Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and their partners recently released 6 case studies and a synthesis report on customary sustainable use of biodiversity by Indigenous peoples and local communities. Case studies from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Guyana, Suriname, and Thailand provide insights into the sophistication of local management systems, in particular the customary law systems that guide the wise use of biological resources. The communities also describe the threats that their customary management systems are facing and identify obstacles to effective country-level implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Article 10(c), which states that parties shall protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements.
Owen J. Lynch (Rights and Resources Initiative) also released a new publication entitled, “Mandating Recognition: International Law and Native/Aboriginal Title”. It identifies, summarizes, and analyzes leading international and national laws and judicial cases recognizing or otherwise supportive of native/aboriginal title. Native/aboriginal titles are community-based property rights typically held by Indigenous peoples and other original, long-term-occupant local communities. The paper highlights widespread and growing evidence that international law is moving towards (and arguably already is) mandating legal recognition of native/aboriginal title to Indigenous territories and ancestral domains. It references decisions of the International Court of Justice, the Inter-American Court, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. This emerging mandate in favor of native/aboriginal title is also apparent in international conventions and declarations, as well as at least fourteen nation states that are already obliged under domestic law, albeit in differing ways, to recognize Indigenous peoples’ and others’ native/aboriginal titles.
Thanks to Elsa from the TK Bulletin for the links and descriptions!