WPC Dialogues: Sydney, Australia 2014
WPC Dialogues: Sydney, Australia 2014: Day 1
WIN Delegates Group Meeting
Sunday 9 November 2014
John Scott, Senior Programme Officer for Traditional Knowledge and Focal Point for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), commenced the WIN Delegates Meeting with a brief overview of the Equator Initiative and the WIN. Mr. Scott emphasized the importance placed on indigenous and traditional knowledge by the CBD. Both WIN and the CBD continue to strengthen their capacities to provide communities the opportunity to engage in knowledge exchanges. Participants discussed in groups how to improve knowledge exchanges between communities at regional and national levels. Among the 25 participants in attendance were delegates from Brazil, Kenya, India, Gambia, and Australia, with members from The Nature Conservancy and the Kimberley Land Council.
A major component of knowledge exchanges is to revive best practices that have disappeared over time from regions and countries. Communities who still employ these traditional practices are being connected with communities where they had been lost. Discussions focused on shaping the knowledge exchange program to adapt to the dynamic needs of local and indigenous communities and also ways to improve the outreach and exchange process. Participants raised concerns about ensuring that national coordinators communicate these types of opportunities to eligible indigenous communities.
Working groups came back together to share highlights of their discussions. When touching upon the process of ‘community consultations’, Mere Ratunabuabua from Fiji mentioned that in her experience “community interviews had been based on culture, and this method led to increased ownership and empowerment”.
Participants agreed on a number of key recommendations for community exchanges:
- Exchanges should be directed at specific outcomes that communities are trying to achieve
- Community established baselines will improve monitoring and evaluation efforts
- Clear ideas of exchange commitments will improve quality of projects
- Communities should be given the capacity to negotiate terms
- A clear process for developing indicators and outcomes to contribute to case studies and lessons learned is necessary
Participants saw challenges in defining the role of the government, improving existing networks, ensuring tangible outcomes that produce change, tackling cultural and language barriers, and ensuring selection processes stay inclusive and fair.