Equator Initiative at Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
Day 4 - Field Visit to Maya Indigenous Community - 9 Dec. 2016
Summit Múuch'tambal on Indigenous Experience: Traditional Knowledge and Biological and Cultural Diversity, from 9 to 11 December, at COP13, aimed to present and share experiences from indigenous peoples and local communities, Parties, and International Organizations, on the contributions of traditional knowledge and cultural diversity across the agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism sectors, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It has been established that many countries with the highest levels of biological diversity, particularly the “mega-diverse countries”, also rank among the most culturally diverse, and the loss of cultural diversity is linked to the loss of biological diversity.
The Muuch’tanbal Summit began with a field visit to a Maya indigenous community in Quintana Roo (CTSK). CTSK is an Equator Prize winner and SGP grantee. The 19 Equator Prize winners/ SGP grantees, as well as UNDP staff, took part in the visit. Participants had the opportunity to visit a Maya archeological site and lagoon in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and exchanged ideas on collective actions related to the objectives of the CBD and management of protected areas. The host community presented a best practice on the interrelation between biological and cultural diversity, traditional knowledge and governance, and customary use of biodiversity. As UNDP works to advance SDGs at global level, this example shines a spotlight on using tourism as an economic tool to promote development while conserving key ecosystems.