Bonn, Germany The findings of two new reports launched today at the Convention on Biological Diversity emphatically demonstrate that global biodiversity will continue to be lost if Protected Areas fail to recognise and respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. The research, conducted in the largest mangrove forest in the world, conversely shows that customary use is fully compatible with conservation and sustainability.
This report highlights the connection between biodiversity conservation and forest peoples' livelihoods and customary use. It shows how the current Forest Department-led management continues to threaten the long-term survival of the forest and the people. The traditional resource users call for an urgent shift towards community-based and collaborative management of the Sundarbans to ensure a future both for its biodiversity and its people.