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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Protected Areas and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: the Obligations of States and International Organizations

AIPP, together with its member and partner organizations, takes this opportunity to make the following submission to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the General Assembly (UNSRIP), José Francisco Cali Tzay, in support of their report on ‘Protected Areas and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: The Obligations of States and International Organizations pursuant to Resolution 42/20 of the Human Rights Council. David R. Boyd, (Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment) was clear in his report when he stated that “implementing [human] rights-based conservation approaches are both a legal obligation under international law and the most equitable, effective, and efficient conservation strategy available to protect biodiversity at the scale required to end the current global crisis.”

Some of the current major impediments to effective conservation action in Asia are:
(1) a lack of secure or customary land tenure systems
(2) lack of recognition of Indigenous Peoples as a distinct group and their diverse identities
(3) exclusion of Indigenous and local systems of traditional governance knowledge, stewardship, and sustainable practices while favoring Western forms of conservation
(4) biased and colonial perceptions of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as adjuncts to external
forms of conservation rather than leaders and owners of a conservation agenda in their own right on
their customary territories
(5) lack of political will to implement customary institutional reforms
(6) lack of financing for Indigenous and local organizations doing critical work to secure tenure rights,
advocate for reforms, and build the enabling conditions for transformative change

Download the full submission here