Community protocols articulate community-determined values, procedures, and priorities. They set out rights and responsibilities under customary, state, and international law as the basis for engaging with external actors such as governments, companies, academics, and NGOs. They can be used as catalysts for constructive and proactive responses to threats and opportunities posed by land and resource development, conservation, research, and other legal and policy frameworks.
Although each community protocol is adapted to its local context, it is generally a community-led instrument that promotes participatory advocacy for the recognition of and support for ways of life that are based on the customary sustainable use of biodiversity, according to standards and procedures set out in customary, national, and international laws and policies. In this sense, biocultural community protocols are community-specific declarations of the right to diversity. Their value and integrity lie in the process that communities undertake to develop them, in what they represent to the community, and in their future uses and impacts.
Natural Justice and our partners have developed a number of publications to help facilitators to implement a BCP process.
Community Protocols in Africa: Lessons learned for ABS implementation
The Community Protocols Toolbox (2016) for extractive industries