Day 4 - May 21
The third day of the Community Dorf opened with a review of the previous day, a report back from the CBD discussion on access and benefit sharing, and the welcoming of new guests and participants. Among the new guests were representatives of Equator Initiative partner, The Nature Conservancy, who complimented the Community Dorf for its contributions to the COP9 program of work and Sarah Scherr of EcoAgriculture Partners, a more recent addition to the Equator Initiative partnership.
An announcement was made by Kenyan participants that they were able to meet with their national delegation and reported an amiable working relationship and open discussion on the value of community perspectives in biodiversity conservation.
Benson Venegas, a lead facilitator, shared a community declaration drafted the previous day on marine and coastal biodiversity, which was in turn distributed at a plenary session on the same topic. A short discussion followed with some wording and content changes from participants.
The first agenda item of the day was the Community Knowledge Service (CKS), a series of regional networks designed to recognize and share community expertise and knowledge, supported by an international secretariat (currently provided by the Equator Initiative and EcoAgriculture Partners). Various participants explained how they became involved with the CKS and how the networks enabled them to share and build on their expertise. Leaders of the three current regional networks – Latin America, Africa, and Asia – shared their experiences and their respective successes. (In brief: 9,250 villages and tens of millions of individuals covered in Asia; demonstrated change in uptake time for knowledge transfer in Latin America; and the multiple tools for knowledge exchange with proven success in Africa). One highlight was the use of radio in Puerto Rico to share best practice in biodiversity conservation, an enterprise financially sustained through the operation of a café. In response to a question on how the Community Knowledge Service has directly influenced government policy, Benson Venegas shared his experience training local tourism guides and gaining national recognition (and authentication) for local knowledge and livelihoods by the tourism and education board.
Participants from Peru and Kenya shared their experience of meeting with national delegates and delegations, both echoing the hope and belief that the young working relationship would be continued when they return home following the conference.
Following the Introduction of the Community Knowledge Service, the Women and Biodiversity Session commenced with presentations made by Mariter Quiñonez of Center for Empowerment and Resource Development-CERD (Philippines) and Wolimata Thiao of Collectif des Groupements d’Interests Economiques des Femme pour la Protection de la Nature-COPRONAT (Senegal). An underlying theme within both presentations touched on female capabilities in taking initiative to spearhead biodiversity conservation. Ms Quiñonez spoke of the importance of focusing on family units when addressing poverty alleviation. Identifying the comparative advantage in production of individual families and teaching them financial savings mechanisms were noted as instrumental. Ms Thiao strongly emphasized the sheer capability of women and their ability to implement conservation projects without the help of men. Both stated that women were the most aggressive and can be seen as pioneers of biodiversity conservation.
During the Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) session, Terence Hay-Edie of the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme—co-organizer of the session—began with a brief introduction of the programme. Its fifteen-year history was noted as an asset, providing the organization with knowledge of best practices which can be implemented in projects to come. Presentation were made by the following Equator Initiative participants: Maurice Wanjala of the Kipsaina Cranes and Wetlands Conservation Group (Kenya), Juan Chávez Muñoz of Asociación para la Investigación y el Desarrollo Integral-AIDER (Peru), Dominique Bikaba of Pole Pole Foundation/Kahuzi-Biega National Park (DR Congo), and Apolinario Cariño of Federation of United Farmers People’s Organizatons-PENAGMANNAK (Philippines). As in previous dialogues, inclusion of local and indigenous communities in decision-making and managing processes was emphasized. An issue raised by a number of presenters involved balancing farmer interests against the needs of the environment. Building capacities of locals to draw a living which is harmonious with nature was provided as one solution.
The concept of CCAs was clarified by Ashish Kothari of Tilcepa and Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend of IUCN. Ms Borrini-Feyerabend identified the three criteria of CCAs as being: 1) a group of people recognizing itself as a community, 2) community de facto power over a resource and 3) community management over the resource. Mr Kothari noted that many CCAs, however, are not officially recognized by governments; therefore, it is important to lobby governments to officially recognize these CCAs, incorporating them into protected areas. However, governments should not mandate all activities within CCAs once officially recognized, and must remember to include local and indigenous communities in decision-making and management processes, while respecting traditional systems.
Community Identified Themes
21 May 2008
Community Knowledge Service (CKS)
The Community Knowledge Service is in the formative stage, but is the outcome of evolving discussions happening over recent years.
The Community Knowledge Service has three regional clusters – Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.
Though it is new, the CKS has wide coverage and significant impact through its expanding NGO and CBO partners. The invitation to join the CKS is open and encouraged.
These organizations are incorporating CKS principles in their ongoing work.
Community participants can join the regional CKS clusters, thereby expanding CKS reach and providing continuity between dialogue spaces.
CKS currently exists as regional knowledge exchange clusters, building on the currency of local expertise and the demand for a knowledge market community-to-community.
Various tools are available for knowledge exchange, however the appropriateness of the their application depends on local circumstances and context.
New technological and exchange tools (e.g. radio, web portals, community-to-community visits, etc) are being adapted and have potential for successful community knowledge exchange.
Women and Biodiversity
Aggressiveness and independence of women in implementing community-based conservation initiatives
Cooperation of entire family unit (and all sectors of the community) is crucial in poverty alleviation
Community Conserved Areas
Balancing and harmonizing the means of making a living with biodiversity conservation; turning biodiversity conservation into an opportunity is possible.
Community conserved areas don’t necessarily have to be officially recognized protected areas; local and indigenous communities have protecting areas for thousands of years
Hence, local and indigenous communities must be included in decision-making and management processes once Community Conserved Areas are officially recognized by governments.
Capacity-building is one key important aspect in biodiversity conservation amongst local and indigenous communities.
GEF presence during the Q&A had further clarified what CCAs are, and provided avenues for potential partnerships.