African Workshop on Community Protocols Wraps Up

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The second and final day of the meeting of the representatives of African Indigenous and Local Communities and Community Based Organizations on Bio-Cultural Community Protocols was held on September 3rd in Cape Town, South Africa. Kabir Bavikatte (Natural Justice) began the day with a presentation on community protocols (and the processes that they could be used in) as a tool to assist communities in engaging with the laws that affect them.

The remainder of the day was spent in focus groups that considered the opportunities and challenges in the process and implementation of bio-cultural community protocols, which included discussion on identifying the “community” for the purpose of a protocol, the need (or not) to verify claims made, process and facilitation, and the benefit/danger of mainstreaming community protocols. The focus groups also considered the way forward for community protocols in Africa, including how the organizations present at the meeting could use community protocols and work towards their further development and recognition in Africa.

During the final session of the day, all participants shared their views on the next steps in the development of bio-cultural community protocols in Africa and agreed to maintain a collective of networks and individuals to ensure good mechanisms for sharing information and experiences and to build a team of resource people that have capacity to assist the collective in the development of protocols and related issues. Natural Justice, with the support of the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa, was invited to initiate and lead this process. The full report will be available on the Natural Justice website soon. Thanks to all who participated in and supported the meeting!

3 September 2010

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