Representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities who have a strong bond with nature and wish to express their willingness to keep it alive got together on 7-11 November 2014. The Indigenous Protected Areas model of Australia, which is a policy model, not inscribed in legislation, has been described in some depth.
The Conservancy model of Namibia, the ICCA model of the Philippines, the indigenous territory model of Bolivia, and many others provided several elements of comparison. Approaches for both shared governance and more autonomous community governance were illustrated and discussed, celebrating diversity and mutual learning and support. And participants heard about cases of national coalitions and federations that embrace specific models and approaches to defend and conserve their territories, support sustainable livelihoods and secure their collective rights.
On the basis of such a variety of experiences, the participants identified the legal and political approaches that appear recommendable under different conditions (e.g., with or without recognition of collective rights) as part of comprehensive strategies to gain self-determination, conserve the integrity and diversity of nature, nourish unique local cultures and live well with themselves and with others.
The gathering provided to indigenous peoples and local communities an occasion to share experiences in their struggles to defend their territories and manage natural resources in full recognition of their collective capacities, rights and responsibilities.
A summary document will be produced to capture and share the learning that took place. The World Parks Congress has been infused with the strength and insights mustered in the event. And the linkages among participants remained alive through the social media networking opportunities fostered— among others— by WIN and the ICCA Consortium.
Download here a statement developed by the participants in the Communities Conserving Nature and Culture gathering.
During the Closing Plenary of the World Park Congress, Duane Fraser, young Traditional Owner of the Great Barrier Reef, delivered a speech that included a powerful statement developed and agreed upon during the Communities conserving nature and culture gathering in the Blue Mountains.
- 9th November: Agenda of the General Assembly of the ICCA Consortium (it includes a joint morning meeting with the World Network of Indigenous and Local Community Land and Sea Managers (WIN)
- 10th and 11th of November: Please find here the agenda of the Dialogue day among Indigenous Peoples and Communities from five Continents Conserving Nature and Culture, an entire day dedicated to sharing experiences and developing common conclusions and recommendations for the WPC!