Dialogue on Human Rights and Biodiversity Conservation

20 December 2017
Photo Credit: Zaninka Penninah

Participants of the Dialogue present at the Convention on Biological Diversity

As a follow up to the Dialogue on Human Rights and Biodiversity Conservation that was held in Eldoret (Kenya) in November, a number of the organisers held a side event at a meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Working Group on 8j. The event was hosted by SwedBio, Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples Development Project, Forest Peoples’ Programme and Natural Justice and was chaired by Pernilla Malmer (SwedBio) and Joji Carino (FPP) – who introduced the issues and gave an overview of the Dialogue.

SwedBio, Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples Development Project, Forest Peoples’ Programme and Natural Justice hosted a side event at this week’s meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Working Group on 8j to update on the outcomes of the Dialogue on Human Rights and Biodiversity Conservation that was held in Eldoret (Kenya) in November 2017. The event was chaired by Pernilla Malmer (SwedBio) and Joji Carino (FPP) – who introduced the issues and provided an overview of the Dialogue. Claudia Iterate Lima (International Environmental Law Advisor, SwedBio, and Research Project Leader, Stockholm Resilience Centre) presented on the synergies between human rights and biodiversity in the context of the SGDs and aired the idea of working collaboratively to promote a ‘Target 21’ in the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework linked to SDG 16 on ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’. Penninah Zaninka (Coordinator, United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda) showed a short film on participatory 3D mapping and presented on the historical and ongoing marginalisation her community faces due to land grabs for development – on the one hand, and conservation – on the other, and updated on the ongoing work being undertaken to reclaim respect for their rights and responsibilities. Zsolt Molnár (Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 2, IPBES Global Assessment Scientific advisor, and MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary) reflected on the Dialogue and illustrated the direct linkages between the Ogiek communities living near Mt. Elgon, the area’s ecosystem services and the conservation of biodiversity within the Mau Forest Complex. Tanya McGregor (Gender Programme Officer, Secretariat of the CBD) provided the Secretariat’s perspective on the issues, and presented on the 2015-2020 Gender Action Plan. Joji Carino closed these event, stating that, “Through dialogue, problems will be solved”. The organisations involved in the Dialogue plan to continue the processes and are currently discussing prospects for another possible human rights and biodiversity-related Dialogue in Southeast Asia.

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