March 2012


CCMLCIP Cairns 2012 – Climate Change Mitigation Meeting
UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative, March 2012

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA: 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 (SCBD), the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) are holding a workshop on “Climate Change Mitigation with Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples: Practices, Lessons Learned and Prospects” from 26-28 March 2012, in Cairns, Australia. The 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; and compile regional and local data and grey literature that are relevant for understanding climate change mitigation at the local level. It also aims to support indigenous peoples’, local communities’ and developing country scientists’ engagement and research in international climate dialogues; and provide policy-makers with relevant information on mitigation, indigenous peoples and local communities.

Panels address: agriculture and land use systems; livelihoods and culture; REDD+ mitigation; renewable energies and energy supply; forestry; carbon abatement; governance; and mitigation for sustainable development. A list of social media tools is available for workshop participants and interested individuals across the world. Visit the workshop’s website …Read the daily blog posts by National Geographic …

Biological and Cultural Diversity in Coastal Communities: Exploring the Potential of Satoumi for Implementing the Ecosystem Approach in the Japanese Archipelago
United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa
CBD Technical Series no. 61 (2011) | ISBN: 92-9225-384-0

This study explores experiences with satoumi, which is defined as “high productivity and biodiversity in the coastal sea with human interaction,” and rooted in traditional ecological knowledge. It is argued that satoumi, both as a concept and a management strategy, provides a culturally-appropriate method for implementing provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) related to coastal areas. In the particular case of Japan, reviving satoumi can assist in integrating conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the coastal areas. Satoumi has enabled the effective involvement of stakeholders from different sectors in coastal conservation; and has facilitated the mainstreaming of biodiversity concerns in various sectors. The publication includes introductory and overview articles examining the relevance of satoumi to the CBD mandate, its mainstreaming in Japanese national policy, and its role in coastal biodiversity management; as well as a series of case studies examining the application of satoumi in Japan as a culturally-appropriate concept for biodiversity management in human-influenced coastal seas. Download the study [pdf] …

Human Rights Council, 19th regular session
27 February – 23 March 2012 (Geneva, Switzerland)

The Human Rights Council concluded its nineteenth regular session adopting 41 texts on a wide range of issues, including appointing a Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations related to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. According to the resolution on human rights and the environment, the Special Rapporteur’s tasks would include: studying, in consultation with governments, relevant organizations and indigenous peoples, the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment; identifying, promoting and exchanging views on best practices relating to the use of human rights obligations in the area of environmental protection, and preparing a compendium of best practices; making recommendations that could help achieve the Millennium Development Goals; taking into account the results of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and contributing a human rights perspective to follow-up processes; applying a gender perspective; working in close coordination with relevant UN bodies; and submitting a first report, including conclusions and recommendations to the Human Rights Council at its 22nd session and annually thereafter. According to CIEL, the Council’s resolution establishes an institutional vehicle to advance the linkages between human rights and the environment. It is expected that this new special procedure will lay the basis for the Council’s recognition of a universal right to the environment.

Council discussions on the item were based on an analytical study on the relationship between human rights and the environment, submitted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The study examines the key components of the relationship between human rights and the environment, with emphasis on the following themes: the conceptual relationship between human rights and the environment; environmental threats to human rights; mutual reinforcement of environmental and human rights protection; and extraterritorial dimensions of human rights and the environment. Download the resolution [pdf] …Download the analytical study on human rights and the environment [pdf] …Read the round-up release of the Human Rights Council …Read CIEL’s press release …

Second IPSI Global Conference
13-14 March 2012 (Nairobi, Kenya)

The second global conference of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) consisted of the Assembly and Public Forum. The IPSI Assembly supported a proposal that IPSI-3 be organized back to back with the eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in October 2012, in Hyderabad, India. The Public Forum established three working groups to address: capturing and promoting resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes including disaster risk management; sharing experiences of restoring socio-ecological production landscapes; and revitalizing local communities through enhancing traditional knowledge and empowering young successors. Further information … 

Q&A with Mrs. Irina Bokova – Director General of UNESCO. Planet B Magazine.
UNESCO LINKS release, March 2012

PARIS, FRANCE: In this interview, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova highlights, among others, that on the road to Rio+20 and the setting of a new sustainable development agenda “there is much to learn from the wisdom, knowledge and experience held by rural and indigenous peoples in managing development at the local levels in ways that are sustainable. This knowledge and know-how are core resources for sustainable development.” In addition, she says it is unacceptable that many formal education systems around the world contribute to the erosion of indigenous languages, knowledge and ways of life, and underscores UNESCO’s work through its programme on Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) to ensure that education safeguards and supports indigenous livelihoods and worldviews. Read the interview …

Country, Native Title and Ecology
Jessica K Weir (ed.)
Australian National University E Press, March 2012 | ISBN 9781921862564 (Online)

Country, native title and ecology converge in this volume to describe the dynamic intercultural context of land and water management on Indigenous lands. Indigenous people’s relationships with country are discussed from various speaking positions, including identity and knowledge, the homelands debate, water planning, climate change and market environmentalism. The inter-disciplinary chapters range from an ethnographic description of living waters in the Great Sandy Desert, negotiating the eradication of yellow crazy ants in Arnhem Land, and legal analysis of native title rights in emerging carbon markets. A recurrent theme is the contentions over meaning, knowledge, and authority. The entire book is available to download. Further information …

Community protocols can bring real benefits to communities and combat biodiversity loss
Krystyna Swiderska, IIED blog, 15 March 2012

LONDON, UK: In this post, Krystyna Swiderska argues that community protocols provide communities with a vital way forward for negotiating agreements that are equitable, and for conserving their local biodiversity and traditional knowledge. They set out a community’s rights and responsibilities relating to natural resources, to help communities defend these rights and negotiate with others on an equal footing. They can also establish internal community rules for the equitable sharing of benefits and for sustainable management of natural resources. The author then presents an overview of the inter-community agreement developed by the six communities managing the Potato Park in the Peruvian Andes. Read the post …

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