November 2011


Climate Change Mitigation with Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples: Practices, Lessons Learned and Prospects
26-28 March 2012 (Cairns, Australia)

In response to numerous requests, the workshop secretariat has decided to extend the deadline for submission of abstracts to 7 December 2011. Convened by United Nations University (UNU), in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, UNDP, the UNPFII Secretariat and the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA), this workshop aims to: reflect the wide and diverse range of perspectives concerning indigenous peoples/local communities and climate change responses (including mitigation); support the build-up of understanding and peer-reviewed literature in the field of Indigenous peoples, local communities and climate change mitigation; compile regional and local data and grey literature that are relevant for understanding climate change mitigation involving local and Indigenous knowledge holders, local populations, and developing country scientists; support Indigenous peoples’, local communities’ and developing country scientists’ engagement and research in international climate dialogues; provide policy-makers with relevant information on the mitigation potential of Indigenous peoples and local communities; and outline a publication in a Special Issue of a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Submissions should be relevant to the workshop theme – Climate Change Mitigation – and should contribute specific knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples/local communities about climate change mitigation. They should either be based on field data and/or knowledge that comes from the communities of interest, or concern a comprehensive literature review on a specific topic relevant to the theme. Submissions will be accepted through an online submission process. Read the announcement … Further information on the workshop …

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Durban Climate Change Conference – November 2011
UNFCCC, 28 November – 9 December 2011

The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, began in 28 November 2011 and will continue until 9 December. The event includes the seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the seventh Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 7). In support of these two main bodies, four subsidiary bodies will convene: the fourth part of the fourteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 14); the fourth part of the sixteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 16); and the thirty-fifth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 35) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 35). A joint COP and COP/MOP high-level segment involving government ministers and other senior officials will also take place from 6-9 December. One focus will be on efforts to move ahead on several initiatives and institutions that were the subject of decisions in Cancun in 2010. In this respect, negotiations in Durban are expected to result in decisions that would operationalize, inter alia, a technology mechanism to promote clean energy and adaptation-related technologies, an adaptation framework to support developing countries and a Green Climate Fund. A second focus will be the question of how the international community will collaborate in tackling climate change in the future. In this respect, the AWG-KP and COP/MOP are expected to take a decision in Durban on the future of the Kyoto Protocol, bearing in mind that the Protocol’s first commitment period expires in 2012. Additionally, the question of long-term cooperation under the UNFCCC will be taken up by the AWG-LCA and COP. Discussions are expected to focus on a timeline for developing a future framework under the Convention and also on an upcoming review of the adequacy of, and progress towards, limiting average global temperature rise to 2°C. This review is scheduled to take place between 2013 and 2015. Visit the meeting webpage … Follow the IISD RS daily coverage of the meeting …

Side Events and Exhibits | COP 17/CMP 7
UNFCCC, 28 November – 9 December 2011

A number of side events organized during the Durban Climate Change Conference are of relevance to indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge. On Tuesday, 29 November, a side event by Conservation International presented indigenous peoples’ key proposals for mitigation and adaptation actions based on the sustainable use and management of their lands, territories and resources; another event organized by The Gaia Foundation and Development Fund showcased community efforts to use agroecology, indigenous knowledge and pastoralism to adapt to and mitigate climate change; while the Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK) presented peoples-led climate change adaptation and mitigation in Bangladesh. Other events to be held during the meeting will focus on, among other issues: REDD+; the Surui Forest Carbon Project; the role of rural and indigenous women to adaptation and low carbon development; how pastoralist traditional knowledge can be combined with atmospheric science and contribute to adaptation policy-making; and the multi-stakeholder collaboration to reinforce adaptation opportunities for African pastoral peoples. Read the list of side events … Follow the IISD RS daily coverage of selected side events …

Indigenous Leaders Alert the UNFCCC and the World to the Imminent Threat that REDD Poses to their Territories and Livelihoods
IPCCA release, 29 November 2011

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA: As the UNFCCC COP 17 opens in Durban, South Africa, a gathering of indigenous leaders from around the world discussing biocultural protocols and REDD warned the UNFCCC and the international community of the grave danger that REDD and market-based solutions to climate change mitigation post to their cultures, territories and livelihoods. The participants of the workshop on REDD and biocultural protocols organized by the Indigenous Peoples Biocultural Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA) met on 24-25 November 2011 to share emergent findings, analyze how REDD affects indigenous territories and discuss strategies for climate justice. In their Declaration, they strongly reject REDD as a “neo-liberal, market-driven approach that leads to the commodification of life and undermines holistic community values and governance”, further noting that REDD+ policies and projects are directly targeting indigenous peoples and their territories, are undermining indigenous governance systems, and impact negatively on traditional forest-related knowledge, food sovereignty and food security, and traditional health care systems. Read the IPCCA release … Read the IPCCA Declaration from Durban … Read an IPS article of 29 November 2011 on forest-dependent communities and REDD+ …

Climate Conversations – Combining traditional knowledge and climate science in Chad
Giacomo Rambaldi, AlertNet News Blog, 28 November 2011

LONDON, UK: The Fulani-Mbororo peoples in Chad had always been able to rely on elders’ knowledge of their ecosystem to sustainably manage grazing. This traditional knowledge has been used to develop strategies to cope with seasonal weather patterns and manage resources. The community has also typically looked to the elders for predictions on rainfall distribution, drought and other seasonal patterns. Now, it would appear that the reliability of their prediction is undermined by increasingly unpredictable weather and climate conditions. Their livelihoods and future as a culture are under threat because of climate change. In a bid to adapt to the changing conditions and maintain their customary way of life, the Mbororo are coming together with other pastoralists, meteorologists and African policy makers. They share information relating to traditional and scientific knowledge and outline their needs. They also look at how to improve the exchange of data, knowledge and information needed to improve policy making to boost resilience to climate change at grassroots level. Read the article …

35th Session of Administrative Council of ARIPO opens in Accra
Ghana Business News, 28 November 2011

ACCRA, GHANA: The three-day session, which is attended by delegates from the 18 African member states, will discuss among other issues the ratification of the Swakopmund Protocol on traditional knowledge and expressions of folklore, and the Regional Framework for Plant Variety Protection. Read the article … Visit the ARIPO website …

Agrobiodiversity and the Law: Regulating Genetic Resources, Food Security and Cultural Diversity
Juliana Santilli, Earthscan (September 2011) | ISBN 9781849713726

This book analyzes the impact of the legal system on agricultural biodiversity, the diversity of agricultural species, varieties and ecosystems. Using an interdisciplinary approach, it takes up the emerging concept of agrobiodiversity and its relationship with food security, nutrition, health, environmental sustainability and climate change. It assesses the impacts on agrobiodiversity of key legal instruments, including UPOV, the CBD and ITPGR, and reviews options for implementation at the national level; discusses the interfaces between the free software movement, the ‘commons’ movement and seeds; and analyzes the role of protected areas and the possibility of using geographical indications to enhance the value of agrobiodiversity products and processes. Further information …

Sacred Natural Sites
Sacred Natural Sites Team, 2011

Emerging out of 13 years of work of the IUCN Specialist Group on the Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas, the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative builds an alliance of custodians, traditional knowledge holders, conservationists, academics and others in support of the conservation and revitalization of sacred natural sites and territories. The initiative is guided by custodians and advisors from different professions and walks of life. As a basis for guiding its development, they make use of a preliminary action plan. Leading up to the action plan was the development of the IUCN UNESCO Sacred Natural Sites – Guidelines for Protected Area Managers and the book Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving Nature and Culture, edited by Bas Verschuuren, Robert Wild, Jeffrey McNeely and Gonzalo Oviedo and launched at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2010. Visit the website …

Intangible Heritage Committee to consider new inscriptions at Bali meeting
UNESCO press release, 17 November 2011

BALI, INDONESIA: More than 80 nominations, including Saman Dance from Indonesia, Fado from Portugal or Mariachi music from Mexico, will be considered for inclusion in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage lists at the 6th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, held in Bali, from 22-29 November 2011. Mali, Burkina Fasoand Cote d’Ivoire will present a multinational nomination, with the Cultural Practices and Expressions related to the Balafon of the Senufo Communities. It is among 17 nominations that have been recommended for the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Committee will also consider 23 nominations proposed for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding, and 12 proposals of programs for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices. Read the press release … Visit the meeting website … Follow webcast …

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