Indigenous peoples can be found in all regions of the world. Many of them still suffer from marginalization, extreme poverty and other human rights violations.
Indigenous peoples living in and around forests have a particularly intimate relationship with them. This intimacy creates a deep involvement of indigenous forest peoples in the protection of their forests, as well as an awareness that humans are only one part of a much larger forest community.
Indigenous peoples protect almost 80% of the world’s biodiversity, as their territories and lands are located in incredibly rich areas of biodiversity. This protection is very often based on local knowledge in their possession that is passed on from one generation to the next. Indigenous peoples are the first to be confronted by deforestation, they often see their rights violated and their territories encroached upon or exploited for commercial interests.
Human rights violations in and around protected areas have increasingly become a matter of concern. It concerns, among other things, recurrent conflicts, situations of compensation for damage caused to local populations and aspects relating to the application of the international and national legal framework on human rights.
This working group is therefore concerned with finding a balance between ecological and human well-being in the management of protected areas. The group will look at issues relating to complaint mechanisms, situations of discrimination and vulnerability of populations, ways and means of dialogue, the setting up of joint management agreement protocols and appropriate dialogue frameworks.
The main hypothesis of the group is that biodiversity conservation must involve all stakeholders and given that there is a direct link between the wealth of natural environments and indigenous peoples, it is realized that areas managed by traditional rules are places rich in biodiversity and that indigenous knowledge and practices have an important role in contributing to the sustainable management of biodiversity.
Community conservation approaches based on local knowledge and respect for peoples’ rights can strengthen their involvement in the governance of protected areas and natural resources.
- Armelle Nitcheu (firstname.lastname@example.org); Projet Forêt-Environnement, Cameroon
PAPFor (EU)-TGS -FL, Côte d’Ivoire; Programme d’appui pour la préservation des écosystèmes forestiers en Afrique de l’ouest & Projet de Conservation du paysage prioritaire Taï-Grebo-Sapo, Côte d’Ivoire et au Liberia
- Tchigankong Désiré (email@example.com) — speaker of the Climate Livelihood and Natural Resources Management working group