From 13-16 August 2012, Johanna von Braun of Natural Justice attended the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) third regional consultation for indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in Asunción, Paraguay. Previous consultations were organised by the Secretariat and attended by Natural Justice team members in Bujumbura, Burundi and Chiang Mai, Thailand. The workshop brought together approximately 55 regional representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean in order to prepare recommendations for the 11th CBD Conference of the Parties (COP), to take place in Hyderabad, India in October 2012.
During the first three days of the workshop participants familiarized themselves with the CBD in general as well as the history and nature of the participation of IPLCs in the work around the Convention. Particular attention was placed on articles 10c and 8j of the Convention, the 2011-2020 Strategy for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets as well as the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing.
Significant time was spent discussing the crucial role community protocols, featured in article 12 of the Nagoya Protocol, could play in implementing the Protocol at the local level while asserting and affirming IPLC’s rights over traditional knowledge and genetic resources. Several case studies of community protocols, presented by a representative of the Kuna Yala community and Dr von Braun, supplemented this session.
The final day of the workshop included an internal meeting in which IPLC representatives finalised the forum’s recommendations for COP11. After the end of the workshop, some participants stayed for an additional two days to participate in a more in depth training for facilitators on issues around the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol.