Kauhale ‘Ōiwi Dialogues: Honolulu, USA - 2016
Day 1 - The Sustainable Development Goals
September 2th, 2016
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
The Community Kauhale ‘Ōiwi is a peer-to-peer meeting space at IUCN World Conservation Congress that provides an opportunity for local and indigenous leaders to exchange knowledge and best practices in sustainable environmental management. Leveraging the unique partnerships of the Equator Initiative, the Kauhale aims to position local advocacy and knowledge sharing within the larger policy dialogues on conservation and sustainable development.
Welcome and Opening of the Kauhale 'Ōiwi
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The Equator Initiative opened its Community Kauhale with a traditional Hawaiian Awa Ceremony, honoring and welcoming Equator Prize winners, partners, and friends to the space, which would be used as a home for indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as a meeting hub for all IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) attendees.
Following the Awa ceremony, Alejandra Pero, Equator Initiative’s WIN Network Coordinator, and Charles McNeill, UNDP’s Senior Policy Advisor for Forests, Climate and Indigenous Issues, greeted partners, Equator Prize winners and WCC attendees to the Kauhale.
Several representatives from the Equator Initiative partnership, including Gonzalo Oviedo and Aroha Te Pareake Mead, from IUCN; Kristen Walker Painemilla, from Conservation International; Gerald Miles, from RARE; and Jill Blockhaus fromThe Nature Conservancy, spoke about their ongoing partnership with the Equator Initiative, and the importance of the latter in promoting best environmental practices and recognizing the role of local communities and indigenous peoples in the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. All partners highlighted the importance of the work undertaken by the Equator Initiative partnership, and the need for it to be recognized, supported, and financed by breaking down silos and exploring future partnerships to sustain and scale-up the work of Equator Prize winners.
Jamison Ervin, Manager of the Global Biodiversity Program at UNDP, framed these relationships and dialogues within the larger mission of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the role of UNDP in promoting a more inclusive development, linked to the biodiversity conservation agenda.
Equator Prize winner Donato Bumacas from Kalinga Mission for Indigenous Children and Youth in the Philippines, shared stories on how the Equator Prize provided his organization with a platform to share their work and gain recognition from local, national and international organizations as well as governments. Other Equator Prize winners such as Josephine Agbo-Nettey, from Integrated Development in Focus in Ghana; Caroline Olory and Martins Egot from Ekuri Initiative in Nigeria, and Ivy Gordon, from Jeffrey Town Farmers Association in Jamaica, shared their communities’ best practices, the impact of the Equator Prize on their livelihoods, and the challenges of their communities moving forward.
Alejandra Pero and Charles McNeill closed the opening session by inviting all WCC attendees to be a part of the Community Kauhale during their time in Hawaii, and welcoming them to connect with and learn from the Equator Prize winners- their work and ingenuity- during their time at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.
Localizing the SDGs: Engaging Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
The session on Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) sought to explore how SDGs can be implemented to address local realities and needs of local communities and indigenous peoples; to explore multiple perspectives on how to localize the SDGs; and discuss how efforts at the local level can be linked and integrated to global policies.
Lucy Mulekei, from Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network in Kenya moderated the session. She explained that issues such as health, gender, poverty, food security, education and partnerships, addressed in the SDGs, are relevant to grassroots communities, on a daily basis. Part of UNDP’s work is to ensure that Indigenous Peoples issues are adequately integrated into the implementation of SDGs.
Galina Angarova, from Swift Foundation, USA stressed that the Indigenous Peoples Major Group at the UN took part in the stocktaking phase and design of the SDGs, specifically goals 2 and 4. She explained that key challenges to the SDG process included the lack of recognition of Indigenous Peoples rights, and that the Major Group is developing Indigenous Peoples indicators, and continues to work with multiple stakeholders to develop regional and national indicators for SDGs.
Jamison Ervin, Head of the Biodiversity Global Programme at UNDP explained that almost all 17 SDGs, 169 targets and 100+ indicators are dependent on biodiversity and ecosystems, which underpin development at local scales. Challenges that prevent this from happening include market, policy, social and political failures. She concluded by explaining that UNDP supports communities and encourages local development goals because as they promote learning and innovation; demonstrate linkages between biodiversity and wellbeing; give a voice to the most vulnerable, and inspire and bring hope. Quoting Thomas Friedman she said, “One community can make a global impact, and many communities can impact the entire world”.
Vaishali Gawandi, Equator Prize winner from Rural Communes, India talked about her work with local communities in remote villages in India. She explained how busy local communities are satisfying their basic needs in terms of food, clothing, shelter, health and education on a daily basis, and stressed how their activities embody the idea of localizing the SDGs. She stressed how sustainable development issues faced by these communities include problems with land tenure; illiteracy; lack of clean water and sanitation; malnutrition; limited job opportunities; overgrazing, and destructive harvesting, among others. She described how Rural Communes aims to implement the SDGs in their training and capacity building programs in rural India, as they’ve always done (they just never called them SDGs).
Saw Paul Sein Twa from KESAN from Myanmar explained the current situation in Myanmar (former Burma), and described how many people in his community have been displaced and sent to refugee camps as a result of war. He stated that despite the 2015 cease-fire agreement, war in Myanmar has continued. Mr. Sein Twa described how his organization is working on providing social services to the communities, and has the best forest policies in the country, currently implementing the Peace Pact project- promoting SDG 16.
Ms. Mulekei concluded by stating that organizations at the global level need inputs from people working on the ground. Bottom-up communications, access to data, linking governments and global agencies to local communities, and mainstreaming local communities and indigenous peoples needs into the implementation of the SDGs is key for the success of the 2030 development agenda.