|Community Kampung Statements - Working Group 1|
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Community based conservation, use and co-management
Community delegates from Indonesia , Honduras , Ecuador , Thailand , Costa Rica and Nigeria agreed that community based conservation, use and co-management should be at the core of biodiversity and sustainable development policy making.
Local communities are rights holders not just stakeholders. We need and have to protect and develop our biodiversity, working in networks, which will depend on each other, to have a greater impact on human kind.
International commitment is not enough without concrete actions led by the local communities.
We have come together to join our voices to say very strongly:
1. BIODIVERSITY CAN ONLY BE PRESERVED AND CONSERVED WITH PEOPLES' ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION
Only through community based initiatives can we truly improve our quality of life. Social, economic, cultural and environmental issues need to be integrated into initiatives with full participation of the community. Women, children and elders are at the heart of community development and should be considered as relevant in decision-making and benefit sharing.
2. ACCESS TO AND BENEFITS OF SUSTAINABLE USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES SHOULD GO PRIMARILY TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES
We want the value of local cultures to be recognized and respected. Communities should have a larger role in managing and using our own natural resources.
To reduce poverty in our communities we need to have access to, and derive benefits from, the sharing of natural resources.
New technologies should be adequate and acceptable and integrated with our traditional knowledge and local system of science. Scientific knowledge should not impose upon local wisdom. Best practices should be community driven.
3. CO-MANAGEMENT IS A CONCEPT THAT NEEDS TO BE DEFINED, PROMOTED AND ESTABLISHED ON THE BASE OF A COMMON LANGUAGE WITH EMPOWERMENT AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES.
We need a co-management process that focuses on better communications, promotion of sustainable use and protection of biodiversity. Regulations should be established through participation of communities and with the full recognition of the legitimacy of traditional knowledge and customary rules and laws.
Co-management should be based on the values of equity and mutual respect. Government should respect our rights, support our work and ratify local regulations that balance the use and the protection of biodiversity.
While laws should ensure a broad level of protection they should take into account particularities.
Government should play a supportive role in co-management. The word "support" doesn't necessarily mean money, it could be a broad range of possibilities. These include:
* technical assistance and advice
Mother Earth connects and empowers us. Solidarity, ethnic pride and local resistance bring us together to say: YES TO COMMUNITY BASED CONSERVATION, USE AND CO-MANAGEMENT