Indigenous communities want to take part in a new course on protecting nature – Global Issues

The recent displacement disaster of the Maasai community in Loliondo District in Tanzania's northern Ngorongoro District has heightened indigenous concerns about the loss of their ancestral lands under the 30 by 30 plan of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).  Bradford Zach/Unsplash
The recent displacement disaster of the Maasai community in Loliondo District in Tanzania’s northern Ngorongoro District has heightened indigenous concerns about the loss of their ancestral lands under the 30 by 30 plan of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Bradford Zach/Unsplash
  • Busani Bafana (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)
  • Inter Press Service

Human Rights organizationsThe Maasai community blocked eviction from their pastures in Loliond due to the demarcation of 1,500 km of Maasai ancestral land that the Tanzanian government had leased as a hunting ground to a company from the United Arab Emirates.

The Maasai displacement is a realization of the fears of indigenous communities about the loss of their ancestral lands in accordance with the 30 by 30 plan proposed in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The plan provides for the preservation of 30 percent of the earth’s land and sea spaces. About 100 countries have backed a science-based proposal to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030, the third of GBF’s 21 goals.

Indigenous communities are concerned that the current plan does not protect their rights and control over ancestral lands and will cause massive community evictions through the creation of protected areas designed to conserve biodiversity.

The fourth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, hosted by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), opened this week (21-26 June) in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting is expected to negotiate a final new pact for adoption at the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity, which includes the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in Montreal, Canada in December 2022.

Human rights in a deal with nature

Indigenous groups are calling for a rights-based approach to maintaining and strengthening community land ownership. They emphasize that an international pact to halt and reverse biodiversity loss must include indigenous communities such as the Maasai.

“We are highlighting the situation of the Maasai in Tanzania as an example of what should no longer happen, and the best way to avoid this is to ensure that there is a language of human rights in the post-2020 framework,” Indigenous lawyer and global policy expert Jennifer Corpus, Kancana-ey Igorot from the Philippines and member of the International Indigenous Forum for Biodiversity (MIFB) told IPS in a telephone interview.

“In particular, we are defining goal 3 of the framework, which is area-based conservation, and a proposal to expand coverage of land and sea protected areas. It is important that the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities be recognized,” said Korpus.

Corpus said there was growing recognition among scientists of the importance of traditional knowledge and how it can guide decision-making on climate change and biodiversity, as well as the participation of indigenous peoples in biodiversity monitoring, which are the focus of targets 20 and 21 of the framework.

The CBD COP15 is expected to take stock of the implementation of the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and to decide on a new global biodiversity framework to be negotiated every ten years. The CBD is an international treaty on natural and biological resources ratified by 196 countries to protect biodiversity, use biodiversity without destroying it, and share any benefits of genetic diversity equitably.

Indigenous leaders say there is clear evidence for the role of indigenous communities in protecting biodiversity after latest reports established by UNEP in Nairobi and other conservation organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (World Wildlife Fund).

“Achieving the ambitious goals and targets of the post-2020 global biodiversity agenda will not be possible without the recognition, conservation, protection and restoration of lands and territories,” the report says.

From the Amazon and Congo rainforests to the East African savannas, indigenous communities under siege around the world, from the Amazon and Congo rainforests to the East African savannas, can continue to play a protective role, according to their leaders and scientists, whose work supports the drive of indigenous peoples to control what happens in their territories. territory.

Biodiversity on the brink of extinction

Reference point report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBEU), has warned that about 1 million animal and plant species are currently threatened with extinction, many of which are in the coming decades. The assessment report notes that at least a quarter of the world’s territory is traditionally owned, managed and used by indigenous peoples.

“Nature managed by indigenous peoples and local communities is under increasing pressure, but is generally not deteriorating as fast as in other lands, although 72% of local indicators developed and used by indigenous peoples and local communities show a deterioration in the state of nature, which underpins the livelihoods of local residents,” the report says. It highlights that areas of the world that are projected to experience significant adverse impacts from climate change, ecosystem functions and nature’s contributions to people are also areas that are home to large numbers of indigenous peoples and many of the world’s poorest communities.

Experts warn that the success of the GBF beyond 2020 depends on adequate funding to achieve the goals and objectives within the framework.

The financial component needs more attention, political priority and progress, Brian O’Donnell, director of the Campaign for Nature, said at a media briefing, referring to the latest mechanism that failed to reverse biodiversity loss due to a lack of financial commitment.

“Now is not the time for half measures. The time has come for bold ambition from governments around the world… We believe that an annual global commitment of at least one percent of GDP is needed to overcome the biodiversity crisis, this is the level of crisis financing that we need to materialize, and the parties must commit themselves commitment to reach that level by 2030,” O’Donnell said. “We believe rich countries need to increase support for developing countries by investing at least $60 billion a year in biodiversity conservation in developing countries.”

UN IPS bureau report


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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedSource: Inter Press Service

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