Lijiang, Yunnan 27-30 June 2007
Prior to the formal opening of the conference, the participants were given the opportunity to visit four Naxi communities around Lijiang. Four locations were arranged by the local organizers, as follows:
1. Zhuyuan Village and Shanfengshan Village, in Shigu Town. Located in the west of Lijiang, 53 kilometers from Lijiang to there. The township is also called ‘first bend of Jinsha River”. About 100,000 tourists visit each year. Zhuyuan village is famous for bamboo weaving, which is a major source of income for women. Shanfengshan is another village located at the foot of the mountain. It has dense forest and the villagers are conscious of the need to protect the environment.
2. Hanruping Village is located in Tai’an Townshop. It still keeps its traditional Naxi customs and is actually it is one of areas for the preservation of traditional culture. Also known as the “hometown of the potato”, it is famous for its potatoes and the white beans grown there.
3. Meiquan village, in Lashi Township is just 10 kilometers from Lijiang. Different crops and fruits are grown here such as wheat, corn, yam, rice, apple, and some new kinds of fruits such as grape and winter peach. There is a lake and a monastery (Tibetan Buddism) nearby and so attracts many tourists also.
4. Yuhu Village in Baisha Township is located at the foot of the snow mountain. The village is tourist attraction. Baisha street also has Naxi frescos and one old Naxi doctor.
The reports and discussions of the above field trips are appended in folder 01-Field Visits.
2. OPENING CEREMONY & PRAYER
Jannie Lasimbang We are very happy to be here in Lijiang, the home of the Naxi people and to have the Naxi elders here to bless and open the conference. I am also pleased that the Director of the Lijiang Academy of Dongba Culture, Mr. Zhao, is here with us as he has been instrumental in seeing to the fruition of this conference.
Sometimes we get lost in our work and our books. Prayer is important to remind us of our reason for being here and to put us in the right frame of mind to go about our work. In fact, it has been resolved that we start every IKB meeting with a prayer.
The Prayer ceremony was conducted by three Naxi Dongba (priests) led by Master Ho Bing Ba to ask for the blessings of the god from Yulong mountain. Water was spread to every body to bring good health, good journey, and to achieve success in our life and work.
Opening remarks by Mr. Zhao, (Director of the Lijiang Academy of Dongba Culture): Good morning everybody. Just now the Dongba priests performed the ceremony to open the conference, and to welcome you. It is the best way to express good wishes for the meeting. As a co-organizer of this meeting, and on behalf of the Dongba Lijiang Academy of Dongba Culture, I would like to express my warm welcome to you to this beautiful area, with rich culture and biodiversity. I am a Naxi myself, and on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples here, I also express our welcome.
With the development of tourism in Lijiang, we are also concerned about how to conserve our biodiversity and indigenous knowledge. So we hope that this meeting, with your experience, and as a result of your field trip, you will be able appreciate our situation here. We would like to hear your comments and suggestions about tourism and the impact on the local people, as well as to preserve the local diversity and the culture of the Naxi people.
The Lijiang Academy of Dongba Culture also engages with international exchange with different Indigenous Peoples. We have established a very strong relationship with AIPP, IKAP and other associations. And we like to continue our cooperation in this field and to promote exchange between the different indigenous groups and cultures.
As one of the co-organizers and the local organizer for this meeting, we have tried our best to arrange everything for the meeting. If you have any comments on anything that is lacking, please let us know. I wish you a successful meeting and wish that every friend and participant a pleasant and enjoyable stay in Lijiang.
Opening Remarks by Jannie Lasimbang
I must say thank you to Mr. Zhao for being here today as I know he is a very busy person. On behalf of AIPP and IKAP, and the International Alliance, I would like to thank the Lijiang Academy of Dongba Culture for co-organizing this conference in this beautiful land where the Naxi are still practicing their culture and traditions. I also welcome and thank all the participants for coming to this conference.
We are here to do work. We have committed ourselves to try and engage with governments on the CBD. Many of our organizations and communities have been continuing to preserve our traditional knowledge, our environments, and our biodiversity. But when these issues are brought up to the international level, indigenous peoples’ roles and contribution are lost or forgotten. So our task is to ensure that the work we are doing are incorporated into the CBD.
In these three days we hope to share as much as we can as to what has been going on at the CBD. We are not experts and that is why we have to work harder to achieve our objectives. Su, Chon Chon have been working very hard to make this conference possible, as have all the other colleagues at the Lijiang Academy of Dongba Culture, especially He Hong, who have been preparing the local logistics for us.
We received very generous funding from the European Union, IWGIA, MISEREOR, and SwedBio for this conference. Thank you and I hope the priests’ prayers will keep us strong throughout the three days of discussion.
3. CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES, FLOW AND EXPECTATIONS (Jannie Lasimbang)
Indigenous knowledge holds an intrinsic relation between Indigenous Peoples and the environment. This knowledge is governed by customary laws that indigenous communities observe as a balanced way of life to maintain both biodiversity and their own survival. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), on the other hand, serves as an instrument of governments in the management of biodiversity. However, the CBD also recognizes the role of Indigenous Peoples in the conservation and management of biodiversity through the application of indigenous knowledge.
Indigenous Peoples see the importance of sharing knowledge and to advocate for better understanding of Indigenous Peoples roles in protecting IK and Biodiversity at the CBD. Towards this effort, the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) organised the 1st IKB Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam (2003) and the 2nd Asia Regional Conference in Dahanu, India (2005) to prepare for CBD-related events.
Having seen the effective interventions at CBD-related meetings and the active promotion of indigenous knowledge and biodiversity issues among indigenous organizations and representatives following these Regional Conferences, it was decided that the 3rd IKB Conference should be convened in June 27–30 2007 here in Lijiang, China for the same purpose.
This 3rd IKB Conference is organized by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), the Indigenous Knowledge and Peoples Network (IKAP), the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests (IA) and the Dongba Cultural Academy (DCA) in Lijiang.
The main aims of the conference would be to:
• Serve as a group sharing and analysis on the developments at the CBD;
• Share experiences;
• Select Indigenous Participants to significant CBD-related fora and COP9 and plan for the coordination and preparations for these participants;
• Define concrete plans of intervention at significant CBD-related fora and COP9; and
• Define action plans at regional, national and local levels.
The flow of programme is as follows: Field trips to experience, share and learn from the Naxi people; Traditional opening ceremony; Sharing from the organizers; Presentation of Resource Papers on some issues to understand the latest development at CBD and some recommended strategies. There will also be a selection of focus areas and group work to provide local experiences and to build up recommendations. We also hope to define action plans to be acted upon at the CBD and UNCCC regional, national and local levels. And also to evaluate the IIFB process. The cultural evening will be shifted a day earlier as several people are leaving the conference a day early.
The expected output are a shared experience and solidarity, and action plans for a two-way process: input of local experience on traditional knowledge and biodiversity into the CBD processes and understanding of the CBD issues and themes to be used for local/national/regional action plans to promote TK and biodiversity. We also hope to strengthen the network and our commitment to advocate for indigenous rights and identity in the CBD.
4. UPDATES ON CBD WORK
4.1 Update on AIPP-IKB Committee & Future Planning (Datu Vic Saway & Troung)
Our engagement with the CBD has involved the protection of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of ILC/Indigenous Peoples; customary use and sui generis systems of sustainable use, as well as access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing
Our tasks have been varied and at varied levels. At the international level, we advocate for the rights of ILCs/IPs in the various CBD-related processes and the Environmental Agreements (WIPO, Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Climate Change, GURTS, PFII, dDRIP, etc.)
At the regional level, we help to provide substantive inputs to the spaces and opportunities available to strengthen existing advocacies at the international arena with specific inputs from national initiatives or situations. We also help to enhance capacity of regional representatives to effectively participate and engage in the various CBD-related processes, apart from enhancing awareness of the sub-region through disseminating information and strengthening a common understanding by gathering feedback and situations.
At the national level, we monitor (identify gaps, challenges and best practices) and present implementation of CBD-related agreements at the national level. We also try to maximize existing efforts and initiatives related to IK & Biodiversity.
The role of IKBC has been to provide direction concerning IKB in Asia and to contribute to the IIFB processes. IKBC also facilitates initiatives that provide the space for identifying common issues at the national level and help to identify concrete peoples’ agenda in the sub¬region. Apart from that, IKBC coordinates information-sharing in the sub-region and strengthens the links with other sub-regions. IKBC also facilitates resource mobilization (financial and human) for other initiatives and helps identify participant, or in the event of limited financial resources, the prioritization of participants to meetings of the working groups at COP and CBD meetings.
For the period 2007-2009, the IKBC has set out the following tasks:
• Participation at the CBD Processes. This includes identification and prioritization of participants (in case of limited financial resources), coordinating with partner organizations and donor institutions to raise funds to support participation at CBD, selection of a Coordinator (Program Manager of AIPP) for the pre-selection of participants in the CBD process in this conference, and information and dissemination on CBD matters.
• Local initiatives and links to CBD. This includes the preparation of case studies to focus on Art. 8(j) and other thematic issues of the CBD, organization of side events, poster-making, and sharing of funding information to members.
• Criteria for Participant Selection. The IKBC will also establish a criteria for participation at the CBD, as well as as the confirmation for participation, making sure there is both gender balance and equal geographic representation.
• Submission to CBD. IKBC will undertake the submission of names of focal persons/point persons as consultants on Traditional Knowledge (with bio-data) and this will be submitted during this 3rd IKB Conference. Customary law and sui generic case studies will be another submission to the CBD. A Peer Working Group for the CBD process will also be established/
• Capacity building. IKBC will see to the development of a Curriculum and Manual on CBD implementation at the Community Level, organize a Skills on Lobbying and Negotiation conference aimed at securing a multi-lateral environmental agreement.
• Information dissemination and Publication. IKBC will undertake to produce a compact disc (CD) of Case Studies and Resource Papers, as well as produce posters and seasonal greeting post cards on biodiversity themes.
• Changing Language of CBD. Discussions on some points to be opened during the 3rd IKBC planning as well as identification of the team to work on the language editing of the case studies and papers. An assessment for the next IKBC will also be conducted.
Scheduling of 4th IKBC. The 4th IKB Conference in 2009 will be jointly organized by IA, IKAP and AIPP.
4.2 Update by IKAP Network (Prasert)
The Mountainous Areas of Mainland SE-Asia (MMSEA) are homelands for hundreds of different ethnic minorities. They have created a diversity of cultures who have nurtured the mountain environment. The Indigenous Knowledge and Peoples network (IKAP) was established to support the retention and revitalization reinvention, and reinterpretation of Indigenous Knowledge (into the new context) for sustainable livelihoods of indigenous communities in MMSEA. It also aims to implement, empower and support the capacity building for Indigenous Peoples and their support organizations, and to create and strengthen the local IK networks of the indigenous communities in the six MMSEA countries viz.Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Southwest China, Myanmar and Thailand.
IKAP’s main activities revolve around capacity building (TOT), conference and exchange visits, IP conference and IK fair, Affirmation of Culture and Biodiversity Conservation (ACBC), IK-Manual & RIKI, and publications. Five working groups have been formed based on the following topics: Indigenous Eco-farming and Seeds, People and Forest uses (rotational farming and biodiversity), Arts and Crafts, Herbal and Healing, Children and Youth, and Indigenous Education.
In-country activities include training for community development (facilitation and planning), training for IK-experimentation (PTD), lobbying & networking, documentation, and promotion & translation. IKAP brings together indigenous groups through workshops, conferences and exchange visits, and also publishes research findings, proceedings of conferences and workshops on topics related to indigenous knowledge.
The overall outlook of IKAP is to preserve, protect and promote the diversity of cultures and IK; establish country networks of Indigenous Peoples and of outside supporters; develop a regional agenda of exchange, joint learning and joint action to defend our own cultures and nature; to have local impact on Indigenous Peoples’ practices and capacity; and to provide a global voice and presence.
Discussion There was a comment that the methodology used by IKAP is quite general and did not have specific strategies. Prasert explained that the function of IKAP was to promote the IK of all Indigenous Peoples.
It was also pointed out that in some countries not all minorities were indigenous and it would therefore not be correct for all ethnic minorities to be included in IKAP’s programme. Chon-Chon explained that in some countries they have problems using the term ‘Indigenous Peoples’. But in essence, IKAP refers to Indigenous Peoples only.
It was also suggested that a fund for translators/translation was also needed, as we are working in a network and not everyone understand or speak English. The publications should be in all languages. IKAP is aware of this and has made efforts in this direction.
4.3 Update by the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests (IA)
Founded in 1992 in Malaysia, the IA consists of 9 regions worldwide (3 regions in Asia) viz. South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Nusantara (which replaces the Bahasa region). The International coordinating committee members of the above regions are: Parshuram, Sakda, and Hubertus.
The objectives are to promote the full recognition of the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, to promote the development of Indigenous Peoples and their participation in decisions in policy making, to establish effective networks among Indigenous Peoples, and to exchange information and experiences to enable Indigenous Peoples to participate effectively in international processes affecting them.
Some of these international processes include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), and the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF).
The International Alliance is particularly active in the CBD and GEF processes for which there is the Indigenous Peoples Network for Change Project. This is aimed at strengthening the role and position of Indigenous Peoples in the international processes and also at increasing awareness of Indigenous Peoples’ concerns in these processes. Particular focus is placed on indigenous women in all considerations.
In order to achieve an increased contribution to, and participation by, Indigenous Peoples in the CBD and GEF processes at national, regional and international levels, the International Alliance conducts several activities. These include setting up relevant websites in various regions, simplifying and translating CBD materials (such as the CBD primer used in this meeting), community radio and alternative media, and regional capacity building workshops.
The International Alliance provides participation support for CBD meetings and with the Indigenous Peoples’ Expert Roster, establishes strategic partnerships and linkages with CBD Parties, CBD Secretariat, GEF, the GEF NGO Network, GEF Small Grants Program, GEF national focal points and other relevant bodies or programs. The National Dialogue Initiative also helps to promote effective coordination and interaction.
Discussion: Sui asked as to what standard was being applied when the term ‘tribal peoples’ was used. For unlike ‘Indigenous Peoples’, for which there is a clear standard and definition, there is none as yet for tribal peoples. It was explained that the term tribal peoples was also used in order to take into account the diverse perceptions towards both terms in different areas. For example, the term ‘tribals’ in Thailand is accepted as being the same as indigenous. But people in the South America do not like to use the term ‘tribal’ which they consider derogatory. ILO Convention 69 also uses both terms. In general, for us, both tribal peoples and Indigenous Peoples mean the same. And we allow the various groups to identify themselves with either term.
On whether the International Alliance has any consideration to expand to the regional and subregional areas, Kittisak said that this is possible and in fact a good thing in order to realize the expansion of the network.
Jason asked if we could link up with the existing indigenous media and other alternative media of the IA. Kittisak replied that this is always welcome.
Jannie noted that, as with the ASEAN Biodiversity Centre, nobody has been able to link with it perhaps because our network is only with Indigenous Peoples. We need to go beyond our own networks.
Sukhendu noted that there are regional secretariats in the 9 regions and they enjoy autonomy in their work. Kittisak agreed but added that the IA also has general objectives and projects which all regions are expected to contribute to. To this, Jannie said that it is important for networks to ensure that the organization is not top-heavy, depending solely on the secretariats to organize their affairs and programmes.
4.4 The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Indigenous Peoples
The UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) held in Brazil in 1992 adopted 3 legal instruments – CBD, Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 – in the area of environmental management and conservation. These were at forst not seen as adequate in providing protection for Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their traditional knowledge and practices, but later turned out to have significant impact.
The CBD Secretariat is based in Montreal, Canada and the Indigenous focal person is John Scott of Australia. The Conference of the Parties (COP) meet every 2 years to adopt decisions and protocols to the CBD, establish programmes and create subsidiary bodies (SBSTTA, Working Groups & Technical Expert Groups) to assist COP in its tasks. 189 countries are party to the Convention, which came into force on 29 December 1993 and is located under the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
States are organised along regional groupings. Japan, USA (not a Party), Canada, Australia, NZ (JUSCANZ) are very negative towards Indigenous Peoples while the European Union is usually supportive. Africa’s and Asia’s support are dependent on the issues. Also, while the USA may not be a party to the CBD, they nevertheless have a lot of influence.
Indigenous Peoples have advisory status to the CBD through the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB). . The COP is open to all – you just need to register with the Secretariat of the CBD. Indigenous Peoples also participate in the drafting in small groups called “Contact Group” and “Friends of the Chair”. A Voluntary Fund created during COP7.
Indigenous Peoples participate and intervene collectively under the banner of the IIFB. The IIFB Coordinating Committee also raises fund to attend CBD-related meetings. In Asia, AIPP coordinates fund-raising for activities including regional preparatory conferences.
The objectives of indigenous participation is to influence the CBD process, promote Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives on TK and biodiversity issues, and to understand issues for effective lobby at the local level (e.g. the enactment of Biodiversity Laws, Programmes of Work).
Effective Advocacy is achieved through the establishment of the Technical Expert Groups (AHTEG), Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), Working Group (WG), Conference of Parties (COP).
Currently, in the Technical Expert Groups (AHTEG), Jannie sits on the Advisory Committee on Article 8(j) and Rodolfo Aguilar on Island Biodiversity. Jannie is currently looking for a replacement. It is important to work with other indigenous representatives from other regions to send inputs early. We also need to identify representatives for the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). Participation is open.
Four important Working Groups have been established: WG on 8(j) and Related Provisions, WG on Access and Benefit Sharing, WG on Protected Areas, WG on Review of Implementation of the Convention. Again participation is open but we really need to defend and/or provide input to texts and documents on the relevant issue or theme.
Also, from our experience, the Conference of Parties (COP) is just a rubber stamp body. We learned this a little too late in the process. It is held in different countries, with governments acting as host to the COP (2 were held in Asia – COP2 in Indonesia and COP7 in Malaysia). The next meeting is in Germany – COP9 in May 2008.
The COP meeting considers proposals forwarded by WGs, AHTEG and SBSTTA and adopts Decisions and Programme of Work (PoW). The first 10 years was spent on standard setting and the PoWs. Now the focus is on national implementation and achieving targets. More recently, the Strategic Plan (to implement PoW) and the 2010 Target are now developing indicators of achievements.
The Programme of Work (PoW) is divided into two categories: thematic issues and cross¬cutting issues. Thematic issues include Inland Waters Biodiversity, Forests BD, Marine/Coastal BD, Dry & sub-humid Lands BD, Agricultural BD, Island BD, and Mountain BD.
The cross-cutting issues include Access and Benefit-Sharing, Traditional Knowledge, Innovations & Practices, Alien species, Financial and Technical support, Protected Areas, Ecosystem Approach, Impact Assessment, Public Education/Awareness, Sustainable Use, Technology Transfer & Cooperation, 2010 BD Target, and Liability and Redress.
The upcoming activities of the CBD are as follows: SBSTTA 12, Review of Implementation (Jul 07); WG 8(j) (Oct 2007); WGABS (Oct 07, Jan 08); WGPA (Feb 2008); and SBSTTA 13 (Feb 08).
In order to have good inputs into the CBD process, several activities have been conducted and several are planned. These include the Expert Workshop on Indicators held in March 2007 and the current 3rd Asia Regional Conference on IK and Biodiversity. Case studies and resource papers are also being prepared and funding sought for National Dialogues on NBSAP (SEARCO-IA). IKAP has an IK Practitioners’ Assembly on the cards while AIPP continues with its programme on Collaborative Management Learning Network (CMLN). AIPP and IA nevertheless continue to undertake ongoing information dissemination.
Kittisak commented that for effective advocacy, we need to lobby at the national and regional level as well. In the EU countries, especially Germany, they have already formed their position for COP9. Jannie agreed and added that lobbying also comes before the meeting, and not just during the meetings itself.
5. RESOURCE PAPERS
5.1 What Benefits Can be Shared to Indigenous Peoples from the Outcomes of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The Objective of the CBD as stated in Article 1 is the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use, and the equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. However, Principle 1 of Article 15 gives national sovereignty over all genetic resources, while Principles 2 & 3 state that access to biological resources should be carried out on “mutually agreed terms” and that access is subject to the “prior informed consent” of the country of origin.
That is, sovereign rights to control access to genetic resources are only recognized for the contracting parties, i.e., the states. There is no recognized sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples over genetic resources from our territories. Also, Indigenous Peoples do not ND cannot separate the knowledge about the resources from the resources itself – hence the phrase ‘genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge’. Governments on the other hand consider these as separate items.
A comprehensive history of the CBD and the processes, instruments and decisions developed from COP1 to COP8 is given in the PowerPoint presentation.
In essence, Indigenous Peoples have been able to assert that under international human rights law, states do not have absolute sovereignty over natural resources where they arise in indigenous territories. Indigenous Peoples have asked that states recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples in such areas. In response, the COP has endorsed that “the international regime should recognize and shall respect the rights of indigenous and local communities.”
However there is still wide disagreement between the wishes of Indigenous Peoples and that of certain states. For example, in the recent positions on ABS in the Island Biodiversity Programme of Work, the original statement read: “All aspects of the PoW should be read and implemented with the full recognition and respect for the rights of ILCs and their full and effective participation”. However, Canada wanted to add “in accordance with national law” whereas the Indigenous Peoples wanted the phrase “in accordance with relevant international obligations”. The USA wanted to remove the word “recognition” altogether. The Indigenous Peoples countered with “should recognize and shall respect the rights of ILCs” as provided for in COPVII/19D re international regime.
Essentially, Indigenous Peoples want the CBD to recognize and protect our territorial and resource rights and our right to self-determination. The human rights framework should underpin trade, investment, development and anti-poverty policies and programmes. International human rights and environmental standards should be upheld by governments and should guide the way trade agreements are formulated and implemented. Several conventions, declarations and decisions have already clearly spelled out what Indigenous Peoples want and what is expected of states. These include the Cancun Declaration of Indigenous Peoples (2003); United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII); outcomes of Working Group on Article 8(j); the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
There are also other models or decisions to follow such as the African Model Law on the Rights of Communities, Farmers, Breeders and on Access to Biological Resources; Decision 391 and 486 of Andean Community, the Collaboration mechanism of ABS and 8(j), the Akwe Khon Guidelines, and the sui generis protection mechanisms.
5.2 Protected Areas (Jannie Lasimbang)
PAs currently cover 12% of the land surface of the planet and 2% of the oceans. Majority of PAs overlap areas owned/claimed by IPs, established without IPs’ consent. Outdated concept of PAs – conservation by excluding peoples, for science & recreation. More IPs and support organizations are aware of the negative impacts of PAs on IPs’ lives. IPs mobilised at 5th World Parks Congress in Durban (2003), now has formal group under International Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) – ‘Indigenous Peoples Committee on Conservation’ (IPCC). NGOs and IPs in 2003/4 in the process of drafting the Programme of Work on PAs.
There are issues such as parties did not accept land tenure and territorial rights into the text (of the decision) but acknowledged that the term ‘…in full respect of the rights of ILCs’ encompasses land and territorial rights. Most existing PA laws do not have provisions for participation of IPs. Talk a lot about it but the government owns protected areas not indigenous people. Saba in Malaysia recently changed the law so that they could manage protected areas. Need to change PA laws. Texts on rights are tagged with “consistent with national law and applicable international obligations”, which is limiting when laws and policies do not exist. Implies Governments are obliged to improve national PA laws to respect rights of IPs. Always address the need for consistency between international commitments and national laws.
Most PAs still under the IUCN Category I & II, which are strict PAs where excision and access are restricted. The last meeting in Malaysia said there was a need to change the category. Keep talking and addressing how and what category has been made. Governance types are still restricted to Park Managers, but now more recognition for community conserved areas and collaborative management-type. Need to change governance/categories of PAs.
Working group on PAs should focus on (1) tool kits for the identification, designation, management, monitoring and evaluation of national and regional system of PAs etc with special regard to ILC and benefit sharing mechanisms; (2) marine PAs beyond national jurisdiction – texts on recognizing participation of ILC; (3) financial mechanisms (allow mining companies to be in the PAs but also funding communities in the PAs); and (d) review of implementation open inputs for IPs.
Lal: In Nepal, do not have PAs e.g. national parks. No one can buy land in Nepal in the national park. Do these CBD have any provision to protect people in the PAs there? This has not yet been answered.
Shukedu: How do they define PAs? Conflicts is why would you claim PA if there have been people living in that area. PAs mainly for protecting resources but not IPs. Sui: How many countries have already had, not yet in the process, or even do not have at all the evaluation(s) and/or reviewing the laws/policies? No I have not yet come across.
5.3 Traditional Knowledge & the CBD (Gam Shimray)
There is a growing recognition that Indigenous Peoples have their own science. There are problems in understanding of IK. IK is unique to a given culture in contrast the international knowledge system generated through the global network of universities and research. Traditional knowledge & Indigenous knowledge are interchangeably used by many authors. Its philosophical roots are sometimes traced to Hinduism and Tao knowledge.
Indigenous knowledge forms a seamless relationship with their heritage. Knowledge is part of their heritage that is regarded as an integrated, interdependent whole that cannot be separated into component parts. IK includes their creative production of human thought and craftsmanship, language, and cultural expressions which are created, acquired and inspired, such as songs, dances, stories, ceremonies, symbols, poverty, artworks, scientific, agricultural, technical, and ecological knowledge and the skills required to implement this knowledge and technologies.
Art. 8(j) – Ecological Knowledge states “If ecology is defined narrowly as a branch of biology concerned with interrelationships in the biophysical environment; in the Western science, then traditional knowledge becomes problematic terms.” Although IK is highly pragmatic and practical, IPs generally view this knowledge as emanating from the spiritual base.
There is no universally accepted definition of customary law. IK has been fundamentally being viewed as state-less form of law. Naga tribes have 2 types of customary laws that have been ignored. Most IPs interacts with forest resources; and their ways of using resources is highly decentralized. The customary use is not about using resources, but also how to share norms on resource use, and how to rehabilitate the recovery rate for resources.
The importance of IK or TK within the CBD means that there is a stronger need to focus on Articles 8j and 10c. How to examine the possibility of recognizing IK better? From the India and North-East India experiences there have been multiple laws and that difficult to regulate; hence causing forms of conflicts. The concern is how to regulate access to biological resources in harmonious accordance with these different indigenous groups.
Utility of knowledge is the key problem. This relates to access to benefits and sharing. Knowledge and resources are one; should not separate. Principles of free prior and informed consent need to be put in effects.
Article 8j refers IK to embodying traditional lifestyles. What do CBD mean that phrase? What does IPs mean that phrase? What does the government mean that phrase? Don’t have an answer for myself.
Jannie: In Africa, do not recognize indigenous lifestyles. Many communities continue living in their own lifestyles.
Customary law means to respect more tribal council like the council of elders. Why not legitimize the council of elders and advocate it as a point in CBD?
Jannie: many communities have abolished that system. Governments have banned. But families might maintain their own institution. Among the IPs, they do not want to push that aspect. But realistically, many have lost their own institutions.
5.4 Forest Biodiversity (Sukhendu Debbarma)
CBD itself is very complex. I am sure friends here are really confused what CBD is about. We need specific such as access and benefits sharing from CBD were there but still vague. This is only forest biological diversity. By definition, I try to make it the simplest. Forest biological diversity is a broad term refereeing to al the life forms found within forested areas and the ecological roles they perform. Cannot separate forests and indigenous peoples. The State has been given the absolute sovereignty the rights to use and manage and control forest resources.
The argument is I have been living in the forest for a long time (immemorial); but now I am in the position that I have to go to the State to ask for the rights to manage and control the forest. This is so contradictory. The other fact we could see is the rate of deforestation in the region is so dramatic. Factors that contributing to deforestation and the concern if mainly according to governmental reports then the blames have often been referring to the IPs.
The first decision that we found in relation to forest biological diversity is Decision II/9 “forest biological diversity …” Bear with me that CBD is not a final text but negotiated. This is why the ad hoc expert group on FBD was created in Nairobi 2000. 2002 adopted the expanded words on FBD.” We need to discuss how programs (issues) should be systematized or prioritized; unable to handle more than 100 item programs.
The three key programs but also challenges are (1) Conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing; (2) Institution and socio-economic enabling environment; and (3) Knowledge, assessment and monitoring. And the key thing is how well we would be able to cope with these challenges. Some strategies for way-out include (a) more IPs to participate and share and disseminate information; (b) Expert groups must include IPs; and (c) Indigenous women must be visible in the whole process; and (d) Use other international instruments to recognize on collective rights as IPs (not just CBD, CBD cannot be in isolation).
Has the forest work program been a helpful tool in reducing the loss of forest biodiversity? And how has the forest work been helpful in addressing the objectives?
Jannie: expert groups in forest expert groups were quite active and had 2 indigenous members. One is from Latin America and the other is from Canada. We have not made use of them. If they are not active, should we replace them? We have not received any reports from them.
CBD on forest – you might aware of that lots of companies would be affected and these companies are in line with the governments.
Sirjana: In Nepal, there was good community forestry. In the past, IPs gave up land named community land. They displaced them and make new forests and that do not include IPs. How could we interlink between CBD? Joint forest management. It is an intervention from the government.
Sukhendu: State would monitor; for India, we have been going through consultation of the Bill on Forest Rights with the involvement of IPs at local and national levels.
Rai: Our life depends on forest resources. But as for development purposes, many IPs have been displaced from development practices. This is the main program. Would the government of Nepal.
5.5 National Implementation/Reports/NBSAPs (Saw Paul)
The more we talk about the big words, the jargon; the more we confused. I would like to discuss the specific case in Myanmar.
Article 8j gives a lot of space for people’s participation. The GEF provides funding to strengthen the involvement of IPs and local communities in the processes of the conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components. What I have found that CBD and the guidelines governing the GEF reflecting international environmental law that integrates ecological interests with issues of human rights, social justice and democratic participation.
Myanmar signed and ratified the CBD in November 1994. Written all 3 national biodiversity reports. By January 2006: UNEP ROAP – NCEA Signed MoU to develop NBSAP (Initial Phase: Getting Organized & Stocktaking). By June 2006: an inception workshop (initiate Stocktaking; estb. Steering Committee, Project Management Team & 3 WG; & GEF NBSAP application).
These are however gaps between CBD/NBSAP/GEF Principles & Conservation Practices in Myanmar. One is oopportunities for Indigenous Peoples’ Participation: Lack of opportunity for participation of indigenous peoples and environmental groups with indigenous representation based both inside Myanmar as well as along its borders. Second is Ethnic Politics and SPDC-Granted Natural Resource Concessions: The main threat to biodiversity is ongoing natural resource exploitation by the Burmese regime (‘development projects’) which is closely related to human rights abuses in ethnic areas. Third is Conservation and Human Rights abuses in Myanmar: Past and current conservation efforts by the Burmese regime being connected to alleged human rights abuses such as forced displacement.
Conservation and Human Rights abuses have been closely related in Myanmar. The case of Myinmoletkat Biosphere reserve (WCS and Smithsonian institute) in the 1990s that 20,000 new Karen refugees in Thailand and disrupted Kaserdoh community conserved area. The 2nd case of Hkakabo Razi National Park (WCS) in Kachin state in 1998 in which since then the number of Burmese military battalions stationed in the surrounding area has risen to over ten, as it is perceived as an important national security zone.
Recommendations including (a) UNEP ROAP, GEF and INGOs facilitating the process should insist that Myanmar’s regime-led NBSAP provides for substantive participation by indigenous groups and environment groups with indigenous representation, based both inside and outside Myanmar. More specifically, (1) a representative seat on the NBSAP coordinating committee (Project Management Team and the three Thematic Working Groups); (2) Participation in consultations, conferences and workshops as part of the NBSAP; and (3) Include indigenous knowledge as part of the stocktaking process.
Provide capacity-building trainings with stakeholders currently being consulted by UNEP ROAP on people-focused conservation approaches, such as the importance of community-conserved areas and indigenous peoples’ natural resource management. Encourage consultations among indigenous groups and environment organizations with indigenous representation by those based inside and outside the country as to what their joint-strategy will be for engaging on the NBSAP.
There should be more advocate for good governance measures for NBSAP implementation stage, e.g. one safeguard would be to have an independent watchdog body to monitor the NBSAP process to ensure that the NBSAP related funds do not perpetuate human rights abuses.
All information about NBSAP made accessible (including in local languages). And also encourage the Burmese regime to stop granting unsustainable natural resource concessions to foreign and national companies, irrespective of severe negative impacts on local communities and related human rights abuses.
5.6 Indicators for Strategic Plan, 2010 Biodiversity Target and National Implementation
Indigenous Peoples at the WG formed the IIFB Working Group on Indicators to identify and test indicators for Strategic Plan and the 2010 Biodiversity Target. DecisionVIII/5 G welcomed the initiative of the IIFB WG on Indicators to hold an International Expert Seminar to consider in a holistic and integrated way, the development of a limited number of meaningful indicators.
There are 3 leveling processes in which each process varies in themes and issues. For instance, process 1 identified 12 Core themes and issues e.g. security of rights to territories, lands and natural resources; integrity of indigenous cultural heritage; respect for identity and non-discrimination; full, informed and effective participation; and access to infrastructure and basic services; etc.
Process 2 i.e. the IIFB Technical Working Group produced a shortlists of indicators addressing the Strategic Plan (Goal 4) and 2010 Biodiversity Targets. Examples are goal 4 – full and effective participation of ILCs; goal 9 – Protection of TK, Innovations and Practices; goal 4 – Sustainable Use and consumption; goal 10 – fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, etc. Process 3 is more at the International Seminars in which participants selected, amended and refined the indicators; there are regional groupings ranked and commented on the selected indicators; and then International Coordinating Committee synthesized the indicators and submitted to the CBD in June (to be discussed at the WG8(j) in October 2007).
There are 23 indicators so please have a look in details. I will example a few. Indicator 1.1.1 indicates the number and size of PAs and sacred sites governed and managed by ILCs and/or in partnership with relevant authorities. Indicator 4.1.1 addresses the number of ILCs with land and resource use plans/strategies. Indicator 4.1.2 mentioned the number of certificate and certification schemes of ILCs with FPIC on areas of customary sustainable use.
There are also indicators like 6.1.1 No. of native species lost or extinct and new invasive species encroaching on biodiversity, ecosystems & traditional territories; 7.2.1 Levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other contaminants in traditional diets (breast milk, marine mammals etc); and 7.2.2 No. of clean-up programs in indigenous territories.
The indicator 9.1.1 indicates the number of governments legally recognizing customary law, institutions and practices. 9.1.2 Status & trends in the practice of traditional occupations of which I am also new of. How do we measure status? How do we measure trends?
Indicator 9.2.1 talks about number of Parties with national legislation, policies and measures to protect TK, recognize land rights and customary sustainable use (Demarcations, registration, customary resource rights, land claim resolved, % of land with legal title, % area under community forest management etc). And indicator 11.1.1 ODA reaching ILCs for CBD implementation at all levels.
These are for examples so I mention a few. Please do take your times to study in further these indicators.
5.7 United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)
The UNFF was formally created in 2000 as a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It succeeded the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) 1995-1997 and Inter-Governmental Forum on Forests (IFF) 1998-2000. Its main objective is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
The Principal functions of the UNFF is to facilitate and promote implementation of the IPF/IFF PfA and to foster a common understanding on Sustainable Forestry management (SFM), undertake policy development and dialogue among governments, international organizations and other major groups; enhance co-operation and policy and programme co¬ordination on forest related issues; monitor and asses progress through reporting; and strengthen political commitment.
Specific actions include: making recommendations for developing a legal framework on forests; devising approaches for financial and technology transfer; provide guidance from the UNFF to CPF; and reviewing the international arrangement on forests in five years.
IPF and IFF proposals for action relevant to Indigenous Peoples include those related to Traditional Forest Related Knowledge; those related to land and resource rights of indigenous peoples, and those related to participation of indigenous and other forest dependant peoples in national legislation and forest plans. These proposals for action total some 21 proposals directly relevant to TFRK, a further 7 regarding the importance of full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and other forest dependant peoples; and 9 regarding land and resource rights. Details of these proposals for action as well as the proposed activities of the second phase of the UNFF are given in the PowerPoint presentation.
5.8 Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples
Global Warming or climate change is expected to lead to longer droughts, bigger floods, higher and lower temperature extremes, more hurricanes, faster melting of glaciers, more unpredictable weather patters and stronger weather fluctuations, among other changes. Scientists have predict that in some regions of the world, up to two-thirds of today’s forests will dramatically change because of the changes in the climate.
The governments’ response to the problem of increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been the establishment of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 (but entered into force on 21 March 1994) and the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 (but which came into force in 2005).
The presentation gave a comprehensive background to the functioning of the UNFCCC with special reference to the COP and the various institutions in the CBD process as well as on the operation of the Kyoto Protocol and the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM).
With regard to Climate Change, the demands of the Indigenous Peoples are:
• Recognize the fundamental role of Indigenous Peoples in addressing climate change and environmental degradation to restore the natural balance.
• Creation of the Inter-sessional Ad hoc Working Group on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change for the timely, effective and adequate solutions in response to the urgent situation caused by climate change.
• Provide necessary support to indigenous peoples for their full and effective participation in all levels of discussion, decision making and implementation as well as ensuring that the necessary funding be provided to guarantee such participation and to strengthen their capacities.
• Include Indigenous Peoples and climate change as items in the agenda of the COP and the Subsidiary Bodies meetings with specific reference to vulnerability, adaptation, poverty, and other impacts of climate change.
• The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) must incorporate principles which address transparency, free, prior and informed consent and equitable benefit sharing with Indigenous Peoples
• All development projects within indigenous ancestral territories must respect our fundamental rights to lands, territories, self-determination and ensure our right to our free, prior and informed consent.
• Sinks project do not contribute to climate change mitigation and sustainable development. The modalities and procedures for plantation, afforestation and reforestation project activities under the CDM do not respect and guarantee our right to lands, territories, and self-determination.
• Establish a process that works towards the full phase-out of fossil fuels, with a just transition to sustainable energy and environment.
• Mainstream IPs and climate change issue: indigenous experts meetings
• Support the creation and financing of the Adaptation Fund to be accessed by Indigenous Peoples to address the potential and actual impacts of climate change in a manner compatible with our traditional knowledge, customs, culture and lifestyles.
• Propose that special capacity building be undertaken for indigenous peoples. Such capacity building would strengthen our ability to exercise our right to fully participate in climate change negotiations.
• Implement Climate Impact Assessments which take into account indigenous knowledge systems, culture, social values, spirituality and ecosystems; as well as the full and equal participation of Indigenous Peoples in all aspects and stages of the assessment.
According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, climate change is likely to become the dominant direct driver of biodiversity loss by the end of the century, forcing biodiversity to adapt either through shifting habitat, changing life cycles, or the development of new physical traits. Biodiversity certainly has a role to play in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Paul suggested that we look into how governments have responded to natural disasters like the tsunami. Government in fact responded poorly to them.
Kittisak commented that the Climate Change group is just a small group that continues to meet. The issues are not fully grasped by the Indigenous Peoples. The issue is how to discuss the issues and how to disseminate such issues to the Indigenous Peoples.
Tu Kien: The use of laptops contribute to the green house gases. Also, in any type of agricultural gases, there is methane. And all CDM projects like solar energy and wind farms incur high investment costs. In Vietnam the trend has been to move towards modernization and industrialization, and with it the introduction of dam projects. I would be very pro to indigenous techniques or to small, very local based resource-use.
Jason: Indigenous Peoples should be more active as CC really impacts on us. One way is to more documentation on how CC is changing our lifestyles.
Sukhendu: Indigenous Peoples are at the receiving end in carbon trading. We need to ask who are giving money for the dams, destroying the traditional forests and such.
Kittisak: Another emerging fuel that I did not discuss in my presentation is the issue of bio¬fuel. The debate on this issue is still going on.
6. WORKSHOP REPORTS
The participants were divided into 6 workshop groups to discuss the following themes and topics: Traditional Knowledge/Access and Benefit-Sharing; Communication, Awareness and Public Education/Financial and Technical Support; Forest/Mountain Biodiversity; National Reports and NBSAPS/Indicators for Strategic Plan and 2010 Biodiversity Target; Protected Areas/Sustainable Use; Island/Coastal and Marine Biodiversity; and Agriculture Biodiversity/Climate Change. Following is a summary of their discussion and recommendations as contained in the respective group reports appended to this document.
6.1 Traditional Knowledge and Access & Benefit Sharing
The group listed out the experiences of TK and ABS in their respective countries and how their organizations were involved in the issue, as detailed in the appended full workshop report. Basically, the group identified the issues and challenges facing Indigenous Peoples as follows:
• Lack of political will of the government to recognize rights of IPs over TK;
• Understanding the CBD process at the local level especially as to how it can effectively promote the issues of IPs;
• Changing the values and lifestyles especially of the youth;
• Heavy loss of local species and diversity;
• Climate change has resulted in the loss of seed diversity;
• Documentation, transfer of knowledge and protection of IK under customary law.
The recommendations of the group are:
• Develop capacity-building at the local or community level on the CBD, including information sharing among various indigenous groups;
• Lobby the government and also at the international level on the rights of Indigenous Peoples to TK;
• Dialogue on the issues of migration of youths to urban areas and transmission of TK;
• To effectively use the CBD for the realization of the recognition of rights, 8(j) on TK, 10(c) on customary sustainable use and 15 on ABS, other relevant articles.
6.2 Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA)
Many indigenous organizations are not familiar with CEPA and its implementation and activities. It is felt that more efforts and awareness actions are needed. The recommendations of the group are:
• To establish the implementation of CEPA activities, especially national advisory board and to make that the indigenous and local community and journalists, youth and representatives of the indigenous people should be included in the board.
• Indigenous People Organization should develop a template for assessment of knowledge and awareness on biodiversity. Governments should also be encouraged to develop the assessment template and also conduct assessments. It must be made sure that the information is available to all.
• The key programs and messages should also be translated into local languages. In this regard, the government shall, at least, develop these in the national languages.
• IPOs should identify relevant indigenous media organizations and journalists. We can also sponsor an annual media award for national and regional levels (particularly for the indigenous media). The media award should be for promoting CEPA. We should also encourage the existing indigenous media to expand its role in CEPA in the national level, and to conduct media training and workshops on environmental issues in the local level as well as organizing monthly round-tables regarding CEPA.
• The IPOs should take the initiative to translate the tool kits into the local indigenous languages and distribute them. The translation should be in appropriate section consistent with the geographical/environmental situation.
• To organize an Asia-wide indigenous regional workshop on the articulation of CEPA strategies. It is necessary to ensure that there is geographical balance in the participation.
• To develop infrastructure and support for a global network website on CBD and IP issues with the funding from IA, UNDP-GEF (SGP-small grants program).
• Indigenous media and journalist should be also be invited in the celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity. The IPO should also be encouraged to celebrate this day.
• Special accreditation for indigenous media/journalist is also to be established.
• To make sure that biodiversity education in formal and informal education system be localized.
• Regarding financial resources, the Voluntary fund should be provided for the indigenous people to implement CEPA activities. Towards this end:
• International Financial Institutions should establish a fund especially for the indigenous people.
• A special fund for the indigenous people to implement CEPA activities by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) needs also to be established.
• IA, IKAP and AIPP should raise funds for local indigenous people organization for joint implementation of CEPA activities.
6.3 Forest & Mountain Biodiversity
Based on the experiences of the group members in their respective countries, several issues pertaining to Forest & Mountain Biodiversity were identified as well as how to address them
On the issue of decreasing forest cover, Indigenous Peoples and NGOs should proactively and interactively dialogue with companies, forest department, the state, etc.
On the issue of non-recognition of Indigenous Peoples rights over forest and natural resources, such recognition must be accorded plus there should be integration of Customary Laws into Formal Laws.
Regarding the more effective implementation of the CBD, the Biodiversity Index should be written in the local Indigenous Peoples languages. There should be monitoring mechanisms at all levels done by Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Peoples and local NGOs should either coordinate expert groups or are the Expert Groups themselves. In all these, Indigenous women must be visible i.e. full and effective participation at all levels
On discriminatory laws, any Forest/Mountain/Biodiversity Laws most address Indigenous Peoples’ rights and issues.
Additionally, the group put forward the following recommendations:
Locally, there should be more recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights over forest and CBFUM/JFM; more capacity building (CBD, benefits sharing, eco-labeling); and more access to information.
Regionally, there should be more exchanges (e.g. interns) and forums among NGOs, and learning from each other’s experiences.
Internationally, we should advocate/lobby the international financial institutions (WB/ADB/IMF) to make sure that their investments policy, (a) follow FPIC, and (b) are friendly to Indigenous Peoples (benefit-sharing). The monitoring mechanism should be in line with CBD and Indigenous Peoples’ Expert Groups.
6.4 Indicators and NBSAPs
On the matter of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), the recommendations are: to seek more information on which countries in Asia have not prepared their NBSAP; to recommend to GEF to follow their own guidelines on the participation of Indigenous Peoples in NBSAP preparation; to develop strategies for each country; to make the CBD Strategic Plan indicators compatible with the NBSAP; and to recommend that upon its completion, NBSAPs be implementated.
On the matter of Indicators, the Global Outcome-oriented indicators when read with Decision VIII (No. 8) may not be practical because some countries can hide behind global figures. Also, Decision 8 and 11 actually contradict each other.
We need to examine the use of language, apart from incorporating the use of indigenous languages itself. A glossary or schedule of the meaning of terms used is also needed. For example, what does the term ‘traditional livelihoods’ mean? And in the CBD indicator for participation of Indigenous Peoples in the CBD processes, the phrase “finances spent” is weaker than the term “allocation”.
Gam: Is there any indicator to determine the FPIC at CBD?
Jannie: These are the number of representatives, number of partnership of the ILCs in implementation of programmes of the CBD, finances spent to support effective representation.
Tu Kien: Vietnam will not accept the term ‘Indigenous Peoples’.
Ajarn Chupinit: This issue is cross-cutting, from India to Thailand. The people have to assert and get recognition of themselves as Indigenous Peoples. Every country has a different context. Countries with similar issues/context should get together and share and strategize regionally.
Jannie: Basically we need to understand the concept of ‘indigenous’. Each country has its own term to mean indigenous, but it is very important that Indigenous Peoples themselves in their own country to say who is indigenous or what it means to be indigenous.
Ajarn Chupinit: The UN has made it clear what the definition of Indigenous Peoples is. I refer to this definition when I think of Indigenous Peoples. In Thailand, we have the term ‘Hill Tribes’ but this term does not refer to those who live in the coastal regions in the south. It should be the position of Indigenous Peoples in Asia to recognize the definition of Indigenous Peoples as stated by the UN.
6.5 Protected Areas and Sustainable Use
The issues and/or challenges identified (as copied verbatim from the group report, and to be edited): Full participation by IPs in meetings, discussions and working groups of the CB. Agenda, Land and forest law, Customary right/belief (cultural right), Communal right, Invasive intervention, IK right need reorganization, Conflicts of governance use, Business sectors/company & tourism, Industry parks (indirectly), Access to information/policies, Access to fund (financial resources), and Capacity empowerment.
Recommendations: There should be full and effective participation by Indigenous Peoples in all discussions. Meetings, working groups, etc. at the CBD at all levels. Laws must be clear and specific laws and implemented. The laws should embody recognition of customary law. All forms of development and interventions in protected areas such us business industries and tourism should fully recognize the free prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples. Information mechanism must be established and carried out to give full education of communities regarding the CBD. Capacity building for Indigenous Peoples and networking should be supported, Governments should recognize customary law.
6.6 Impact of Developmental Projects and Tourism on Inland Waters and Biodiversity
In India, in its attempt to build dams the State has either ignored or manipulated the process to get free, prior and consent information. In some instances, despite no Environmental Impact Clearance being given, the construction goes ahead. In such circumstances, the group recommends that no dams should be commissioned without free, prior and informed consent of the people and the indigenous communities should not be removed from their land. The Government should ensure investment in research and just and sustainable energy technologies. Halt the use of all forms of violence and intimidation, military intervention to carry out “developmental” projects. Recognize indigenous knowledge and customary rights of Indigenous Peoples over their land and resources (collective as well as private).
The challenge remains making the governments recognize the rights of the indigenous communities’ rights over their land and resources and keeping back developmental projects (dams, palm oil plantations, enclosing Indigenous Peoples’ land and forests into eco parks, wildlife sanctuaries) in the face of violence and intimidation.
In China, with a focus on Lijiang, the tourism industry has become important for the Naxi and other peoples living in Lijiang city and its surrounding villages. However, there are both positive and negative impacts of tourism. In light of this, the following recommendations have been put forward: Respect the traditional knowledge; Use the knowledge for development with return mechanism and intellectual property rights; Focus on sustainable tourism (Lijiang is biological diversity rich area and local people have good knowledge to maintain this. Their knowledge should be used in to maintain biodiversity.); Ensure full participation of indigenous communities in the planning stage.
In Malaysia, widespread deforestation due tologging and agricultural expansion and massive infrastructural development have threatened Indigenous Peoples’ native customary rights (NCR). State Governments’ view is that the natives are only licensees on State Land and as such conflicts between IP’s, private companies and the state governments arise when timber licences and leases are issued over customary lands. In light of this, the demands of the Indigenous Peoples are: to protect their Native Customary Rights to land, forest and the environment; to officially delineate and record native customary lands; to urgently halt the encroachment of private companies in their native customary lands; to take action on illegal logging; to halt issuances of leases or licences over NCR land; to pay adequate and just compensation; and to uphold the principle of prior informed consent of the Indigenous Peoples.
6.7 Agricultural Biodiversity and Climate Change
Agricultural biodiversity is not mono-crop culture. It involves diversity of crops, plants, animals and other living things. The change of agricultural practices due to economic policies (e.g. that of liberalization) leads to a loss of traditional varieties of seeds and plants. There is also loss of fertility of the soil, apart from a greater dependency on the market for food and nutrition.
More specific issues include the loss of land to rubber concessions as in Laos, and conversion of nature reserves into farming. Governments also tend to promote commercial agriculture and industrialization. These issues give rise to several problems such as health problems in Thailand and the problems of debt and suicides in India.
Solutions: At the community level, retain and maintain traditional practices of agriculture that is environment-friendly, to learn from past experiences, to create awareness on agricultural biodiversity.
At the national level, to work toward changing the (government’s) negative attitude towards the traditional system; to ensure the full and effective participation from Indigenous Peoples in policy-making and formulation; and to ensure that information is disseminated to the Indigenous Peoples.
On Climate Change, the recommendations are: to raise awareness at the community level about the impact of climate change; develop capacity building of local peoples; monitor the government’s policy on climate change; and ensure that development is not at the cost of the environment and people.
Lal: What is the alternative for dam making?
Jason: The premise of the question is wrong.
Paul: Power demand is based on country’s strive to increase its GDP, and does not reflect the needs of the population. India has the technology to develop alternative energy. Why don’t they use this?
Kittisak: Alternative agricultural systems are there to complement the modern system, not to replace it. Neither should the modern agricultural systems replace traditional systems.
7. PLANNING & ACTION
The CBD calendar for the year 2007-2008 was presented by Jannie (upcoming CBD-related meetings are given in the CBD Calendar appended to this report) to help participants decide the issues they or their organization wishes to specialize in. She also explained that those highlighted in the CBD calendar are meetings that are deemed important to indigenous peoples. In a paper that she wrote for the IIFB in 2005 (included in the kit), it was better if indigenous representatives specializes in one or maximum two themes, and to participate in as early in the process as possible. This way inputs are likely to be adopted by Parties at COP.
At these meetings, indigenous organizations have opportunities to present their issues during side events and to lobby governments to support indigenous recommendations.
Some important meetings like CEPA may not be in the Calendar, so it is important to lobby for decisions to hold these meetings.
7.1 Updates on Representatives attending CBD Processes
Next was the presentation of an updates on the representatives from Asia who have been attending/specializing in some of these meetings. Participants were asked to select a theme/issue that they wish to specialize in (see full list in the Table below).
On a question on what are required of representatives attending CBD processes, several people who have attended meetings shared their experience. In particular, they stressed the importance of having good command of English or one of the other UN languages (eg Chinese); familiarity of the topic or issue as well as the CBD documents, experience in lobbying and negotiation and consistency.
The responsibility of the persons who have signed in will include accessing and critiquing the CBD documents and form a discussion group (online) to provide input. Not all may be able to attend, so others will support those who manage to get funding.
(Note: need to check with He Hong to confirm whether persons from China are indigenous)
7.2 Questions on Side Events
On whether Asia/AIPP should organize side events, it was recommended that one side event each should be held at WG8j and at COP9. It was suggested that for the side event at WG8(j), the Resource Paper on Traditional Knowledge by Gam Shimray, case studies on Inland Waters by Aram Pamei and Biodiversity and Tourism by He Hong can be presented. For COP9, Asia/AIPP will coordinate with other regions to present relevant papers as there are usually limited slots for side events at COP meetings.
7.3 Question on Coordination at the International Level
Jannie explained that prior to each COP meetings since 2004, an IIFB Ad-Hoc Coordinating Committee is formed with representatives from each of the 7 regions (Latin America, North America, Arctic, Russia, Africa, Asia and the Pacific). For COP9, it was recommended that there should be 3 levels of regional representation
1 Representatives to International CC (decisions on no. of participants from the region, programme, prep-meeting, etc) – Jannie Lasimbang and someone from International Alliance
2 Representative in charge of coordinating preparation of participants from Asia – Gam Shimray; and
3 Representative in charge of coordinating local logistics for participants from Asia – Sirjana Subba.
7.4 Processes for Selecting 8(j) Advisory Committee
Sole current member from Asia is Janie Lasimbang, but she explained that she is heavily involved in Protected Areas and more recently in the Indicators work and would like to request to be replaced. She requested Dr. Lanusashi Longkumer to replace her in the Advisory Committee meeting in April but due to a delay in the issuance of his visa, he was unable to attend. It was agreed that Dr. Lanu should be asked whether he would still like to be an official representative and if not, then Gam Shimray will replace Jannie in the Advisory Committee.
7.5 Submissions to the CBD and Consultants
Jannie explained that it is also possible to influence the governments by preparing submissions to the CBD on issues. Notifications are made regularly by the CBD Secretariat. AIPP has coordinated a number of submissions in the past, particularly on traditional knowledge and protected areas. There is also an opportunity to act as consultants to write CBD documents, the only drawback is usually the short time period to prepare the documents. There is a good chance for indigenous consultants to be accepted for documents on traditional knowledge. If interested, names and CV should be sent to the CBD Secretariat.
Dr. Lal expressed interest in being a consultant on traditional knowledge.
7.6 Funding Opportunities
A presentation was made by Suraporn, Asia representative to the CBD Voluntary Trust Fund on various funding opportunities to attend CBD-related meetings and other activities. (see powerpoint presentation “Funding Opportunities for IPs’ participation in CBD meetings). She urged those who have signed on the list to apply to the CBD Voluntary Trust Fund before the deadline of July 15.
7.7 Planning for the 4th IKB conference
AMAN from Indonesia expressed interest in hosting the next Coonference, while it was unanimously agreed that IKAP, IA and AIPP should again act as the organizers at the regional level.
7.8 Country Plans on CBD-related Activities
Before the participants broke up into their respective country groups to suggest plans for national-level CBD-related activities, there was a short discussion on the need to translate CBD materials into local or indigenous languages. There was also a strong need to develop the toolkits for CEPA (for local awareness), including training manuals, in the local languages.
It was suggested that such documents and materials be translated first into the national language and then into the local (or indigenous) languages. The national language is the more feasible thing for us to do. In Nepal, for example, there are hundreds of local languages and it would be difficult to do the translations in all the languages. However, ultimately, it was felt that the decision of what language to use would be left to the national consensus.
The following table shows the country-level CBD-related activities proposed by the respective national groups:
8. Evaluation of IIFB
Kittisak: I would like to invite Jannie to share some of the background and recent developments of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB).
Jannie: COP3 in 2006 IPs were proposing that there was a need to establish the IIFB forum. IIFB would have an advisory status to the CBD. At first, there were only 20 seats allocated to us; but now 15 to 100 seats given to us. In the COP5, there was recognition of us – the role of IIFB is important in addressing Article 8j for COP. IIFB has been an open forum for active debates among IPs.
With regards to the recent developments of IIFB; prep-meetings have helped IPs to provide info and venue for specific working groups/committees to come up with positions. Now provide adequate space (seats) and basic facilities by the Secretariat of the CBD. IIFB hold daily morning briefing caucuses and de-briefing. Also, organizing meetings and lobby/advocacy with government.
More recently, IIFB formed specialized groupings within IIFB on conservation (PA issue), working group on indicators. Also, making commissioned papers, regional conferences, and workshops on CBD. IIFB also made documents and case studies to CBD, recommended indigenous experts as part of Expert/Advisory Groups. Our region is often shy whereas other regions are much more proactive. Now, we try to identify participants for Expert Seminars and other fora to influence outcomes of the CBD at an early stage. IIFB also works with conservation bodies and UN agencies. There are rifts within the IIFB working style and interventions.
On the Structure of IIFB
Strengths: IIFB has technical, financial support from other organizations (INGOs, NGOs); having equal representation from different regions and also equal resource allocation; They have shown strong commitment; build up consensus decision making; and collective statement. Besides the AHCC has shown collective decision making; coordinators are flexible; support mechanisms including prep-meetings and fund raising;
Weaknesses: Not equal representative; Over work/load; Over-lapping positions; Easy to be blaming; Lack of coordination; Communication barrier (i.e. language); Time consuming; No clear roles of participation by some IPs; No mechanism for selection of the Asian coordinator; Coordinator invisible;
Recommendations: Incentives; Develop MOU; Develop guideline (check and balance); 2 options (a) regional meeting; and (b) COP’s meeting; each region should declare the AHCC members at every COP; Translate tools into local language; Clear position of participations; Selection of responsible persons to coordinate inter-session or in between COPs (whole and WGs); Put in place a mechanism to replace an AHCC member who is inactive; Clarification of roles of AHCC members (coordination to national/local representatives); Clear role and responsibility of chair, co-chair, team leaders, etc; Coordinator be visible and more active; Sharing responsibilities;
Weaknesses: Limited funding for IPs participation due to no interpreters; too much prioritization of the topics selections; late in information sharing; self-selection: it is hard to know people that were suggested to participate in the meetings; technical and language barrier; poor national preparation; Inter-sectional meetings.
Recommendations: Participation at the International Level: It is highly recommended that requesting money and finance for more participation and allocation for also translators for IPs. A better balance of these thematic issues so that most of the issues can be addressed and issues brought up being discussed. There should be more meetings must result in producing good and productive information sharing.
Participation at the Regional International Level: There is a stronger need in create a regional listserve, interactive website, bulletin, media, etc. Besides, clarification of role of participants (preparation, participation and reporting and sharing information to other groups including your own organization) should be clearer. Support groups (NGOs), translate and coordinate to local representative updates and assist in preparations especially for countries where IPs have difficulties in accessing internet and information.
There should be references to those organizations for endorsement of the new people; and candidate should submit their background/experience. Resource persons should be to summarize, condense, and abstract information of these technical languages. There should be a stronger strengthening process for NGOs/IPOs and their network. Information provide on the CBD should be made available in the most simplified versions.
Participation at the National Level: There should be more debriefing at the national level after meetings (1-2 days); look more at focus area – IK (agriculture biodiversity, sustainable use), ABS, PA-forest and mountains. If possible, IIFB could provide guidelines for participants by collecting comments (there should be a focal person to do that). Should increase dialogue with government representatives – before, during, after COPs and relevant meetings (national level) and conduct Asia dialogue among IPs and govt. during COPs and working group meetings.
General recommendations on participation: Clear role and responsibility of chair, co-chair, team leaders, etc; Clear responsibility of participants (preparation, participation and reporting); Necessary to undergo a process of pre-regional selection of participants; Guideline or process to recognize or unify different regional positions on certain issues when there is a disagreement; Adequate process for regions to identify or agree on positions that could be unified during the IIFB preparatory meeting; Collect CV’s of participants;
There was a comment upon improvement of the website on IIFB. May be the development of the web should be more livelier and should have someone to maintain it for consistency on the quarterly base i.e. update information, etc.
Jason: There is a stronger need on information sharing. Gam: Should select one to 2 urgent issues. Whether this could be an idea. Sui: Many complaints about big files. If someone can volunteer to create smaller files, IIFB’s materials should be less heavier.
Des: An initiative on setting up an internet-based database. A group who sets up and also managing the Net. Kittisak: Creating and maintaining a vibrant research is still difficult.
The conference closed with a ceremony by the Dongbao priests who wrote individualized good wishes of the participants on traditional paper and in the Naxi script, and an expression of thanks to the local organizers.