Categories Asia, Blog, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Second Meeting on the Asia Regional Initiative on Biocultural Community Protocols Held in India

By: Holly Shrumm, International Policy Assistant / Natural Justice (Member)

From 18-20 February at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India, Natural Justice, the Law, Environment and Design (LED) Lab, and ETC-Compas organised the second meeting of the Asia Regional Initiative on Biocultural Community Protocols (ARI-BCP). Non-profit and community-based organisations from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal shared their experiences with supporting the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous and tribal communities, fishing communities, communities affected by extractive industries, traditional healers, and farmers. Several participants were also part of the ICCA Consortium, including Vasundhara, the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, and Wim Hiemstra (Honorary Member). The meeting was kindly supported by The Christensen Fund and the Ford Foundation.

The overall emphasis was exploring how protocols can be strategically utilised by Indigenous peoples and communities as part of ongoing efforts to secure their territories and areas of collective stewardship, including ICCAs. Discussions focused on activities undertaken and lessons learned to date with the development and use of community protocols in South Asia; how protocols can be used within the Indian legal context, particularly vis-à-vis the Biodiversity Act 2002 and the Forest Rights Act 2006; the innovative use of design and technology to support participatory documentation (of biodiversity, customary practices, etc.) and community advocacy efforts; and next steps in South Asia, including greater emphasis on participatory legal empowerment and possibly litigation.

For more information, please visit: or contact Holly ( and Kabir Bavikatte (