The UN Biodiversity Conference – 4 to 17 December in Cancun, Mexico

The Equator Initiative hosted 19 Equator Prize winners from Latin America to participate in the conference to enhance their capacity and share their innovations with the international community. A full day focused on indigenous peoples and local communities took place on 8 December at the Rio Pavilion.  Winners also participated at the Summit “Múuch’tambal” on Indigenous Experience: Traditional Knowledge and Biological and Cultural Diversity  from 10-11 December organized by the Government of Mexico and the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat.

Regional Capacity Building Workshop on the Management of ICCAs and Development Models

The UNDP Equator Initiative, the ICCA Consortium, and the GEF Small Grants Programme organized a regional capacity development workshop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with the participation of indigenous peoples and local community representatives of South America to discuss the management of ICCAs and development models from October 16-21. Servindi, a Latin American media platform supported by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), has covered the workshop and its progress. To read more in Spanish, click here. To read about the process and outcomes of the workshop, click here.

Click here to read report

Join the Latin America Indigenous Funders Conference

The International Fund for Indigenous Peoples will hold its Latin America Indigenous Funders Conference from October 25-27 in Lima, Peru. This year’s theme will be Buen Vivir: Supporting the Role of Indigenous Peoples in Bio-cultural Diversity , Human Rights, and Sustainable Economic Models, aiming to bring leaders from the Indigenous, donor and corporate worlds together to fight the extinction of species, languages and cultures. Click here to learn more and register.

UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace Writers Competition

The UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace is launching its Writers Competition and looking for young people wishing to share thoughts and stories about our land and environment. If you’re interested in environmental sustainability, have an interesting topic to write about land management, desertification or drought, and are between the age of 14 and 35, click here to learn more and apply before October 31.

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz’s Report on Conservation and Indigenous Peoples

On July 29, 2016, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz has submitted a Report on Conservation and Indigenous Peoples to the UN General Assembly, analyzing conservation measures and their impacts on indigenous peoples. In this report, Vicky Tauli-Corpuz concludes by making recommendations on how conservation can be developed while taking indigenous peoples’ rights into account and enhancing sustainable conservation. Click here to read more.

Community Statement at the World Conservation Congress

A Pathway to Sustainability

During the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i, communities of the UNDP Equator Initiative and the WIN Network have taken part in the Community Kauhale ‘Oiwi, a conservation-themed community dialogue during which they issued the following statement, titled “A Pathway to Sustainability”:

“The communities of the UNDP Equator Initiative Community Kauhale ‘Oiwi and the WIN network have come together during the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 to share our stories and innovations in social and ecological resilience.

Today we are some 7.3 billion people on Earth and estimated to be 8.4 billion by 2030. Insurmountable pressure on our Mother Earth is about to unfold.  Time is telling us to pause and contemplate, now. Not later, but today.

The SDGs with their 169 targets embody our common aspirations to sustain diversity and the environment. As human beings that care for the well-being of the next generations, it is imperative that we implement them together as one nation, as one People.

Our planet is at the crossroads. We are here to choose the right path. Today and not later is the right time to act.

We have been reminded at the Kauhale that everything required for life is provided by Nature.  Peoples who are rooted in place have the moral compass and knowledge to make sound decisions that lead to positive outcomes for all living species.

Do No More Harm.

The strength of our culture has enabled us to thrive and maintain our dignity in the face of adversity. We know what is best for our communities. We continue to hear the cries of indigenous peoples; in Mexico a mega dam project threatens to drown the ancient heritage of their cultures. In the Philippines, an expansion of the Energy Development Corporation into the Mt. Talinis Range on Negros Island, will destroy 4000 hectares of primary forest.

We urge the international community to raise awareness and stop the planned super highway to divide the Ekuri community and destroy the largest remaining rainforest in Nigeria.   Critical for our communities to survive is to ensure we have ownership and control of our lands.

Forest restoration is essential to protect us not only from the impacts of climate change, but also to sequester GHGs and secure our foods and livelihoods. This action will protect our water sources and ensure our self-determination and resilience.

Recognize and value the role of women. Women are equal partners in sustaining the planet.  They are the lifeline of development. Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) conserve our biological diversity, preserve our ancient heritage and protect the rights and entitlements of indigenous peoples and communities.

Partnerships need to be equitable and balanced for cultural, social, environmental and economic well-being. The principle of free prior and informed consent must be applied.

Globalize local actions; replicate and scale-up/out what has proven successful in addressing challenges on biodiversity conservation, food security, sustainable livelihoods, ancient heritage preservation and indigenous culture recognition.

Once we realize that we are all interconnected, respecting everyone’s human rights we can work together to get humanity back on to a good path.  We belong to this one earth, we can all live well and have everything that is required for life if we are thankful and have respect for that which is provided.”

16 October, 2016 – Celebrate World Food Day

Set on October 16 -date of the establishment of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization to free humanity from hunger and malnutrition, and to effectively manage the global food system- World Food Day is celebrated each year to commemorate the creation of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized across the world to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. This year’s World Food Day global message will be “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

Click here to read more.

Upcoming United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP 13)

The UN Biodiversity Conference will run from 4-17 December in Cancun, Mexico. The conference provides an opportunity for countries to address strategic actions to enhance implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and promote the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity targets. The Conference will focus on mainstreaming biodiversity across relevant sectors, especially agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and tourism, to contribute to the sustainable development goals, climate action, food security and other human development goals. The Equator Initiative is hosting winners from Latin America  to participate in the conference to enhance their capacity and share their innovations with the international community. A full day focused on indigenous peoples and local communities in the four thematic areas highlighted above will take place on 8 December at the Rio Pavilion. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook, as we’ll also be at the Summit “Múuch’tambal” on Indigenous Experience: Traditional Knowledge and Biological and Cultural Diversity 10-11 December organized by the Government of Mexico and the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat.

“Indigenous Peoples’ & Communities’ Pavilion: Traditional Knowledge for Climate Action” (Pavilion) at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22)

The “Indigenous Peoples’ & Communities’ Pavilion: Traditional Knowledge for Climate Action” hosted a total of 65 events and 12 exhibitions at the UN Climate Conference (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco, from 7-18 November 2016. The Pavilion focused on the contribution of indigenous peoples, communities and traditional knowledge, technologies and management practices to climate change mitigation and adaptation. As a sharing space providing a platform for traditional knowledge contributions to climate action in the Civil Society Space, the Pavilion was a great success. See the website here for more information and to read reports.

Community Kauhale ‘Ōiwi Dialogue at the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016

WCC flower trifold - Kauhale LogoThe Community Kauhale ‘Ōiwi is a peer-to-peer meeting space at IUCN WCC that provides an opportunity for local and indigenous leaders to exchange knowledge and best practices in sustainable environmental management. Leveraging the unique partnerships of the Equator Initiative, the Kauhale aims to position local advocacy and knowledge sharing within the larger policy dialogues on conservation and sustainable development. To see an overview of the Community Kauhale ‘Ōiwi events at WCC, please click here. You can also take a look at the Hawai’i Commitments from WCC by clicking here.

Call for Expressions of Interest for the 2017-2018 WIPO Indigenous Fellowship Program – Deadline 23 September, 2016

A Call for expressions of interest for the Indigenous Fellowship program 2017-2018 has been launched, with a deadline of 23 September, 2016.

Since 2009, when the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Indigenous Fellowship Program was launched, members of indigenous and local communities have worked in WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division on issues relevant to indigenous peoples. These include the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), outreach to indigenous peoples and local communities, WIPO’s cooperation with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The fellowship responds to the reciprocal needs for stronger capacity in the rapidly growing domain of indigenous IP law and for strengthened capacity on IP law and policy for indigenous lawyers and policy advisers. In line with the WIPO Indigenous Fellowship Program, the new WIPO Indigenous Fellow will appointed for one year, renewable once for another year, to start in January 2017. For more information, please click here.

Apply for the Indigenous Leaders Conservation Fellowship

Conservation International is accepting applications for the Indigenous Leaders Conservation Fellowship until September 30, 2016. This fellowship aims to create opportunities for indigenous leaders to explore solutions to the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss using the traditional knowledge from indigenous and traditional peoples, together with biodiversity and climate-related … Continue reading