Dialogues: NYC, USA - 2014





The Community Palli (8-17 October), the latest in the Equator Initiative series of community dialogues, brought together more than 30 participants, representing 23 local and indigenous organizations from 11 countries, in a nine-day dialogue held parallel to the COP-11 to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India. Follow the links below for coverage of individual sessions.

Day 1 - Biodiversity Conservation for Enhanced Livelihoods



On the first day of the CBD CoP 11, the Community Palli hosted a high-level side event organized by the Andhra Pradesh Forest Academy and its Centre for Forest and Natural Resources Management Studies (CEFNARM). The event was attended by the Assembly Speaker for Andhra Pradesh, Mr. N. Manohar, who endorsed the impressive efforts of the state forest department in linking biodiversity conservation and improving the livelihoods of rural communities.


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Day 2 - Opening of the Community Palli

MedPlants_5The first of the Equator Prize winner thematic workshops was on the role of medicinal plants conservation in supporting livelihoods and local wellbeing, with a focus on the policy conditions needed to scale up local success in this field. The session built on the success of the medicinal plants workshop held in Bangalore, at the Institute for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM), October 1-5. The event was moderated by Govindaswamy Hariramamurthi (“Hari”), Assistant Director and Head of the Centre for Local Health Traditions at I-AIM, Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT.)


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Day 3 - Business and Biodiversity – Realizing Benefits from Biodiversity Conservation


Many Equator Prize winners have been successful in establishing ecosystem-based enterprises that have brought win-win solutions for biodiversity and local communities. The value of these businesses is in demonstrating the benefits possible from sustainable use of natural resources; their strength and sustainability depend on how successfully they have managed to do this.



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Day 4 - The Role of Indigenous and Local Communities in the CBD

John_Scott_IJohn Scott (Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat) spoke with the Community Palli participants about the engagement of local and indigenous communities with the CBD. Among the opportunities he mentioned was joining IIFB drafting groups focused on specific issues within the CoP agenda, and becoming involved in the NGO Forum or the CBD Alliance.



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Day 5 - Linking Community and Landscape Resilience


This morning side event was co-organized by UNDP and the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI), and explored the theme of resilience in the context of community-based action for development and the environment. The event served as the fourth of the Community Palli’s thematic workshops, featuring presentations from Equator Prize winners working in Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, and Indonesia, and helped to illuminate the satoyama concept of ‘socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes’ following the Third IPSI Global Conference.


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Day 6 - Bio-Enterprises, Endogenous Development and Wellbeing


Suneetha Subramanian of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) presented on the status of a study on community wellbeing. She outlined the initial idea of focusing on community-based groups and collectives that have established systems for revenue-sharing within rural constituencies to better understand the concepts of endogenous development and community wellbeing – this idea has been tested by some Equator Prize winners to date through participatory wellbeing assessments.


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Day 7 - ICCA Registry: Updates and Next Steps

Gen._diversity_and_ABS_IVColleen Corrigan of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) presented on the status of the ICCA Registry, a tool created to document community work in conserving spatially defined areas and indigenous territories. The registry serves several purposes: it allows communities to register their indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs), including GIS and mapping data; to upload documents and videos sharing their work on biodiversity conservation, among other information; and, in some cases, to lend credibility to community efforts to have their conserved areas recognized by state authorities.


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Day 8 - Social Marketing

Marine_and_coastal_IVThe final day of the Community Palli began with a workshop run by Rare Conservation, a long-term partner to the Equator Initiative and a leader in the field of communicating for results in conservation. The session was opened by Brett Jenks, President and CEO of Rare. He congratulated all those in the room on winning the Equator Prize, and emphasized the importance of their work on the frontlines of conservation efforts. He described Rare’s work in 57 countries with more than 3,000 communities to date, in which they have offered training and capacity building to local initiatives on how to communicate messages both to rural communities and to policy-makers.

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