People in Nature: 2016 highlights and next phase

CEESP News - by Seline Meijer

People in Nature (PiN) is an IUCN knowledge basket being developed by CEESP and the Global Economics and Social Science Programme in the IUCN Secretariat. PiN provides a process of systematic data collection, analysis and documentation for landscape level assessment of people’s material uses of nature as well as symbolic interrelationships with nature expressed through cultural narratives, language, tradition and spiritual values.

PiN highlights from 2016 are detailed below, as well as a look to what is in store for 2017!

Participants of the joint PiN and KUA Conservation Campus sharing circle at the IUCN Congress in Hawaii

PiN has begun to engage Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations (IPOs) in the process of developing projects, which will contribute directly to the communities and their planning processes. In April 2016, PiN convened IUCN IPO Members and initiated work to integrate indigenous perspectives and to ensure that PiN is a tool for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) to tackle challenges they face. A blog post reporting on the event and providing a perspective from one of the participants is available from the PiN Blog

More information about PiN, as well as an overview of recent working papers and publications, can be found on the website.

PiN at the IUCN Congress

As part of the conceptual and methodological development of PiN, a series of discussion papers tacking key issues were produced. These papers were published as a compilation volume titled "People in Nature: Valuing the diversity of interrelationships between people and nature". The book was launched during the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i in September 2016 and is available to download from the IUCN Library.

PiN organised several events at the IUCN Congress to showcase PiN work and build relationships with collaborators, partners and other Congress participants. One of the projects presented at Congress involves the cultural narratives collected by a Bribri scholar in Costa Rica to capture the perspectives of Bribri people on the relationships with their environments. Stories related to eight animals are described in three languages, Bribri, Spanish and English, and compiled in a book, titled “Ditsö̀ rukuö̀ - Identity of the seeds: Learning from nature”, available to download from the IUCN Library.

In collaboration with a new IUCN Member representing Indigenous Peoples in Hawai’i, Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo (KUA), PiN organised a half day Conservation Campus to share experiences about the role of indigenous and local knowledge in restoring interrelations between people and nature. A blog story reporting on the event has been published on the Huffington Post website.

New PiN projects

PiN is planning a new project for 2017-2018 to empower IPLCs with the decision-making tools, knowledge and skills to assess their resource base, the material uses and cultural and spiritual values, and to support them to sustainably and equitably manage natural resources within their territories and lands. This process and the information generated will feed into the development of integrated land management plans (in some cases called Life Plans).

Implementation of these integrated management plans will have multiple benefits: they contribute to sustainable use of resources and conservation of biodiversity respecting both material needs and building on culture, and they enable indigenous communities to more effectively engage with policymakers. This project will apply the methods within two site level applications in Honduras and Malawi. IUCN is currently seeking funding to expand this work to other contexts and communities.

Get involved!

We encourage further engagement from the CEESP membership and if you are interested in knowing more about PiN and become involved in one of our new projects, please write to us at [email protected].


Go to top