Will the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity finally accept proposed solutions to halt biodiversity loss that also benefit forest communities?

A Wapichan man harvests ité palm leaves in a sustainable manner, Guyana

Will the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity finally accept proposed solutions to halt biodiversity loss that also benefit forest communities?

Click here for FPP & Partners' 'CBD COP 10 - Nagoya Blog' to follow indigenous peoples and local community representatives in Nagoya online.

For all forest peoples, the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), starting today, October 18, 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, is a critical one: their governments will make new agreements on the conservation, use, and development of the world’s natural riches. As most of these resources are found in indigenous peoples’ territories, the future directions of the Convention will have far-reaching impacts on forest peoples’ lands, livelihoods and way of life. Will forest communities’ positive contributions to global biodiversity receive the attention they deserve and will their interests and rights be respected? Or, will they be limited to a few minor paragraphs in the Decisions of COP 10?

For two years, many indigenous peoples and local community organisations have worked towards and prepared for this moment. At various preparatory CBD meetings (reported in previous FPP ENewsletters – see links), they have tried to shape the biodiversity debate among Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that their deep relationship with the natural world is fully taken into account. Now, at COP 10, the Parties will make final, binding decisions. Indigenous peoples and local communities have one last opportunity to defend earlier achievements and convince Parties to adopt new measures to stem biodiversity loss while securing their rights and empowering their communities.FPP is in Nagoya supporting a close team of partners from Bangladesh (Unnayan Onneshan The Innovators), Suriname (Organisation of Kaliña and Lokono in Marowijne), Guyana (South Rupununi District Toshaos Council), Thailand Inter-Mountain Peoples’ Education and Culture in Thailand Association), Cameroon (Association OKANI), and Panama (Fundacion para la Promocion de Conocimiento Indigena). Whether you are in Nagoya or not, you can follow the partners’ activities and hear what they have to say about the meeting’s progress on their blog (see links).These indigenous peoples and local community participants in Nagoya will be highlighting that the implementation of all three components of the Convention on Biological Diversity - sustainable use, conservation and benefit sharing - are in need of improvement. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that biodiversity loss continues unabated, fuelled by a global production and consumption system that in 2010 is expected to consume 150% more resources than the earth can actually produce.  Sustainable use is the weakest leg of the treaty, in particular for forest communities who need more support of their customary systems of resource use. A key obstacle is the continuing lack of political will to recognise and respect indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands and resources. This recognition and respect is fundamental to successful maintenance of biodiversity in indigenous territories.When conservation issues are on the table in Nagoya, indigenous peoples and local communities will once again raise concerns regarding the fact that the establishment and expansion of protected areas are still largely taking place without their participation and consent, and protected areas are often still managed in a top-down manner. This causes severe impacts on indigenous peoples and local communities. Their leaders have pointed out the importance of participation in decision-making and management, and the importance of equitable cost and benefit sharing. They hope that COP10 will result in positive solutions for both biodiversity and communities, in the form of innovative governance types and recognition and respect of indigenous territories.Governments will also adopt a new strategic plan for the Convention and a new 2020 Biodiversity Target –- while taking stock that the “2010 Target” has not been met. Indigenous and local communities aim to get this new plan to: include more explicit and better reference to, and safeguards of, their rights and livelihoods; give wider recognition and support for their role in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and increase their participation in the implementation of the Convention.  If you are in Nagoya, you can:•    Come and meet the team in the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) Room and in one of the Working Groups, or contact caroline@forestpeoples.org

•    Pick up our information brochures and position papers (or view them online – see links).

•    Attend our Side- Event on Customary Sustainable Use (Article 10(c) on Monday, October 18, 2010, at 13.15, in Room 231-B, where the team will share views on the Conference of the Parties’ Draft Decisions and present local experiences, challenges, and initiatives that communities are taking themselves to improve the implementation of Article 10(c) of the Convention (see link to side-event flyer).

•    Visit the Climate and Ecosystem Pavilion on ‘Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Day’, Wednesday, October 20, 2010.  The theme of the day is: "Local Voices and Local Solutions of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change". Here, our partners, and other indigenous peoples and local communities present, will discuss views and initiatives on protected areas, climate change, and traditional knowledge.

Information on these events, daily updates and opinions about the official meeting sessions can be found on the new FPP website, where our COP 10 partners will be posting regular reports, blogs, and comments, as well as photos and videos - such as diaries and interviews - click the link to our 'CBD COP 10 - Nagoya Blog' to follow indigenous peoples and local community representatives in Nagoya online.

Karen construct fire break lines, Thailand