving the introduction and purpose and scope of the PoW

6     The Decision on Protected Areas

7     A brief reflection on the outcome of the negotiations

 

Table 1:   A Summary Analysis of IIFB Objectives and Outcomes at COP 7 in relation to Protected Areas

 

PART I:      SUMMARY REPORT

1        Key issues at CBD COP 7

The seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place from 9-20 February 2004, at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. COP 7 was attended by over 2,300 participants, including representatives of 161 governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), indigenous and local communities, academia and industry. One of COP 7’s main challenges was to respond with concrete measures to the outcomes of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), including the target of significantly reducing biodiversity loss by 2010 and to address poverty and equity in its further development and implementation. Thirty-three decisions were adopted at COP 7. [1]

COP 7 decisions most relevant to IIFB were: protected areas (PAs); Article 8(j); sustainable use; access and benefit-sharing (ABS); biodiversity and tourism; the Strategic Plan; monitoring and indicators; the ecosystem approach; mountain biodiversity; inland water ecosystems; marine and coastal biodiversity; technology transfer and cooperation; incentive measures; biodiversity and climate change; the Convention’s work programme and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW); communication, education and public awareness (CEPA); and national reporting. A Ministerial Segment convened on Wednesday and Thursday, 18-19 February, and adopted the Kuala Lumpur Ministerial Declaration. Overall this declaration was extremely brief and weak. It does, however:

Reaffirm the significant role of indigenous and local communities in the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. [2]

Part I of this IIFB report summarises the inputs and outcomes in relation to protected areas at COP 7. Part II provides a more detailed account of the negotiations and the positions of different governments.

1.1     Strong and informed indigenous participation:

The indigenous caucus headed by the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) was very active at COP 7 and covered almost all agenda items of possible interest to indigenous peoples, including protected areas, marine and coastal ecosystems, inland waters, forest biological diversity, follow-up to WSSD, monitoring and indicators and the controversial discussions on an international regime on Access and Benefit Sharing. About 120 indigenous representatives and campaigners took part in the caucus and preparations for the IIFB attendance included a three-day meeting held in Sabah, where strategy and substantive issues were discussed and (some) positions agreed. The IIFB also held and orientation meeting on Day 1 of the COP to help inform newcomers to the CBD.

1.2     IIFB working group on protected areas:

At the Sabah Prep meeting, and on arrival in Kuala Lumpur, the IIFB formed working groups on the specific agenda items up for negotiation at COP 7. The working group on protected areas met several times in the evening and at lunchtimes throughout the COP and made regular presentations on progress and obstacles to the IIFB caucus meetings each day. The 25 members of the working group on Protected Areas were as follows: Jannie Lasimbang (spokesperson), Tom Griffiths (facilitator and co-chair), Vic Saway, Emuang, Fergus MacKay, Om, Sakda Saenmi, Anna, Ned, Sille, Mary, Susan N, Alfred (co-chair), Hok Sochanda, Kapupu, Irma, Nousi, Aroha Mead, Sinafasi, Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe, Florina Lopez, Hofni Rumbak, Colette, Malina and Maurizio.

1.3     Open and effective participation is key:

Crucial to indigenous gains at COP 7 was the relatively open chairing of contact groups that enabled numerous indigenous interventions speaking to text AND indigenous participation in the “Friends of the Chair” meetings held to resolve major stumbling blocks. When Jannie Lasimbang of AIPP and IIFB finally got acceptance on the rights language in the decision on protected areas (after having battled, but lost the additional and more specific language on free prior and informed consent (FPIC) and territorial rights), most governments cheered and applauded her determination in the negotiations. Several governments and the EU commended the lobbying work of the indigenous caucus.

1.4     IIFB Priorities at COP 7:

It was agreed at the Prep meeting in Sabah that the indigenous caucus should push for meaningful language on indigenous peoples’ rights in the COP decision on protected areas. Inputs to the work programme would aim to consolidate gains made under the “new paradigm” for protected areas agreed in 2003 at the World Parks Congress held in Durban, where consensus urging governmental commitment to secure the participation of indigenous peoples in establishing and managing protected areas, and ensure their participation in decision-making on a fair and equitable basis in full respect of their human and social rights. To this end, the IIFB developed draft text for both the decision and the work programme proposing:

§      Re-insertion of language welcoming the outcomes of the Vth World Parks Congress;

§      Respect for indigenous peoples’ rights in PA planning and management;

§      Recognition of Free prior and informed consent for the establishment of new Pas;

§      Recognition and respect for indigenous peoples’ land and territorial rights;

§      Respect for marine tenure and tenure issues in relation to coastal and inland waters;

§      Restitution of lands taken without consent as a result of past Protected Areas;

§      Need for impact evaluation to avoid, mitigate and reduce negative social impacts;

§      Protection from forced resettlement in connection with protected areas;

§      Respect and protection for sacred sites;

§      Guarantees that Protected Areas in no case exacerbate poverty;

§      Recognition and support for indigenous and community conserved areas;

§      Establishment of an Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas;

§      Adoption of special measures to implement article 10(c) of the Convention;

§      Counter-balancing ecological targets with social and human rights targets;

§      Monitoring and indicators to measuring equity, rights and governance aspects of Pas;

§      Application of Draft Akwé: Kon Guidelines on cultural, environmental and social impact assessment for protected area projects;

§     Integrated implementation of the CBD PA work programme, including cross-cutting implementation of programme element 2.0 on Equity, governance and benefit sharing;

§      Indigenous peoples, where they so consent, shall be considered legitimate partners in all aspects of the programme of work;

§      New COP guidance to the GEF on social and rights issues.

1.5     COP 7 Outcomes on Protected Areas:

Most minimum positions were achieved by the end of COP 7 (see Table 1 below), though the negotiations were hard and dragged on well in to the second week and the final document was only adopted on the last day of the COP. Indigenous rights issues were not a major issue of contention for many governments, though most governments were from the start openly opposed to FPIC for indigenous and local communities (see below, point 3). The main political stumbling block was the EU insistence on “ecological networks” and a “global system” of protected areas, which GRULAC and others feared meant further EU subsidies for agriculture outside PAs in the wider landscape (hence related to the key issues that caused the Cancun WTO talks to fail in 2003) and further funds to international agencies. In the end impasses were overcome by new language on funds for developing countries and footnotes pointing out that ecological networks and corridors may not be appropriate to all Parties. Language also made clear that such networks would not apply to the wider landscape as a whole, just those elements key to sustaining protected areas ... The language on a global PA system was largely dropped.

2        Key Achievements

2.1     The decision on protected areas notes the need to respect the rights of indigenous peoples

The decision of the Parties in relation to protected areas acknowledges ("notes") that full respect for the RIGHTS of indigenous and local communities is a key issue in relation to protected area planning, establishment and management. As far as we know, this is the first time the issue of rights in an open-ended and general sense has been included in a CBD decision – although indigenous peoples’ rights have been acknowledged in a restricted sense in relation to traditional knowledge and Article 8(j). Canada and New Zealand tried hard at COP 7 to sustain this confined understanding of rights under the CBD, but did not succeed in limiting the scope of the decision. This is a major step forward and represents a useful starting platform for future elaboration of language on rights under CBD intersessionals and next COPs, and discussions on monitoring indicators and independent reports on implementation of the CBD decision and work programme. The actual text in the decision reads as follows:

23. “Recalls the obligations of the Parties towards indigenous and local communities in accordance with article 8(j) and related provisions and notes that the establishment, management and planning of protected areas should take place with the full and effective participation of, and full respect for the rights of, indigenous and local communities consistent with national law and applicable international obligations;


2.2     The decision welcomes the outcomes of the 5th World Parks Congress

This point is significant as this had been deleted in the draft decisions put before the COP prior to Kuala Lumpur. In other words, some governments had opposed explicit recognition of the WPC outcomes. The text was put back in to the decision, curiously, after Canada asked very late in the negotiations (on 18th February) that it be reinserted. The IIFB had recommended its reinsertion since the beginning of the COP.

2.3     Useful Goals and targets are contained in the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas

Intense lobbying by the indigenous caucus succeeded in getting a useful target under Goal 2.2 of the programme of work, and this target informed both the final activities and the final decision as noted in 1) above. Specifically, the suggested target for Parties in the Programme of work is as follows:

Goal 2.2 To enhance and secure involvement of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders

Target: Full and effective participation by 2008, of indigenous and local communities, in full respect of their rights and recognition of their responsibilities, consistent with national law and applicable international obligations, and the participation of relevant stakeholders, in the management of existing, and the establishment of new, protected areas.

2.4     Some useful suggested activities agreed for the Parties under the Programme of work (PoW)

A number of progressive and potentially useful suggested activities are contained in the PoW. Some activities that may be used by indigenous peoples in their own countries to press governments to respect their rights in protected area planning and management include (but are not limited to) recommendations to Parties to:

q     By 2006, conduct participatory national reviews of existing and potential forms of conservation … including innovative types of governance for Pas … including indigenous and local community conserved areas. [activity 1.1.4]

q     Encourage the establishment of PAs that benefit indigenous and local communities and respect, preserve, and maintain their traditional knowledge in accordance with article 8(j) and related provisions [activity 1.1.7]

q     Create a highly participatory process, involving indigenous and local communities ... as part of site-based planning in accordance with the ecosystem approach ... to develop effective planning processes [activity 1.4.1]

q     Assess key threats to protected areas and develop and implement strategies to prevent and/or mitigate such threats [activity 1.5.5]

q     Assess social and economic costs, benefits and impacts of PAs and “adjust policies to avoid and mitigate such negative impacts” [activity 2.1.1]

q     Recognise and promote a broad set of governance types, including areas conserved by indigenous and local communities ... [2.1.2]

q     Undertake participatory legal and policy reforms to enable legal recognition of indigenous and local community conserved areas [2.1.3]

q     Use protected area benefits for poverty reduction [2.1.4]

q     Engage indigenous and local communities in participatory planning, recalling the principles of the ecosystem approach [2.1.5]

q     Carry out participatory national reviews of the status and needs for involving stakeholders, ensuring gender and social equity in PA policy and management [2.2.1]

q     Implement plans to effectively involve indigenous and local communities, with respect for their rights consistent with national legislation and applicable international obligations, at all levels of PA planning, establishment, governance and management [2.2.2]

q     Promote an enabling environment (legislation, policies, capacities, and resources) for the involvement of indigenous and local communities in decision making ... [2.2.4]

q     Ensure that any resettlement of indigenous and local communities as a consequence of the establishment or management of PAs will only take place with their prior informed consent that may be given according to national legislation and applicable international obligations” [activity 2.2.5]

q     Make available to Parties case studies and advice on best practice [2.2.6]

q     Establish positive incentives that support the involvement of indigenous and local communities in conservation [3.1.6]

q     “Encourage the use of appropriate technology, including technologies of indigenous and local communities (consistent with Article 8(j)) ... for habitat restoration, resource mapping, biological inventory ... monitoring, in situ/ex-situ conservation, sustainable use etc ... ” [3.3.3]

2.5     Proposals for national standards on protected areas are included in the work programme

Key opportunities for follow-up to the 5th WPC are found in Programme Element 4 of the Programme of Work, which suggests that Parties develop minimum standards for protected area systems. Should governments develop such standards, indigenous peoples’ organisations may engage in standard-setting processes to advocate the inclusion of social, equity and rights-based standards in any norms or guidelines developed at the national or regional level. In the same way, Programme element 4.0 suggests that Parties develop and adopt a monitoring system to assess progress in implementation of the Programme of Work. Again, indigenous organisations may well wish to engage in participate in this process at the national level to ensure social and human rights indicators are included in the formulation of criteria and indicators. Specifically, the relevant goal and target are as follows:

Goal 4.1: To develop and adopt minimum standards and best practices for national and regional protected area systems

Target: By 2008, standards, criteria and best practices for planning, selecting, establishing, managing and governance of national and regional systems of protected areas developed and adopted.

          Suggested activities:

q     Parties should collaborate with the IUCN and other relevant organisations on the development of voluntary protected area standards;

q     Develop and implement and efficient, long term monitoring system of the outcomes being achieved through protected areas in relation to the goals and targets of the work programme (i.e., indicators should enable assessment in achieving goals and targets under programme element 2.0). 

2.6     Social goals and targets must be implemented across the whole work programme

Crucially, indigenous interventions ensured that the Scope and Purpose of the Programme of Work establishes that: “The programme of work consists of four interlinked elements intended to be mutually reinforcing and cross-cutting in their implementation.” This makes it clear that Parties may not simply pick and choose from the core elements, targets and goals (though the programme does make clear they may pick and choose from suggested activities). Hopefully this should prevent Parties implementing any one activity without due consideration of the social and equity goals and targets under Element 2.0 of the Work Programme.

3        Evaluation of COP 7 outcomes on Protected Areas

As expected, not all demands were achieved at COP 7 [see more detailed account of negotiations in Part II]. The most significant gap in outcomes is the absence of any recognition of the right of indigenous peoples to free prior and informed consent (FPIC) in relation to the establishment of new protected areas affecting their traditional territories. FPIC was opposed by both Northern and Southern government delegations, including Sweden, UK, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, among others. Intense advocacy by the IIFB pressed on the FPIC issue until the penultimate day of negotiations. As a result, the text on FPIC remained bracketed in the Decision right up until 19 February – thanks mainly to the Brazilian and Colombian government delegations, who rejected attempts by New Zealand and others to delete FPIC language throughout the two weeks.

On the positive side, it is very significant that governments agreed on PIC (prior and informed consent) in relation to resettlement, which is a major significant victory for indigenous peoples. Specific language on land tenure, territorial rights, sacred sites, land restitution and guarantees on the prevention of poverty were not included in the COP 7 decision, nor in the programme of work. IIFB members realised from the outset that specific strong language stemming from the Vth WPC was unlikely to be agreed by the Parties. The IIFB nevertheless pushed for these elements until the last possible point in the negotiations. The analysis of IIFB objectives and actual results can be summarised as follows:

Table 1:      A Summary Analysis of IIFB Objectives and Outcomes at COP 7 in relation to Protected Areas

IIFB objective at COP 7

Achieved (4)/ Not achieved (8)

1. Respect for indigenous peoples’ rights

4

2. Re-insertion of language welcoming the outcomes of the Vth World Parks Congress

4

3. Recognition of Free prior and informed consent for the establishment of new Protected Areas

8

4. Need for impact evaluation to avoid, mitigate and reduce negative social impacts

4

5. Specific recognition and respect of land and territorial rights

8

6. Respect for marine tenure and tenure rights in coastal and inland waters

8

7. Restitution of lands lost without consent as a result of past Protected Areas

8

8. Protection from forced resettlement in connection with protected areas

4

9. Respect and protection for sacred sites

8

10. Guarantees that Protected Areas in no case exacerbate poverty

8/4 - no guarantees, but emphasis on need to reduce poverty and implement MDGs – activities 1.1.8, 1.4.10 and 2.1.4

11. Recognition and support for indigenous and community conserved areas

4

12. Ad Hoc Open ended working group on Protected Areas

4

13. Adoption of special measures to implement article 10c of the Convention in relation to Protected Areas

8 [only as a safeguard in activity 1.5.6]

14. Counter-balancing ecological targets with social and human rights targets

4

15. Monitoring to measure equity, rights and governance

4 [suggested in PoW]

16. Explicit support for application in all protected area projects of Draft Akwé: Kon Guidelines on cultural, environmental and social impact assessment

8 [but will be an obvious choice when impact evaluation is considered – see 4. above]

17. Integrated implementation of the CBD PA work programme, including cross-cutting implementation of programme element 2.0 on Equity, governance and benefit sharing

4

18. Indigenous peoples, where they so consent, shall be considered potential partners in all aspects of the work programme

4

[listed as potential partner]

19. New COP 7 guidance to the GEF on social and rights issues

8


4        Review of IIFB effectiveness at COP 7

The IIFB showed efficiency in its work with governments in COP 7 and in its work with the press and media. Notable IIFB achievements in relation to protected areas and other topics before and during COP 7 included:

q       Timely dialogue with supportive governments (e.g., EU) prior to COP 7 in January 2004;

q       Publicising Indigenous peoples’ positions in relation to the CBD and protected areas prior to COP 7 through the Bulletin of the Canadian Indigenous Peoples Biodiversity Network (IBIN) and in the publications of key NGO allies, including Eco and Forest Cover;

q       Effective communication of key issues to friendly NGOs and incorporation of these issues into NGO statements to the COP (Joint NGO Opening Statement, Joint NGO Statement on Protected Areas, Friends of the Earth, WRM, Forest Peoples Programme and Oil Watch Statement on Protected Areas);

q       Adoption of some key indigenous issues in public statements made to COP by major conservation NGOs: CI, Nature Conservancy, Birdlife, WWF, WCS, WRI and Fauna and Flora International and Greenpeace, including affirmation that protected areas should be planned, established, and managed with the prior informed consent and in full compliance with the rights of indigenous peoples (see joint Conservation NGO statement to COP 7).

q       Priority indigenous issues arising at Sabah prep meeting communicated directly to NGOs in Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF) and NGO Forum prior to COP 7;

q       Regular written position papers and suggested IIFB text circulated to friendly government delegations on a daily basis (from the start of negotiations until the very end);

q       Regular and well-informed press releases, press conferences and interviews given to the media. This resulted in several newspaper articles, including one in the New Straits Times on 12 Feb, 2004 titled “Rights of indigenous people and communities must be protected’;

q       Numerous face-to-face meetings with supportive governments and officials including (i) Brazilian Environment Minister (ii) Entire Swedish delegation (iii) German Minister (iv) EU delegation (v) European Environment Commissioner (vi) individual government delegation members (Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile) (vi) Malaysian government delegation;

5        Remaining problems and potential risks:

There are some elements in the CBD decision and programme of work (support for private protected areas etc) that pose a potential risk to indigenous peoples if the decision and suggested activities are not implemented in a balanced manner that in all cases takes account of equity, rights and governance concerns. The main concerns are:

§      The decision and PoW promote the expansion of PAs at all levels, especially in coastal and marine areas. There is a need to ensure that programme element 2 on governance, equity and participation becomes fully integrated in any such expansion in order to safeguard the rights and interests of indigenous and local communities and their full and effective participation in conservation policy and practice. Without intensive and sustained capacity building and strengthening activities of local organisations there is a risk that such safeguards might not be implemented.

§      The decision and work programme stress the need for law enforcement to counter “illegal extraction” in protected areas, which could in some countries back fire on indigenous and local communities whose customary uses are classified as “illegal” (paragraph 22 in the Decision).

§      The work programme promotes commodification of ecosystem services and incentives and recognition of private protected areas.

With regard to these concerns, it will be essential for indigenous organisations to hold governments and international agencies to account where they seek to accelerate the expansion of protected areas in land, coastal and marine environments without taking measure to properly respect the rights of affected indigenous communities. 

PART II:     COP 7 NEGOTIATIONS ON PROTECTED AREAS 

After plenary discussions on February 10th and 11th, more than 70 hours of contact group negotiations were needed to finalise the decision on PAs (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.32). Several delegates called for participatory PA management and decision making, especially in reference to indigenous and local communities. The IIFB stood firm arguing that PA activities on indigenous territories must comply with prior informed consent (PIC) requirements.

The Chair of the PA contact group approached the document prepared by SBSTTA-9 (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/15) by dealing with the PoW first, followed by the decision. The PoW was addressed horizontally, by discussing and approving the components of the four programme elements in the following sequence: goals, targets and activities. After the programme elements were approved, the Introduction and Overall Purpose and Scope of the PoW, were addressed. Although it may seem awkward, the same logic is followed in this report in order to reflect how the negotiations proceeded.

1        The Programme of Work

The four elements of the PoW consisted of the following:

1.1     Direct action for planning, selecting, establishing, strengthening, and managing protected area systems and sites. This element has 5 Goals with related Targets and suggested activities. The goals are to:

-       establish and strengthen national and regional PA systems integrated into a global network;

-       integrate PAs into broader land- and seascapes and sectors;

-       establish and strengthen regional networks, transboundary PAs and collaboration between neighboring PAs across national boundaries;

-       substantially improve site-based PA planning and management;

-       prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of key threats to PAs.

1.2     Governance, participation, equity and benefit sharing, with 2 Goals and related Targets and Activities. The goals are to:

-       promote equity and benefit-sharing;

-       enhance and secure involvement of communities and relevant stakeholders.

1.3     Enabling activities, with 5 Goals and related Targets and Activities. The goals are to:

-       provide an enabling policy, institutional and socioeconomic environment for PAs;

-       build capacity for the planning, establishment and management of PAs;

-       develop, apply and transfer appropriate technologies for PAs;

-       ensure financial sustainability of PAs and national and regional systems of PAs;

-       strengthen CEPA.

1.4     Standards, assessment, and monitoring, with 4 Goals and related Targets and Activities. The goals are to:

-       develop and adopt minimum standards and best practices for national and regional PA systems;

-       evaluate and improve the effectiveness of PA management;

-       assess and monitor PA status and trends;

-       ensure that scientific knowledge contributes to the establishment and effectiveness of PAs and PA systems.

2        Approving the Goals

Regarding the goals, delegates approved all the goals as presented in the draft prepared by SBSTTA-9 but a long discussion ensued on goal 2.1concerning whether indigenous and local communities’ involvement in PA establishment and management should be “encouraged” or “enhanced and secured’. Malaysia objected repeatedly to the original text that used the words “Enhance and secure” arguing that participatory approaches were difficult to implement in the country and could therefore not be secured. Malaysia, however, remained isolated in her position and eventually accepted the following language:

Goal 2.2 To enhance and secure involvement of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders


3        Approving the Targets

Concerning the targets, several Friends of the Chair groups were established to reach compromise on: respect for the rights of indigenous and local communities consistent with national law and applicable international obligations (Target 2.2); securing resources to meet PA costs; establishing monitoring systems at various levels by 2010; and to consider definitions regarding a “global PA network” and “ecological networks’. The most significant achievement for indigenous and local communities was the target under Goal 2.2, which reads:

Target: Full and effective participation by 2008, of indigenous and local communities, in full respect of their rights and recognition of their responsibilities, consistent with national law and applicable international obligations, and the participation of relevant stakeholders, in the management of existing, and the establishment of new, protected areas.

As with the text on Goal 2.2, it took a lengthy discussion to agree to the text for the target, as some governments would only accept the recognition of rights if coupled with responsibilities and consistency with national laws (especially Malaysia would not accept language without reference to national legislation). The compromise was reached by reference to national legislation and applicable international obligations. The recognition of rights in the target was considered a significant achievement as it made it easier for language on rights to be accepted in the text of the decision on PAs.

4        Approving the suggested activities of the Parties and the Executive Secretary

Programme element 2.2 continued to be the one requiring most attention and negotiating skills by indigenous delegates. While other elements were given ample time for debates, the speed at which several paragraphs related to activities under element 2 (especially 2.2) were dealt with, rapidly increased. The activity related to PIC in the establishment and management of PAs (2.2.3 in the draft) was contested by Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand and as soon as a party suggested for its deletion (Australia or Canada), the paragraph disappeared, leaving no time for reaction. A major discussion ensued soon after concerning the paragraph on PIC and resettlement and a Friends of the Chair group was set up to discuss that matter. Malaysia again would not accept any language without reference to national legislation. The final text reads:

2.2.5            Ensure that any resettlement of indigenous communities as a consequence of the establishment or management of protected areas will only take place with their prior informed consent that may be given according to national legislation and applicable international obligations.  

Other important suggested activities for the Parties under the Programme of Work (PoW) that were influenced by indigenous peoples representatives and supporting NGOs that are particularly relevant to indigenous and local communities include:

§      Assess the economic and socio-cultural costs, benefits and impacts … of PAs … and adjust policies to avoid and mitigate such negative impacts, and where appropriate compensate costs and equitably share benefits … (2.1.1)

§      Recognise and promote a broad set of protected area governance types,… including areas conserved by indigenous and local communities ... (2.1.2)

§      Establish policies and institutional mechanisms … to facilitate the legal recognition and effective management of indigenous and local community conserved areas …(2.1.3)

§      Use social and economic benefits generated by PAs for poverty reduction … (2.1.4)

§      Engage indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders in participatory planning and governance, recalling the principles of the ecosystem approach (2.1.5).

§      Carry out participatory national reviews of the status and needs.. for involving stakeholders, ensuring gender and social equity, in PA policy and management…(2.2.1)

§      Implement plans and initiatives to effectively involve indigenous and local communities, with respect for their rights consistent with national legislation and applicable international obligations, ... at all levels of PA planning, establishment, governance and management … (2.2.2)

§      Promote an enabling environment (legislation, policies, capacities and resources) for the involvement of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders in decision making … (2.2.4)

§      Make available to Parties case studies, advice on best practices and other sources of information on stakeholder participation in PAs (2.2.6).

Other useful language that is particularly relevant to indigenous and local communities in other programme elements include the following:

§      By 2006, conduct, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders, national reviews of existing and potential forms of conservation … including innovative types of governance for PAs…including co-managed PAs … and indigenous and local community conserved areas. (1.1.4)

§      Encourage the establishment of PAs that benefit indigenous and local communities and respect, preserve, and maintain their traditional knowledge in accordance with article 8(j) and related provisions. (1.1.7)

§      Identify options for quantitative and qualitative PAs targets and indicators … that could contribute to the 2010 target and the Millennium Development Goals. (1.1.8)

§      Compile and disseminate … case studies of best practices and other reports regarding the application of the ecosystem approach in relation to PAs at the international, regional, national and sub-national levels. (1.2.7)

§      Create a highly participatory process, involving indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders, as part of site-based planning in accordance with the ecosystem approach … (1.4.1).

§      Disseminate information on successful management models of PAs which serve to further the three objectives of the Convention and may also contribute to poverty reduction and the pursuit of sustainable development. (1.4.10)

§      Identify and establish positive incentives that support the integrity and maintenance of PAs and involvement of indigenous and local communities … in conservation (3.1.6)

§      Establish effective mechanisms to document existing knowledge and experiences on PAs management, including traditional knowledge in accordance with Article 8(j) and Related Provisions … (3.2.2)

§      Encourage development and use of appropriate technology, including technologies of

§      indigenous and local communities with their participation, approval and involvement in accordance with Article 8(j) and Related Provisions, for habitat rehabilitation and restoration, resource mapping, biological inventory, and rapid assessment of biodiversity, monitoring, in situ and ex-situ conservation, sustainable use etc. (3.3.3)

§      Collaborate with other Parties and relevant organizations, particularly the IUCN, on the development, testing, review and promotion of voluntary PAs standards and best practices on planning and management, governance and participation. (4.1.1)

§      Develop and implement an efficient, long term monitoring system of the outcomes being achieved through PA systems in relation to the goals and targets of this work programme. (4.1.2)

§      Encourage collaborative research between scientists and indigenous and local communities in accordance with Article 8(j) in connection with the establishment and the effective management of PAs (4.4.4).

5        Approving the introduction and purpose and scope of the PoW

The approval of the Introduction and Purpose and Scope of the PoW was relatively smooth. A major concern of the IIFB was that programme element 2 on governance, equity and participation must be implemented across the whole work programme. In this regard, indigenous interventions ensured that paragraph 7 of the PoW (in the Scope and Purpose section) establishes that:

The programme of work consists of four interlinked elements intended to be mutually reinforcing and cross-cutting in their implementation …

This makes it clear that Parties may not simply pick and choose from the core elements, targets and goals (though the programme does make clear they may pick and choose from suggested activities). Hopefully this should prevent Parties implementing any one activity without due consideration of the social and equity goals and targets.

6        The Decision on Protected Areas

The Decision of the Parties on PAs is composed of 37 points. The main thrust of the decision is towards:

·         recognizing that the work programme should be implemented in the context of nationally determined priorities, capacities and needs;

·         emphasizing: the need for capacity building in developing countries; and that the targets included in the work programme provide a framework within which national and/or regional targets may be developed;  

·         calling Parties to integrate PA objectives into their development strategies;

·         inviting Parties to consider options, such as ecological networks, ecological corridors, buffer zones and other approaches;

·         requesting the GEF to support the implementation of the work programme through various specific actions;

·         underlining the importance to conserve biodiversity not only within but also outside PAs.

Regarding the overall objective of the programme of work, the COP adopted the annexed work programme with the objective of establishing and maintaining by 2010 for terrestrial areas, and by 2012 for marine areas, effectively managed and ecologically representative national and regional PA systems that contribute, through a global network, to achieving the three objectives of the Convention and the 2010 target. A definition of global network (which was highly debated) is footnoted.

Of critical importance to indigenous and local communities, in point 23, the COP:

Recalls the obligations of Parties towards indigenous and local communities in accordance with Article 8(j) and related provisions and notes that the establishment, management and monitoring of protected areas should take place with the full and effective participation of, and full respect for the rights of, indigenous and local communities consistent with national law and applicable international obligations.

The SBSTTA original paragraph included a bracketed sentence mentioning land tenure and territorial rights, but that was not accepted. The rationale given by some delegates was that those references were already covered by the mentioning of ‘full respect for the rights of”…

As far as we know, this is the first time the issue of rights has been included in a CBD decision other than in strict relation to traditional knowledge and article 8(j). The introduction of “rights” is not conditioned by a particular provision of the Convention or tied to one aspect of rights (e.g., rights tied to knowledge, but not physical resources). Rather, the concept of “rights” is included in the CBD decision in a general sense. This could represent a major step forward in introducing rights-based approaches into the CBD and an important opening for future elaboration of rights language under CBD intersessional meetings, discussion of monitoring indicators, and independent reports on implementation of the CBD decisions and work programme.

Another paragraph that the IIFB wanted in the decision was that acknowledging the outcomes of the 5th World Parks Congress. The reference to the WPC was deleted during SBSTTA but the text was put back in to the decision, curiously, after Canada asked very late in the negotiations (on 18th February) that it be reinserted. The IIFB had recommended its reinsertion since the beginning of the COP. Paragraph 3 reads:

Also welcomes the output of the Vth World Parks Congress, in particular the message from the Congress to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and its contribution to the programme of work on protected areas.

In terms of future CBD work on the PoW, the COP decided to establish an ad hoc open-ended working group on PAs to support and review implementation of the programme of work and report to the COP. The COP also requested the Executive Secretary to make arrangements to hold at least one meeting of the ad hoc open-ended working group before COP8. In the final plenary, Italy and Guatemala offered to host the first and second meeting of the working group, respectively. The COP further decided to assess progress in the implementation of the work programme at each COP meeting until 2010.

7        A brief reflection on the outcome of the negotiations

The outcome of the work carried out on the decision and PoW on PAs can be considered positive. The deletion of the paragraph on PIC in relation to the establishment and management of PAs and the loss of language on land tenure and territorial rights in paragraph 23 of the Decision were a loss to indigenous and local communities, but the recognition and respect of the rights of indigenous and local communities in general represents a major achievement. The inclusion of a consensus recommendation that no resettlement should take place in connection with protected areas without the free prior and informed consent of affected indigenous peoples and local communities constitutes another groundbreaking achievement at the CBD.

It will be critical for the indigenous movement at the local, national and international levels to monitor the implementation of the CBD PoW to ensure that its implementation reflects commitments on indigenous peoples’ rights adopted at COP 7.