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Side Event

Evolving a Legal framework for Compensation to BD-Dependent Communities for Biodiversity Damage

Public Advocacy Initiatives for Rights and Values in India

Date and Time
17 October 2012 18:15 - 19:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

After 6 years of intensive and politically fraught negotiations, the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) finally adopted the Aichi Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. The Protocol is considered to be a milestone regarding the recognition of stewardship rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs). For the first time in international law, it recognizes the inseparable link for IPLCs between their genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. One of the outcomes of the original Rio Earth Summit in 1992 was the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. It was hailed at the time as a major step in promoting the conservation and wise use of the Earth's living resources. But it has taken 20 years for governments to establish a system for achieving one of its three goals: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits that arise from genetic resources. There is an immediate need to urge governments to recognise the critical role that community protocols can play at a local level. This would mean including, in national legislation, provisions to recognise the rights of communities, and provisions for government support so communities can develop the necessary protocols. Governments should also ensure that laws requiring prior informed consent for the use of traditional knowledge and biodiversity are in place, and implemented in practice.