The following article, by Maurizio Farhan-Ferrari, Coordinator of the FPP's Environmental Governance Programme, has just been published on the Landscapes Blog for People, Food and Nature:
Synthesis Paper - Customary sustainable use of biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities: Examples, challenges, community initiatives and recommendations relating to CBD Article 10(c)
A Synthesis Paper based on Case Studies from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Suriname and Thailand.
Cyclone Aila hit the south-western coastal belt of Bangladesh, more specifically the Satkhira and Khulna Districts, on 25 May 2009, affecting almost 2.3 million people and immediately killing 325. The tidal surge, which measured 10-13m, inundated the region and washed away huge numbers of houses, livestock, crops and other resources within a very short time.
The sustainable customary practices of indigenous peoples, the subject of Article 10(c) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), will be one of the main topics at the upcoming meeting of the CBD Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG-8(j) 6) in Montreal from 2-6 November 2009. A key question on the agenda asks how Parties to the Convention can improve implementation of this important article. The message of indigenous and local communities, submitted ahead of the meeting, is that secure rights to land and resources is a necessary condition to achieve effective implementation of Article 10(c).
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.
The US$77.3m Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project was suspended three years early because of its failure to conserve biological diversity and reduce poverty in the Sundarbans. This report provides an analysis of the project's design flaws and consequent disintegration, and identifies means of making good the damage done.
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47 pages Unnayan Onneshan, Nijera kori, FPP
The Bangladesh government is planning to settle many more thousands of plains people on the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples in the Chittagong Hill Tracts against the will of affected communities. This culturally and ecologically destructive proposal threatens to violate the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples and destroy valuable forest ecosystems, including the Kassalong forests.