Forest Peoples Programme Supporting forest peoples’ rights

International processes

International biodiversity, environment, or conservation policies, whether binding or intentional, are very relevant for indigenous peoples as they set the standards that should be applied by governments and organizations throughout the world. Indigenous peoples and local communities are taking action to ensure that their rights are placed at the centre of policies aimed at halting global biodiversity loss, and to highlight the underlying causes of the problems. FPP supports indigenous peoples’ advocacy and representation in international fora.

The most relevant international processes are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The CBD is a UN Convention that was opened for signature at the the Earth Summit in 1992 (together with the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC)) and came into force in December 1993. The CBD has several thematic programmes, such as forest biodiversity or marine and coastal biodiversity, and several cross-cutting issues, such as protected areas, sustainable use of biodiversity, and traditional knowledge, innovations and practices. Every two years, Parties to the CBD pass decisions at the Conference of the Parties (COP). In between COPs, there are various smaller meetings that focus on particular issues. Decisions of the CBD are binding, which means that governments have to carry out the provisions they contain. The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) is a worldwide network aimed at nature conservation. The IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) is the highest organ of IUCN that convenes every four years. In the Members’ Assembly, resolutions and recommendations are adopted which guide IUCN’s policy as well as influencing many other organizations around the world.

Indigenous peoples participate actively in both processes, where they aim to influence policy- and decision-making and bring in their local concerns and solutions. They also carry out work to track and assess national and local level implementation of agreements achieved at the international level, and call responsible authorities and organisations to account where situations so require.

Relevant resources

Syndicate content

Status and Trends in Traditional Occupations

Forest Peoples Programme

2 May, 2016

Status and Trends in Traditional Occupations

FPP has produced a new report presenting the outcomes of preliminary research on the practice of traditional occupations in indigenous and local communities. While the rapid assessment only provides sample insights (from 17 experts in 13 countries), it brings together unique and diverse stories, experiences and views on these occupations from a ground-level perspective.

Read more

CBD meetings highlight the vital role indigenous peoples and local communities play in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use

14 December, 2015

Chief Kukoi (Tony James) presenting the work being carried out by the Wapichan people in Guyana in relation to community mapping

Between 2nd November and the 7th November 2015 the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and the Ad Hoc Open Ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in Montreal.

Read more

SDG Indicators Position Paper from the Indigenous Peoples Major Group

26 October, 2015

The position paper of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group and their recommendation on indicators to monitor the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. This document will be submitted to the meetings of the UN Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues (October 22-23) and the UN Inter-agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators (October 27-28) leading towards the adoption of SDG indicators in March 2016.

Read more

Indigenous Experts Share Experiences and Recommendations on Traditional Occupations

1 June, 2015

FPP recently developed a new publication that examines traditional occupations in indigenous peoples’ communities. The publication is based on a survey that was filled in by 17 indigenous experts, providing information from 13 countries.

Read more

Whakatane Mechanism launched at the WPC in Sydney, November 2014

24 February, 2015

World Parks Congress Launch of the Whakatane Mechanism

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”.

Read more

Statement of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda

29 January, 2015

Statement of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, Civil Society Dialogue, January 21, 2015, Delivered by Roberto Múkaro Borrero (Taino), International Indian Treaty Council.

Read more

COP12 Agrees on the use of “Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities” in Decisions and Secondary Documents under the Convention of Biological Diversity

14 November, 2014

With the theme “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”, the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12) was held from 6th to 17th October 2014 in Pyeongchang, Korea. The meeting aimed at raising international awareness on the essential role of biodiversity and its contribution to sustainable development, as well as at highlighting biodiversity in the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read more

Launch of the Whakatane Mechanism and new publication

12 November, 2014

Friday 14th November 17.30 to 19.00, at the WIN Pavilion

A Mechanism for promoting rights-based conservation through practical implementation of IUCN Resolutions, including redressing historical injustices and securing communities’ rights to their lands and territories.

Three pilot Whakatane Assessments are in progress in Kenya, Thailand, and DRC, and another in preparation in Indonesia. These will be presented and discussed at this official launch of the Mechanism, chaired by Aroha Te Pareake Mead, Chair of CEESP.

Read more