Archive for April, 2011

Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas: A Bold New Frontier for Conservation

Indigenous peoples and local communities, both sedentary and mobile, have for millennia played a critical role in conserving a variety of natural environments and species. They have done this for a variety of purposes, economic as well as cultural, spiritual and aesthetic. There are today many thousand Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) across the world, including sacred forests, wetlands, and landscapes, village lakes, catchment forests, river and coastal stretches and marine areas. The history of conservation and sustainable use in many of these areas is much older than government-managed protected areas, yet they are often neglected or not recognised in official conservation systems. Many of them face enormous threats.

Fortunately, there is also a growing recognition of ICCAs and acknowledgement of their role in the conservation of biodiversity. Some governments have integrated them into their official Protected Area Systems, and the Vth World Parks Congress and the Programme of Work on Protected Areas of the CBD accepted them as legitimate conservation sites that deserve support and, as appropriate, inclusion in national and international systems.

via IUCN – Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas.

Biocultural Diversity | gaiafoundation.org

Biocultural diversity is a relatively new term that is becoming widely used to convey the deep relationship between biological and cultural diversity, and how the interaction between them contributes to the resilience and health of our planet. It describes the different dimensions of biodiversity, from species to ecosystems, and all the ways in which diverse cultures express themselves, from language to music, to foods to governance. All of these expressions are reflections of the ecosystems in which cultures are embedded.

Recognising and valuing the beliefs, knowledge, practices and social organization of local communities and indigenous peoples, and their fundamental right to be different, is the foundation of justice amongst humans.

The loss of biocultural diversity, through the imposition of global uniformity, endangers both human and ecological health and well being. It undermines the right and capacity of communities to choose their own way of life – communities who have developed mutually enhancing ways of living within their environment for millennia. In the present context of climate instability, these are the traditions which have the greatest ability to adapt to the global challenges because they can read what Nature is saying.

via Biocultural Diversity | gaiafoundation.org.

Biofuel production ‘needs ethical policies’

By Yojana Sharma 13 April 2011

[LONDON] Existing biofuel policies in developing countries encourage unethical practices and offer few incentives to develop new, more ethical technologies, a major report has concluded.

“The rapid expansion of biofuels production in the developing world has led to problems such as deforestation and the displacement of indigenous peoples,” said Joyce Tait, a scientific advisor to the Innogen Centre at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, who led an 18-month inquiry that culminated in the report ‘Biofuels: Ethical Issues’, produced by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

via Biofuel production ‘needs ethical policies’ – SciDev.Net.