Indigenous peoples and local communities at the heart of CBD negotiations in Geneva
From 12-16 November will take place the 12th meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions (WG8J-12) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), together with the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Benefit-sharing from the Use of Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources (WGDSI-1) from 14-18 November, in Geneva. IUCN will send a small delegation.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognizes the dependency of indigenous peoples and local communities on biological diversity and their unique role in conserving life on Earth. This recognition is enshrined in the preamble of the Convention and its provisions, in particular under Article 8(j), where "Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate...
... respect, preserve and maintain the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval of knowledge holders and to encourage equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of such knowledge.
- Article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity
In December 2022, Parties to the CBD adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The GBF acknowledges the important roles and contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities as custodians of biodiversity and as partners in its conservation, restoration and sustainable use, and this is reflected in many of the 2030 Targets. Parties also decided to develop a new programme of work on Article 8(j) and other provisions of the Convention that is aligned with the GBF, and tasked the Working Group on Article 8(j) to undertake this work for consideration by Parties at the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
On account of its diverse membership, and in particular its Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations members, and in line with its many Resolutions related to Indigenous peoples and local communities and nature,
IUCN supports and is committed to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in the work of the Convention, and in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the GBF, and highlights that more efforts are needed to do so.
IUCN’s contribution to these efforts include the development of a global partnership to support the achievement of Target 3, Act30, and the Podong Initiative.
IUCN’s participation at WG8J-12 will be therefore, a continuation of its on-going engagement with the CBD process to advance the implementation of KMGBF, and the work on Art 8(j). In this regard, IUCN has been invited to participate in an International Dialogue with indigenous peoples and local communities and relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the Gender Plan of Action, taking place on 9-10 November.
The IUCN delegation will closely follow the negotiations for the development of the new programme of work and institutional arrangements on Article 8(j), as well as the review and update of the four traditional knowledge indicators, as part of the joint programme of work on the links between biological and cultural diversity. For WG8J-12:
- Recognising the need to better provide advice regarding indigenous peoples’ issues across the Convention, and the desire for a new institutional arrangement to facilitate knowledge exchange, IUCN supports the establishment of a permanent, open-ended, and inclusive IPLCs body, which could play a strategic role in promoting the traditional knowledge of IPLCs, and an ambitious programme of work.
- IUCN stresses that the GBF must be implemented with a human rights-based approach, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and including the principles of equity, transparency, gender balance, respect and recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ territories, rights, and systems of knowledge. The implementation of the GBF should also consider their worldview, their harmonious relationship with nature, their perspective on sustainable development, and be culturally appropriate.
IUCN will also have a presence in the WGDSI, closely monitoring the development of a multilateral mechanism for benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information on genetic resources, including a global fund, as established by COP decision 15/9.