As part of Natural Justice’s emerging partnership with the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), Holly Shrumm and Harry Jonas provided input to a training workshop and planning meeting from 10-12 March, attended by 34 participants from the GDF and Sabah Parks, and held at Sabah Parks’ Crocker Range Park headquarters, Keningau, Sabah. The workshop’s aims were to provide participants further understanding of the relevance of international law to local communities’ lives, to further discuss the application of bio-cultural community protocols to the communities with which GDF is working, and to plan future work. Specifically, the meeting covered:
- International laws relating to communities’ management of natural resources;Bio-cultural community protocols;
- Field updates from community researchers about the workshops in Buayan and Bundu Tuhan (see earlier blog posts), the wildlife corridor and the anti-dam campaign;
- Group discussions about key issues affecting local communities, what information communities might want to convey to other stakeholders, and in which format (including written word, GIS maps, video and photo); and
- Group discussions to plan practical ways forwards.
The meeting concluded with GDF’s community researchers agreeing a programme of community meetings in the Ulu Papar valley and Bundu Tuhan to obtain further information about relevant factors (such as the extent of community managed forests, location of cultural sites and land management practices) towards the development of community protocols calling for the recognition of their role in managing indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs). Harry and Holly thank Agnes, Adam, James and the GDF community researchers for hosting them for the past 3 weeks – and are already looking forward to the return.