On 17 July 2014, the Namibian, a local daily in Namibia, reported a rather momentous event: the development of a biocultural community protocol of the Kxoe community of the Bwabwata National Park — the first of its kind in Namibia.
Around 6,700 Kxoe people reside in Bwabwata National Park in Namibia’s West, and in the Kavango and Zambezi regions; they survive mainly as hunters and gatherers. The Kxoe developed the protocol with assistance from the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Natural Justice. The protocol sought to articulate the Kxoe’s values, priorities, and procedures for decision-making around their resources, as well as set out their rights and responsibilities under customary, state, and international law. The protocol would be used as the basis for engaging with external actors such as the government, companies, academics, and non-governmental organizations, who seek access to the Kxoe lands, and traditional and genetic resources for research and development, commercialization, conservation, and other legal and policy frameworks. Read the full blog post by Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte here.