Conservation is more effective when based on culturals and spiritual values and local governance: global evidence
Paris, France6 May 2019
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) released a Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the most comprehensive to date.
According to the report, 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction and thousands of these would become extinct within decades. Although biodiversity is declining everywhere at an unprecedented rate, this rate is lower in areas where indigenous people and local communities own land. In other worlds, when conservation is based on shared cultural and spiritual values and local governance systems.
“Nature managed by indigenous people and local communities is under increasing pressure. Nature is generally declining less rapidly in indigenous peoples’ land than in other lands (…) The areas managed (under various types of tenure and access regimes) by indigenous people and local communities are facing growing resource extraction, commodity production, mining and transport and energy infrastructure, with various consequences for local livelihoods and health. Some climate change mitigation programmes have had negative impacts on indigenous peoples and local communities.”
“Indigenous people and local communities have been proactively confronting such challenges in partnership with each other and with an array of other stakeholders, through co-management systems and local and regional monitoring networks and by revitalizing and adapting local management systems.” However, the knowledge and perspective of the indigenous communities is practically absent in most global approaches to conservation. “Recognizing the knowledge, innovations and practices, institutions and values of indigenous peoples and local communities and their inclusion and participation in environmental governance often enhances their quality of life, as well as nature conservation, restoration and sustainable use, which is relevant to broader society,” the report points out.