International Expert and Stakeholder Workshop: The Contribution of Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems to IPBES: building synergies with science
9-11 June 2013 (Tokyo, Japan)

Convened by the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), co-organized by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and UNESCO, and hosted by UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace, this workshop was part of the ongoing intersessional process leading up to the second session of the IPBES plenary, scheduled for 9-14 December 2013, in Antalya, Turkey. It gathered over 30 academics and experts from around the world, with the aim to: examine and identify procedures and approaches for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems in the framework of IPBES; and review and assess possible conceptual frameworks for the work of IPBES that are based on or accommodate indigenous and local knowledge systems and worldviews.

In his opening remarks, IPBES Chair Professor Zakri highlighted that responding to the biodiversity crisis requires sound leadership and policies, which, in turn, require sound science. He noted that IPBES is designed to reduce the gulf between the wealth of scientific knowledge on declining biodiversity and its services, and knowledge about effective action to reverse these damaging trends, while the workshop’s responsibility is to develop a process that ensures the scientific and policy communities recognize, consider and accommodate indigenous and local knowledge in the framework of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Highlighting the interaction between scientific and technical authors with indigenous experts on the soon-to-be-released IPCC fifth assessment report on climate change, he noted the exchange of knowledge is truly inspiring, adding that traditional knowledge has a long history of sustainable management practices but also boasts great innovations and solutions to global problems. Further information on the workshop … Download the workshop’s agenda [pdf] … Download Professor Zakri’s opening remarks [doc] … Visit the IPBES website …

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