Making the Right(s) Links to IUCN

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Natural Justice compiled two case studies for the IUCN Rights-based Approach to Conservation Portal based on our work with communities. One study focuses on the Raika pastoralists in Rajasthan, who are custodians of unique breeds of sheep and camels but face exclusion from their customary grazing lands. The Raika and their supporting NGO, Lakhu Pashu-Palak Sansthan, worked with Natural Justice to develop a bio-cultural community protocol to call on the National Biodiversity Authority to recognize and respect their rights under Indian and international law. The second study focuses on the Bushbuckridge traditional healers in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region. The traditional healers care for their communities’ physical, cultural and spiritual wellbeing, but their livelihoods are threatened by lack of access to traditional harvesting areas and over-use of medicinal plants by outsiders. The traditional healers have grouped together to develop a bio-cultural community protocol to call on South African government agencies for recognition of their traditional knowledge and rights under domestic and international law. These two case studies contribute to a growing body of literature on rights-based approaches, largely driven by two key publications: “Rights-based approaches: Exploring issues and opportunities for conservation” (IUCN and CIFOR, 2009) and “Conservation with Justice: A Rights-based Approach” (IUCN, 2009).

7 April 2010

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