Indigenous peoples at centre of Sharing Power Conference

18 January 2011 | News story

 On January 11-15, 2011, the first ever “Sharing Power Conference” was held in Whakatane, New Zealand and hosted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa (Mäori Tribal Authority, and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi (Mäori Tribal University).

 The focus of the conference was to ensure a greater level of inclusion of indigenous peoples and local community into policy, governance and management of biocultural resources. A new vision for development which extended beyond the current mainstream economic models was explored.

Keynote speakers were Professor Sir Sydney Moko Mead, Winona La Duke, Ashok Khosla, and Elinor Ostrom. Other Plenary speakers included the Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Pita Sharples, the Chairs of the six IUCN Commissions, youth representatives and members of the CEESP Steering Committee. Ms Julia Marton-Lefevre, the Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature conveyed her message to the participants and organizers of the conference by video.

The Conference provided a crucial platform for Chairs of the Commissions of IUCN to meet with Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and other conservation organizations on January 13 2011. At this meeting IUCN agreed to review and advance the implementation of resolutions related to indigenous peoples taken at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC4) held in Barcelona, Spain in 2008. 

Pacific countries participating at the conference included Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Also present at the conference was Regional Director for IUCN Oceania Regional Office, Mr. Taholo Kami who provided a presentation under the Regional and Global shared Governance stream talking on the topic Pacific Islands Round Table: Sharing Power through a Shared Vision.

News on the conference proceedings will be available soon.

For more information contact Elizabeth Erasito, eerasito@nationaltrust.org.fj