Online Discussion Forum on Article 10(c)

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Q9) What draft recommendations should the 6th meeting of the Working group on Article 8(j0 and eventually the CBD COP consider to ensure that article 10(c) may be further advanced and implemented as a priority ? [#367]
Art 10c's exhortation to States to “Protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements." is integrally linked to the Art 8j obligation on States to "respect, preserve and maintain TK of ILCs embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and promote their wider application...". In both these provisions of the CBD there is an unprecedented acknowledgement of the interdependence between the cultures of ILCs and biodiversity wherein the death of one spells the end of the other. In effect both these Articles recognise the role of ILCs as custodians of biodiversity and envisage that the survival of the biodiversity is based on the protection and engendering of ILC cultures of stewardship.

The current negotiations of the ABSWG have reached a point where the WG has agreed upon the broad issues that the IR on ABS would need to address. While there is no agreement as to the content of these broad issues (those on which there is agreement are termed as 'bricks' and those which still need to be negotiated are termed as 'bullets'), Parties have been asked by the co-chairs of the WG to submit operational text and explanations on each of the bricks and bullets. This is designed to give content to the bricks and bullets thereby taking the negotiation of the IR on ABS to substantive aspects.

The African Group has currently submitted its operational text and explanations to the SCBD and this along with other texts submitted by other parties will be discussed in ABSWG7 in April in Paris. What is germane to the current consultation on Art 10c is the African Group's operational text on 'TK associated with GR'. The African drafters grappled with the ways in which one can implement Art 8j and by inference 10c in the context of ABS. While they were pushing for an IR on ABS by 2010 and were keen on developing national legislation accordingly they realized that when it comes to regulating access to TK they functioned in a legislative vaccuum. At best they can insist on potential users (commercial and research) of TK to get PIC from ILCs that are the owners of the TK and share benefits with them. This however doesn't answer the question as to how does one go about getting PIC from ILCs and sharing benefits when TK in most situations is shared between different ethnic groups spread across national boundaries.

The solution that was finally developed and which is reflected in the African operational text is one which proposes that the IR on ABS oblige Parties to encourage the development by ILCs of 'community/biocultural protocols' that: emphasize the ecological values of ILCs and outline their customary use of biological resources and traditional cultural practices, thereby providing clear guidelines as to how indigenous biological resources and knowledge can be accessed and benefits shared. The 'biocultural protocol' approach backed by the African Group is an incredible opportunity for ILCs to assert their rights to their land and culture which in many ways are the foundations on which their TK is based and set the terms for any access to their knowledge and resources- terms which engender their biocultural values that have led to the conservation and sustainable use of their biological diversity.

It would be useful for the current discussion to explore how we can link the implementation of 10c to the African proposal of 'community protocols' to implement Art 8j. What follows is the African operational text on TK along with an explanation. While the focus of this is to implement Art 8j it can be clearly read as a way to implement 10c.


Contracting Parties shall:

a. With the full and effective participation of the ILCs concerned support and facilitate local, national and/or regional community protocols regulating access to TK taking into consideration the relevant customary laws and ecological values of ILCs in order to prevent the misappropriation of their associated TK and to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of such associated TK.

b. Ensure that any acquisition, appropriation or utilization of TK in contravention of the relevant community protocols constitutes an act of misappropriation.

c. Ensure that the application, interpretation and enforcement of protection against misappropriation of TK, including determination of equitable sharing and distribution of benefits, should be guided, as far as possible and appropriate, by respect for the ecological values, customary norms, laws and understandings of the holders of the knowledge

d. Encourage and support the development of community protocols that will provide potential users of TK with clear and transparent rules for access to TK where associated TK is shared between: (i) ILCs spread across national boundaries and (ii) between ILCs with different values, customary norms, laws and understandings

e. Where such community protocols are developed with the full and effective participation of ILCs, give effect to such community protocols through an appropriate legal framework
f. Community protocols in their efforts to prevent misappropriation of associated TK and ensure fair and equitable benefit sharing must also make efforts to respect, preserve and maintain relations within and between ILCs that generate and sustain the TK by ensuring the continued availability of TK for the customary practice, use and transmission.


Community Protocols

The knowledge, innovations and practices of ILCs emerge at the intersection of their lands and culture. Art 8 j states that that ILCs embodying traditional lifestyles have conserved and sustainably used biological diversity and aspects of those lifestyles relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity must be protected and promoted by Contracting Parties.  Art 8 j also recognizes the rights of ILCs over their traditional knowledge, innovations and practices and obliges Contracting Parties to ensure that benefits arising from the use of such knowledge, innovations and practices are fairly and equitable shared with the ILCs in question.

The dominant interpretation of Art 8 j in the current negotiations towards the IR on ABS seems to focus on the protection of the TK of ILCs and ensuring the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of such TK with the ILCs from whom it was taken.

Art 8 j however is far wider in its reach and should be read in the broader context of the CBD, particularly its aims of conserving and sustainably using biodiversity. Article 8 j is clear that the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the context of ILCs is dependent on aspects of their TK which is rooted in their 'ecological values'. This is the reason why Art 8 j does not refer to the protection and promotion of all the TK of all ILCs but specifically the TK of ILCs embodying traditional lifestyles relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Such ecologically integral TK is based on a value framework that regulates the relationship between the cultures of ILCs and their lands. Thus TK relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity rests on 'ecological values' which in turn rests on secure rights to land and culture. The truth of the matter is that ILCs have conserved and sustainably used biological diversity for thousands of years not because they have been able to trade in their TK but because they have been able to live on their traditional lands in accordance with their 'ecological values'.

ABS in the context of ILCs focuses inordinately on an agenda of TK protection that perceives TK outside of the relationships which generate it, divorcing it from the ecological values that lead to its formation. The relations that the ILCs have with nature is one of a perpetual dialogue between land and culture each constituting and reconstituting the other. Ecological values are therefore rooted in an experience of relatedness between community and nature. Current IPR systems perceive TK in a manner that is quite similar to conventional property systems where land for example is viewed as a commodity separate from the network of relations within which it operates. TK is also viewed as an object separate from the cultural and spiritual relationships with the land within which it is embedded.

TK in reality is the manifestation of a particular kind of relationship with nature. TK is not just information but a set of relations that is embodied in traditional lifestyles of ILCs which ensure conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Currently there are no internationally agreed definitions of traditional knowledge and all efforts towards defining it tend to treat it as a product rather than as a process.

Efforts to protect traditional knowledge should be oriented less towards protection of knowledge as information and more towards sustaining the relationships based on ecological values that produce the knowledge. It is the ecological values that have sustained indigenous peoples within natural habitats, and the erosion of these values through the dispossession of indigenous lands and consequent annihilation of their cultures has seriously threatened biological diversity. To treat TK as a commodity and to assume that protecting this commodity will ensure conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is akin to thinking that the sale of ivory will necessarily lead to the conservation of elephants and their habitats.

Community Approaches to Art 8 j:

The real extent of Art 8 j mandates Contracting Parties to go beyond creating databases of TK and ensuring benefit sharing when TK is utilized. The process and the outcome of ABS negotiations must uphold the spirit of Art 8 j and to do so  the emphasis should not just be on the sale of TK  but focus equally on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and protection and promotion of traditional lifestyles including rights to land and culture. This implies ensuring that the ecological values of the ILCs in question are central to all stages of the ABS negotiation i.e. at the stage of 'PIC', 'MAT' and 'benefit sharing'.

While the overarching framework of ecological values within which ABS agreements must be negotiated does not preclude monetary and non-monetary benefits to ILCs in exchange for the use of their TK, these benefits should not be the sole aim of ABS agreements. The process and the outcome of an ABS agreement between ILCs and the relevant stakeholders must affirm aspects of their traditional lifestyles that conserve and sustainably use biological diversity.

Contracting Parties are also bound by Art 8 j to ensure the wider application of the TK and by inference the ecological ethics of ILCs. This implies that ILCs must be integrally involved in Research and Training (Art 12) and Public Education and Awareness (Art 13). Art 12 and 13 must be read with Art 8 j where the research and training and public education is not only done by scientists, technical experts and ecologists but also by ILC representatives, elders and healers who have ensured the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by virtue of their lifestyles. ILCs have much to teach the world about their 'ecological values' and how they can be applied in non-traditional contexts - an application that would lead to genuine in situ conservation by challenging contemporary consumption patterns and lifestyle choices. Art 10c and 18 (4) already point us in this direction and we would do well to pay heed to them.

Conclusion- Working towards Community Protocols:

In order for ILCs to realise the full extent of their rights under Art 8 j it is crucial for them to develop community protocols based on their 'ecological values' that will inform all future ABS negotiations between them and other stakeholders who want access to their TK. While the ILCs themselves may be aware of their 'ecological values' on which their traditional lifestyles are based, setting them out in the form of community protocols would give parties interested in accessing the TK of ILCs clear guidelines as to the ethical preconditions and terms of potential ABS agreements. Community protocols amongst ILCs that are spread across national boundaries and/or between ILCs that share the same TK but belong to different cultural and ethnic groups would also be the only way in which to provide potential non community users of TK transparent instructions as to how and from whom to secure PIC, negotiate MAT and share benefits with.

States can at best insist that any access to TK must be based on ABS agreements with communities to whom the TK belongs, but neither national nor international law can go any further than this. It is communities to whom the TK belongs that must through community protocols guide parties interested in using TK on how to secure legitimate use rights. If this is not done than every potential user of TK despite having negotiated an ABS agreement risks being accused of misappropriation by: (i) either the community members who feel that the community representative who negotiated the agreement had no authority to do so or (ii) by other communities that share the same TK who feel that they were wrongfully excluded from the ABS agreement.

The process of developing community protocols would involve communities developing ethical guidelines for ABS negotiations and agreements involving their TK that include but go beyond highlighting best practice standards for obtaining PIC and MAT. A community protocol is an outlining of ecological values on which PIC, MAT and benefit sharing would be based. A useful analogy for a community protocol would be the 'bill of rights' in the Constitution of a country that lists the core values of a people. It enunciates a community’s core values and while it remains a flexible instrument, it provides community members and outside interests a level of certainty about the principles upon which any ABS agreement will be negotiated.

Community protocols are perhaps the best chance for ILCs to ensure that their ways of life and values are respected and promoted. Merely relying on the benefits of ABS agreements without affirming their 'ecological values' would reduce ILCs to sellers of TK who warm themselves on the embers of a lifestyle that is fast dying out.
posted on 2009-02-25 12:18 UTC by Mr Kabir Bavikatte, Natural Justice (Lawyers for Communities and the Environment)
RE: Q9) What draft recommendations should the 6th meeting of the Working group on Article 8(j0 and eventually the CBD COP consider to ensure that article 10(c) may be further advanced and implemented as a priority ? [#391]
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this very important discussion on an issue very relevant to resource management in Vanuatu.

In regards to Article 10(c) we should realize that cultural practices and resource use and management are strongly and inextricably linked in Vanuatu and throughout the Pacific as well as most indigenous societies. And that customary management practices include a broad range of strategies like a combination of controls on gear or harvesting methods, timing (seasons), individual species, as well as areas (Johannes and Hickey 2004) as well as being linked to cycles of resource abundance, tidal, agricultural and customary cycles (Hickey 2004) . These management strategies may be combined in a way that fine tunes management needs of a given community based on their resource base, while allowing for access to the resources that sustain them. And this is a much more comprehensive and holistic approach to target individual communities management needs rather than simply creating 'Protected Areas’ that increasingly attempt to exclude people from large areas of their traditional resource use areas in promoting the Western ideal of biodiversity conservation (see Ruddle and Hickey for an elaboration on this including the excerpt in Annex 1). 

In fact, all of the management strategies used by Western science can already be found in the Pacific, including in Vanuatu (Hickey, 2006, 2007) but long predate the western 'discovery' of these strategies. It makes sense that people living on relatively small islands would discover these management solutions long before people living on continents would. Yet, so often, projects stemming from the CBD often filter down to developing countries to uni-dimensionally promote ‘Protected Areas’ and ‘MPAs’ that often ignore the richness of management options found in customary practices and include and promote the use of TK. Instead, it sometimes seems more about increasing the number of ‘Protected Areas’ (PAs) to fulfil national obligations under the CBD to reach global targets for PAs (this topic is covered in a paper by Ruddle and Hickey, Section 2.4 in Annex 1). In doing this, little attention is sometimes paid to the quality of the initiative, but quantity is emphasized.

While the erosion and loss of traditional resource management (TRM) practices is one of the biggest threats to the biodiversity of many Pacific Islands, the greatest threat to TRM is increasingly the promotion of Western models of conservation in the Pacific like PAs and MPAs instead of projects that come to specifically target strengthening TRM an the use of TK, as well as related fundamental issues such as traditional leadership and governance. Other issues associated with the PA model, as it is currently manifesting in Vanuatu under CBD influence, is that it increasingly leads to the mapping and registration of PAs and even the promotion of state enforcement of areas under customary tenure through the creation of legislation that may result in undermining traditional tenure and leadership systems rather than support or strengthen it (this is discussed further in Johannes and Hickey 2004 and Hickey 2006). It also increasingly shifts the burden from communities and their leaders who have largely enforced their own resource management regimes in the past, to the state, which rarely has the human or financial capacity to fulfil this obligation.

The shift in enforcement from communities and their leaders to government not only may undermine the authority of traditional leaders, but also the sense of responsibility of communities to manage well the resources under their tenure, as they become increasingly dependent on the state to perform this function.    

We have found that the longterm sustainability of conservation interventions in project form is significantly increased when the model is based on, and includes traditional practices and values. That is to say that after a project is over in say two to four years, will the community be able to effectively manage and support this initiative into the future without continual requests for more funding and technical assistance? When a resource management initiative is firmly anchored in the context of traditional land/marine tenure systems and draws upon traditional knowledge and practice, the community and their leaders largely have the capacity to sustain the initiative with less need for outside funding or technical assistance. This makes this approach highly cost effective for national governments as well as donors.

In summary, it would be refreshing to see a more balanced approach to overall resource management supported by the CBD in areas of the Pacific that have a strong heritage of customary tenure and resource management that more directly supports TMT, TRM and the use of TK rather than primarily the western approach of PAs. The reasons for this includes that PAs do not address the other issues of unsustainable development practices that are often allowed and that create downstream effects that may negate the value of PAs (see Ruddle and Hickey 2008, Section 2.4). And as well, despite the 100 fold increase in numbers of PAs over the last 50 years, biodiversity continues to decline on a daily basis at an accelerated rate. This would imply that this strategy is not working and we need rethink the Western approach, particularly in areas with a strong heritage of traditional resource management. Lastly, and most importantly, this approach is liable to further erode remaining traditional management strategies and important cultural links to resources with the impact of big budget projects that place biodiversity protection ideals as their foremost concern in areas of the world that maintain a day-to-day dependence on these resources as well as strong cultural links with them. 

I sincerely hope these comments are useful and stimulate further discussion.

Francis Hickey
Coordinator, Traditional Resource Management Program
Vanuatu Cultural Centre

Literature Cited
Hickey F. R. (2006). Traditional marine resource management in Vanuatu: Acknowledging, supporting and strengthening indigenous management systems. SPC Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin, 20:11-23.

Hickey, F.R. (2007) Traditional Marine Resource Management in Vanuatu: World Views in Transformation (p147-168) in (eds) Haggan, N., Neis, B. and Baird, I.G. Fishers' Knowledge in Fisheries Science and Management. Coastal Management Sourcebooks 4.  UNESCO: Paris, 437p.

Johannes, R.E. and Hickey, F.R. (2004). Evolution of village-based marine resource management in Vanuatu between 1993 and 2001. Coastal Region and Small Island Papers 15. (Paris: UNESCO)

Ruddle, K, Hickey, F.R. (2008) Accounting for the mismanagement of tropical nearshore fisheries Environ Dev Sustain 10:565-589

Annex 1:

An excerpt related to the establishment of PAs (pp 16-19) from:

Accounting for the mismanagement of tropical nearshore fisheries
By Kenneth Ruddle &  Francis R. Hickey

Environ Dev Sustain (2008) 10:565-589

2.4 Donor-driven Protected Areas as a global panacea

A seemingly single-minded and universal drive to create Protected Areas (PAs) to conserve natural resources and biodiversity emerged from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD 1992), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (UNDESA 2002) and the World Parks Congress (IUCN and UMG 2004). Establishment targets ranging from 10 to 30% of national areas have been promoted. High levels of Global Environment Fund (GEF) support and funding by major foundations fuelled enthusiasm, and large, multinational NGOs (termed ‘‘Bingos’’ by some indigenous groups) emerged as implementation agencies. With nine-figure budgets, some well-intentioned Bingos launched a global campaign to expand the global network of PAs to protect biodiversity. As a consequence, the approximate global total of 1,000 PAs in the early-1960s has now increased to 108,000 that together cover some 30.5 million km2, just slightly larger than the area of Africa, or a little in excess of 20% of the earth’s total land surface.

Increasingly, however, the PA model is seen as culturally and socially flawed (Christie 2004; Dowie 2005), and proliferation of the Western ideal of a ‘protected area’ seems foreign and counter-intuitive to indigenous peoples, who have been providing environmental stewardship and protection of these areas for centuries, if not millennia. This ‘protected area’ mentality is a manifestation of the Western outlook that people are no longer part of nature; worse that they have become so destructive as to threaten nature and biodiversity, and so can no longer be regarded as an integral part of the ecosystem and capable of sustainable stewardship. Ironically, in the interests of biodiversity protection, we now endeavor to lock indigenous people living in equilibrium with their environment out of vast areas, while much larger areas are subject to the effects of global warming, open cast mining, large-scale forest clearing, rapacious industrial overfishing, and a myriad of other destructive but immensely profitable anthropogenic activities.

An unpleasant consequence of these Western-style ‘‘no-take, no-go’’ protected areas is the estimated millions (Dowie 2005) of ‘conservation refugees’ forced off their ancestral lands to support the Western ideal of protecting nature from humans. Since they are now denied access to the natural resources that could sustain them, most such refugees end up marginalized in peri-urban shanty-towns, where they now confront ‘‘real poverty’’ that they often attempt to overcome by further degrading themselves. Yet, with now more than
12% of all land protected from its indigenous inhabitants, biodiversity continues to decrease on a daily basis and at an accelerating rate (Dowie 2005), an indication that the wrong prescription is being applied to the issue of biodiversity loss and sustainable resources management.

The goal in promoting biodiversity conservation should be to promote an overall sustainable approach to resource management and development, as has inherently been practiced traditionally by a great many societies, including those in the Pacific Islands Region. This would mean appreciating and incorporating the concepts and methods of indigenous people to sustainably manage resources using a balanced, holistic approach to resource utilization, not locking them out of their ancestral lands and marginalizing them.

For example, such strategies now promoted by Western science to manage marine resources as closed areas, species and seasons, limited access and gear restrictions have been practiced in the Pacific for centuries (Johannes 1978; Hickey 2006, 2007).  Only a decade ago in the Pacific Region increasing recognition and support for pre-existing or traditional marine resource management strategies and tenure systems and their underlying
knowledge base had emerged from the work of Johannes (1978), Johannes and McFarlane (1991), Ruddle and Johannes (1985, 1990), Ruddle (1998b), Hviding (1990), and others. Indeed, this had resulted in a renaissance of pre-existing systems and modern management based on them was emerging widely, as in Vanuatu (Johannes and Hickey 2004; Hickey 2006, 2007), Samoa (Fa’asili and Kelokolo 1999), Fiji (Veitayaki 2001) and Cook Islands (Tiraa 2006), among other nations (Johannes 2002). Nevertheless today an increasingly single-minded Western strategy to create more MPAs in the Pacific overshadows support for the broad range of pre-existing resource management strategies available, primarily because of the seductive power of the relatively huge amount of money being expended. Although PAs are but one tool available, they consume the bulk of the funding to support resource management.

The process of establishing PAs in the Pacific is quite different from that in the Western countries that promulgate this approach, where privately owned land is the norm and the state effectively claims the foreshore and nearshore areas. In contrast, in the Pacific most land and nearshore areas are under customary tenure. This forms the foundation of resource management, where local groups restrict access to resources under their tenure and maintain stewardship over the resources and environment by drawing on their local knowledge of them, including local cycles of resource abundance, spawning and tidal cycles. In most countries, creating PAs therefore requires the complete agreement and cooperation of the local communities with which the tenure customarily and legally remains. This has given rise to the use throughout the Pacific of the term ‘community based MPAs’; surely somewhat rhetorical given that communities have been managing their own resources for millennia!

It is important to understand that MPA models originating in Western nations are also regarded locally as threatening among nearshore fishers who regard the unreasonable constraints on their behavior as threats to their livelihood (Bleakey 2004). Pacific communities are beginning to feel the brunt of the global targets to establish PAs that is now the predominant thrust of Western conservation efforts. Pacific Islanders have long relied directly on their resources both as a form of food security and local technology in the form of house, canoe and fishing gear construction, for farming technology, natural medicines, as well as having strong cultural and social links with their environment. The sustainable use of resources for these purposes has been successful for centuries without significant losses to biodiversity.

More recently, resources have been used on a small-scale to provide cash to pay school fees and medical expenses, as well as to purchase basic items like kerosene, soap and sugar. Such small-scale harvests pose a limited threat to global biodiversity relative to industrial country activities like clear-cut logging, urban sprawl, both general and highly concentrated pollution of air, soil and water, destructive industrial fishing methods and even nuclear weapons tests. But it is these industrial country activities that generate the huge profits unimaginable to most tropical communities, some of which, ironically and
with a supreme arrogance, are used to fund conservation efforts in the tropics!
Worse is that small Pacific Island communities with a long history of sustainable
resource use are now increasingly expected to sacrifice by allowing ever larger areas of their ancestral resource areas to become locked up in Western-style PAs to satisfy the Western concept of protecting biodiversity. This conundrum was expressed recently by a Melanesian delegate to a MPA forum, who pointedly asked ‘‘Conservation for whom and who is going to pay for it?’’, in response to continuous pressure from Western conservation groups advocating the creation of more PAs to protect the rich biodiversity of his islands in
response to global warming and other threats. But his people have been doing that for centuries, whereas the impacts generated by distant industrial countries that are the primary threat to this richness go unchecked. Small wonder that Pacific Islanders are increasingly dismayed by the persistent clamor that they bear the burdens of cleaning up the Westerners’ mess.

The approach of compensating communities for depriving them of their right to access resources has recently been adopted by some Bingos operating in the Pacific. When paid off either with cash or infrastructure like roads or schools, some Pacific communities agree to accept PAs. But there are other serious problems with this approach. Only the main ones are mentioned here.

2.4.1 Conservation requires payment

Agreements usually have a time limit of about 10 years, because most island communities would be unwilling to suspend their birthright for longer. This then begs the question of sustainability, since communities have no obligations to maintain any form of management when an agreement lapses. Further, it also sets the bad precedent that conservation requires compensation payment, and efforts therefore might not continue in lean periods when a Bingo is unable to raise the funds to renew an agreement.

2.4.2 Quantitative targets unrelated to actual protection

Scant interest is paid to the quality of PAs. Rather, emphasis is placed on reaching global targets measured quantitatively. Worse is that since many PAs exist on paper only, the number created globally bears no relationship to actual biodiversity protection.

2.4.3 External activities undermine the PA concept

MPAs limit human activities within a specified marine area, but do not address external factors that may have a major deleterious impact within them. In the Asia-Pacific Region the main such external factors that must be accounted for in any MPA design are turbidity and sedimentation resulting from farming, forestry and infrastructural developments in adjacent watersheds and coastal areas; the spread of human settlements and the consequent household and human waste and industrial pollution; and both overfishing and destructive fishing practices. This polarized Western approach of allowing destructive developments and fisheries throughout large areas in the name of development and locking up smaller areas in MPAs is in extreme contrast to the balanced and integrated pre-existing resourcemanagement systems found throughout the Pacific Islands Region. It seems a travesty to promote this highly polarized approach to resource management from Western countries to other areas of the world.

2.4.4 Unrealistic and measurable donor requirements

Increasingly rigorous donor accounting requirements have been imposed on PA projects. Scientific monitoring of resources, measurable socio-economic benefits, other ‘verifiable outputs’ are demanded within the short project time frames and are now a standard part of project cycle matrices. Economic development is increasingly integral to the conservation formula, as small nations are prodded by international donors to join the cash economy and increase their GDPs. These donor-driven expectations put additional pressure on communities to fulfill unrealistic obligations, and further contribute to alienating the communities involved.
posted on 2009-03-11 11:00 UTC by Mr. Francis Hickey, Vanuatu Cultural Centre/National Museum
RE: Q9) What draft recommendations should the 6th meeting of the Working group on Article 8(j0 and eventually the CBD COP consider to ensure that article 10(c) may be further advanced and implemented as a priority ? [#394]
I find Francis’ comments very valuable. Unfortunately, the rush to create more and more protected areas as the main solution to reduce biodiversity loss is a threat to customary use and traditional resource management (and therefore the implementation of 10c) across the globe, not just in the Pacific Islands. Some of these issues are discussed in an ongoing assessment coordinated by FPP (see This issue could be addressed by asking a few (among possible other) questions:
- can the implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (POWPA) be redirected to ensure that the negative impacts described by Francis are not allowed to  happen anymore and that it instead provides an avenue to both protect biodiversity and to protect and encourage customary use and practice and the implementation of 10c? Maybe by focusing on implementation of element 2 (on governance, participation, equity and benefit-sharing) we could find some answers.
- Could the promotion and recognition of Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (governed and managed by indigenous and local communities and based on TRM and customary use and practices provide a tool to address these issues?
- Or wouldn’t the recognition of indigenous peoples’ territorial and land rights be a more direct and secure way to protect both customary use/practices and biodiversity?

This should be an item of discussion for the Working Group on 8j and Related Provisions. So one recommendation could be to ask the Working Group to examine the implementation of the POWPA and to provide recommendations to the Working Group on Protected Areas.
posted on 2009-03-11 16:13 UTC by Dr Maurizio Ferrari, Forest Peoples Programme