World Indigenous Network (WIN) Conference
10 July 2013 | Article
CEESP Members Nigel Crawhall and Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat attended the World Indigenous Network (WIN) Conference. Marine Protected Areas Connections has produced a special edition on Tribal and Indigenous Peoples on MPAs which includes a report on the WIN Conference.
"In May 2013, over 1,200 delegates and representatives from more than 50 countries from every corner of the globe attended the World Indigenous Network (WIN) Conference in Darwin, Australia. The Larrakia Nation of Northern Australia are the traditional owners of what is now the Darwin area and they were gracious and warm hosts for this important gathering.
The event brought indigenous land and sea managers together from around the world to learn from each other and identify issues of common concern that may be aided by a larger network of native voices. Over 70 talks were presented on subjects as diverse as ghost net recovery efforts by aboriginal Rangers in northern Australian waters and the use of traditional knowledge of reindeer herding by Sami women in northern Sweden. Presentations made to the plenary group included talks by Professor James Anaya regarding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP); Dr. Taghi Farvar on Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) and Eric Young, President of E-Y-E, on social change brought about by a small group of First Nation members in northern British Columbia that saved a culturally important area, one of the last remaining pristine watersheds on the West Coast of North America.
Key to this conference was the gradual and, in many cases, grudging recognition throughout the world of the rights of traditional owners. Efforts are continuing to convince countries that have supported the UNDRIP to act on the Articles of that document. The Articles of the UNDRIP comprehensively recognize the basic rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination and maintenance of their cultures and homelands. This document has recently gained the support of four countries that withheld their support initially: the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Though each of these nations have their own internal policies for consultation and recognition of indigenous peoples, the UNDRIP is a much more detailed recognition of native rights and needs."