Composite Report on the status and trends regarding traditional knowledge

Composite Report on the status and trends regarding traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant to the conservation

 

and sustainable use of biodiversity

 

Prepared by: Lourdes D. Amos

 

AIPP Secretariat

 

Background Information:

 

 

 

During the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity or CBD was upheld to acknowledge that biological diversity is the foundation upon which civilizations have been built. Thus, its conservation is a prerequisite to for sustainable development and, as such, constitutes one of the greatest challenges of modern era.

 

 

 

The CBD is an international legally binding treaty that has now 187 Parties where Parties have committed to undertake national and international measures aimed at achieving three objectives: 1) the conservation of biological diversity, 2) the sustainable use of its components, and 3) the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization fo genetic resources. The governing body of the Convention is the Conference of Parties (COP) that meets every two (2) years, the latest on 9-20 February 2004 for the 7th COP in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

 

 

Article 8: In-situ Conservation in section (j) states that:

 

 

 

“Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate:

 

Subject to its national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation of sustainable use of biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices.”

 

 

 

 

 

What is the composite report?

 

The report pertains to the status and trends regarding Traditional Knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

 

 

 

During 6th COP held in The Hague, Netherlands on 7-19 April 2002, a decision was adopted (VI/10) on the outline of the composite report (Annex 1). It has requested the Secretariat of the CBD (SCBD) to undertake the first phase based on elements 1 and 2, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, particularly women, through regional workshops, in the completion of the report. It encouraged Parties to hold national workshops and provide appropriate funding. The outcomes of these workshops will be submitted to the Secretariat as a contribution to the Composite report.

 

 

 

In the 7th COP, the developments of the composite report was taken up and decided on the following:

 

1. Reminded Parties and all concerned to be mindful that any information-gathering exercise pertaining knowledge and practices of indigenous and local communities should be conducted with the prior informed consent of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices.

 

2. Noting the information prepared (UNEP/CBD/WG8J/3/INF/1), to undertake further activities to complete Phase 1, to produce a revised version prior to next meeting of the Working Group on 8(j) and Related Provisions.

 

3. Requested consultation with and inputs from Parties, Governments, relevant organizations, all relevant stakeholders as appropriate, and from indigenous and local communities.

 

 

 

What information is needed in addition to the Phase 1 of the Composite Report?

 

At the national level, additional information relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity:

 

1. Assessment, particularly by indigenous and local communities, of the success of measures and initiatives to support the retention and use of knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles;

 

2. Advantages and limitations of registers as a measure to protect traditional knowledge (TK), innovations and practices, including approaches used for the implementation of registers;

 

3. Incentives and disincentives for the retention of use of TK, innovations and practices;

 

4. Examples of measures to protect TK, innovations and practices; and,

 

5. Recent field studies undertaken with the full involvement of indigenous and local communities which demonstrate the state of knowledge, innovations and practices.

 

 

 

What information is needed in addition to the Phase 1 of the Composite Report?

 

1. Identification of national processes that may threaten the maintenance, preservation and application of traditional knowledge.

 

 

 

In this regard, the CBD notes that:

 

“Many of the processes that may continue to threaten the maintenance and survival of traditional knowledge have their roots in the histories of many countries, for example in the process of colonization involving conflict, introduced diseases, dispossession of territories, resettlement, forced assimilation, and marginalization of indigenous and local communities. Some studies have indicated that national development programmes and policies, modernization of agricultural production and other natural resource-based industries, education and training programmes, and employment strategies often do not take into account the needs of indigenous and local communities. Similarly, there has been a lack of effective indigenous and local community involvement in the design of necessary policies and programmes to enable such communities to protect their traditional knowledge or to capitalize on their innovative capacities for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity within the national and global economies.”

 

 

 

 

 

It is the proposed to address the issues as follows:

 

a) Demographic factors;

 

b) National development policies/programmes;

 

c) Education, training and employment programmes;

 

d) National programmes for modernization through the development, transfer and adoption of new technologies;

 

e) Identification of activities, actions, policies and legislative and administrative procedures that may discourage respect for, preservation and maintenance of traditional biodiversity-related knowledge.

 

2. Identification of national processes that may threaten the maintenance, preservation and application of traditional knowledge.

 

 

 

The CBD notes further that:

 

 A number of factors that may threaten the maintenance of traditional knowledge also occur at the local community level, by disrupting the processes of intergenerational transmission of languages, cultural traditions and skills. The significance of these factors will vary from country to country but they generally include changes to patterns of settlement; the movement of young people to cities for employment, education and lifestyle opportunities; introduction of new technologies, food and medicines, making people less reliant on traditional ways; low levels of life expectancy brought about by changes in lifestyle and new epidemics such as HIV-AIDS; and a host of new cultural influences disseminated through modern media. Many indigenous and local communities, while having a solid natural resource base and the traditional knowledge to conserve and use it sustainably, nevertheless, may not have sufficient capacity to be able to develop these assets for the benefit of their communities in today’s economy. In some instances, this situation has encouraged the development of these assets by outside interests to the detriment of the communities and has resulted in their further marginalization. 

 

 

 

The issues are proposed to be addressed under the following:

 

a) Territorial factors and factors affecting communal lands

 

b) Cultural factors

 

c) Economic factors (including the relationship between poverty and ecosystem stress0

 

d) Social factors (including demographic, gender and familial factors)

 

e) Constraints on the exercise of customary law relevant to the management, conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity

 

f) Lack of capacity to manage contemporary threats to biological diversity resulting from development, over-use and socio-economic pressures generated outside the community

 

g) The impact of HIV-AIDS on the maintenance of traditional knowledge systems

 

h) Impact of organized religions on traditional knowledge and practices.

 

 

 

What do we need to prepare for the workshop?

 

1. Additional information available to be submitted to the SCBD for the Phase 1.

 

Refer to attached document (UNEP/CBD/WG8J/3/INF/1) for the draft report and prepare a write-up of your additional submission, if applicable.

 

 

 

2. Prepare information related to the proposed items for Phase 2 as stated above.

 

Information can be taken from the internet and website of pertinent government agencies in your countries, usually the agency dealing with environment and indigenous peoples if available.

 

 

 

3. Review decision VII/16 and provide comments and additional recommendations to the Annex to E: Elements of a Plan of Action for the Retention of Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices of Indigenous and Local Communities Embodying Traditional Lifestyles Relevant for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity.

 

 

 

4. Explore possible national strategies and plans to be undertaken, in coordination with indigenous communities, national focal points and relevant agencies or organizations to provide additional information to the composite report.

 

 

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