CEESP News - by Ameyali Ramos, CEESP Deputy Chair
The Mexican National Committee of IUCN Members hosted a Forum in Mexico City, Mexico from 23 to 25 October 2018. The Forum provided an opportunity to review the progress of IUCN Mexican Member activities, to collaborate with IUCN Commissions and the Secretariat and to deliberate on how the Mexican National Committee can engage on strategic conservation and natural resource management issues in Mexico.
The Forum was attended by more than 200 people including IUCN Member organizations, IUCN Commission members, IUCN Secretariat, Indigenous organizations, youth, academia, government, civil society and NGO’s. Senior representatives from the IUCN Commissions also participated, including Kristen Walker (CEESP), Sean Southey (CEC), Mike Wong (WCPA), Bernal Herrera (CEM) and Topiltzin Contreras (SSC) and Antonio Benjamin (WCEL – via skype).
For CEESP, the forum provided an opportunity to interact with Members and to identify key issues for the commission in Mexico and globally. CEESP hosted a panel where members shared their experiences on topics ranging from Green Criminology (Ines Arroyo Quiroz), the importance of transparency and access to information in the forest sector (Mariana Martinez Leal) and community forest management (Sergio Madrid Zubiran).
CEESP invited Dr. Maria Isabel Studer (Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy), Jasmin Hundrof (Exective Coordinator for the Biodiversity and Agricultural Program in Mexico, GIZ), and David Perez (Director, the Global Network of Change Agents – Bekaab) to share their perspectives on the key priorities for Mexico and conservation in the coming years. Among key areas of work and discussion were agriculture, private sector, mobilizing youth and communication technologies including social media.
CEESP supported the participation of Indigenous Peoples at the Forum and the Indigenous Peoples Dialogue.
Representatives from several communities and key biodiverse regions in Mexico participated. The dialogue promoted reflection between participants on issues such as governance, rights, education, culture, gender equality, the Nagoya protocol, and culture; among others.
The discussions were thoughtful and lively and participants jointly helped draft some key suggestions on how IUCN could better support and engage with Indigenous Communities in Mexico, including around issues of culture, education, gender equity, rights, free prior and informed consent, and the Nagoya protocol. Specifically, participants suggested that IUCN should increase Indigenous Peoples representation in its three pillars - Secretariat, Commissions, and Members – and should support the development of tools and methodologies for the protection of Indigenous biocultural diversity and their lands and territories.
More than 40 participants will be joining CEESP as a result of the Forum and CEESP looks forward to continue to dynamically engage with members in Mexico on issues relevant to the human dimensions of conservation.