On 1 December at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa, Natural Justice co-hosted a panel entitled “Biocultural Protocols: Lessons for REDD+ Safeguards from the CBD Experiences”. The event was hosted in collaboration with the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC), the Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA), and the Global Forest Coalition (GFC).
The purpose of the panel was to raise awareness of a number of decisions, tools and guidelines that have been developed under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) during its 20-year history and to highlight their usefulness and cross-leverage rights to mitigate risks associated with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+).
Panelists included Johannes Stahl (CBD Secretariat), Simone Lovera (GFC), Kanyinke Sena (IPACC), Alejandro Argumedo and Kaylena Bray (IPCCA), and Kabir Bavikatte (Natural Justice). After highlighting the risks and opportunities of REDD+, panelists mentioned, among other things, the possible value of guidelines developed under the CBD for implementing REDD+, including the Akwé: Kon Guidelines (for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding developments proposed to take place on, or which are likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities) and the Tkarihwaié:ri Code of Ethical Conduct to Ensure Respect for the Cultural and Intellectual Heritage of Indigenous and Local Communities. Another mechanism that was especially highlighted was the use of biocultural community protocols in the context of REDD+.