The Forest Peoples Programme, Natural Justice and 24 other Indigenous peoples’ and community-based organisations and supporting NGOs made a joint submission to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) concerning the further development of the Plan of Action for customary sustainable use as a new major component of the revised Programme of Work on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions. The submission suggests that the new component addresses secure land, resource and tenure rights as a fundamental condition for effective customary sustainable use of biological resources.
Overall, the submission states that the draft Plan of Action should encourage Parties to the CBD to:
- Take necessary measures to secure indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ territories and land, resource and tenure rights;
- Promote and support stewardship, governance and management by indigenous peoples and local communities;
- Ensure that laws, policies, and decision-making processes at all levels appropriately recognize and respect customary laws, institutions, worldviews, resource management practices, and traditional knowledge, languages, educational systems, and occupations;
- Review, revise, enact, and implement laws and policies at all levels in accordance with the ecosystem approach and with the full and effective participation and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples and local communities; and
- Respect and apply the right of free, prior informed consent of indigenous peoples and local communities in all actions that may affect their territories, lands and waters (including and inland, coastal and marine).
Other legal submissions compiled by Natural Justice and its partners can be found here