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A network for all who care about the conservation of our world and who want to see it achieved with justice, compassion, dignity and honesty.

Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent - FPIC

These guidelines, designed to be applied by UN-REDD Programme partner countries, “require States to recognize and carry out their duties and obligations to give effect to the requirement of FPIC as applicable to indigenous peoples”.

These guidelines are only applicable to countries that are UN-REDD participants which diminishes the potential impact and reach of the guidelines. In addition, by focussing on indigenous and forest dependent communities, many other communities in need of such protection are beyond the reach of these guidelines. With these limitations the UN continues down the road of developing a web of overlapping guidelines. Why does the UN continue to build such a morass of programme based guidelines rather than moving towards moving towards a universal right to FPIC for all communities with demonstrable rights to land or the resources on it? – JC.

More… Mar 04, 2013

The Living Convention on Biocultural Diversity

A Compendium of Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Rights Relevant to Maintaining the Integrity and Resilience of Territories and other Biocultural Systems

An overview of the compendium contains a comprehensive compilation of international legal provisions organized into categories of rights that support the stewards of biocultural diversity. It is intended to serve as a useful resource for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, NGOs and others who want to reference and use international law at the national and local levels. A first draft of the publication has been completed and we welcome its rigorous peer review.

More… Nov 22, 2012

Common and Conflicting Interests in the Engagements between Conservation Organizations and Corporations

"Conservation is primarily not about biology but about people and the choices they make."

Abstract: The conservation community increasingly views the corporate sector as a positive force for con- servation. Collaborations between corporations and nongovernmental conservation organizations (NGOs) seek to mitigate the negative effects of corporate activities and augment positive conservation outcomes. I reviewed the establishment of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies by corporations; the emerging fo- cus on environmental practices and sustainability; and the history of engagement between corporations and nongovernmental organizations. I considered the ethical and reputation vulnerabilities of these collabora- tions, which depend especially on the financial nature of the relationship and reviewed how CSR approaches have influenced corporate practices. I concluded that whereas CSR practices can act to mitigate negative environmental impact, to date they have had limited positive effect on biodiversity conservation.

More… Oct 14, 2012

Linking science and human rights: Facts and figures

S. Romi Mukherjee outlines human rights-based approaches to science, technology and development, and what they mean for policy and practice.

"Many international policy scholars argue that rights-based approaches help to re-orient NGOs and the UN system away from professionalised philanthropy and towards capacity-building; that they promise sustainable interventions and reduce dependency on aid; and that they help to redefine the responsibilities of governmental authorities, local actors, NGOs, and the UN system."

More… Oct 02, 2012

Displaced - The Human Cost of Development and Resettlement

Vivid first-hand accounts by the displaced themselves, gathered by Panos London and partners in Africa and Asia.

The six case-studies that form the core of the book feature the voices of men and women displaced by the Tarbela Dam in Pakistan, pastoralists in Kenya displaced by agricultural and conservation initiatives, groups of San in Botswana and Namibia resettled as a result of government schemes and conservation policies, farming families in India who lost their land and livelihoods to coalmining, and mountain villagers in Lesotho, resettled by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. By bringing together these individual experiences, the book reveals the loss of cultural continuity and identity, shifts in family responsibilities and gender roles, and fractured relationships between generations that are just some of the complex challenges people face as they attempt to rebuild lives and communities. Although these narratives are suffused with regret and a sense of loss, they also demonstrate resourcefulness and resilience in the face of profound change. Development's social cost continues to be under-reported; these stories are a crucial reminder of its often devastating consequences.

More… May 16, 2012

Who then are WWF accountable to?

An opinion piece contributed by Dale Stiller, secretary of Property Rights Australia.

"...The issue of accountability is thorny for NGOs. The expectation that an environmental NGO should provide a vaguely described “public good” often results in their clients being loosely defined as sectors of society or the society as a whole. Unless, an NGO has a very specific and defined mandate with a target population, its client base will be so broad that it’s almost impossible to judge whether it is being responsive to its intended clients. In effect, there are often no specific clients to hold an NGO accountable”

More… May 15, 2012

India - Half-way to autonomy

Decisions by Maharashtra’s top forest official can empower gram sabhas to prepare plans to revive their forests, but a policy is awaited.

At a meeting with gram sabha representatives and civil society members on March 9, Maharashtra’s principal secretary of forests agreed to allow gram sabhas to initiate working plans for community-owned forests in coordination with the forest department. The decision could be a shot in the arm for the CFR process in Maharashtra and also set a precedent for the country.

More… May 07, 2012

India – “The State of the Forest Rights Act: Undoing of historical injustice withered”

Press Release from the The Asian Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Network claiming that the Forest Rights Act has not been properly implemented with 54% of claims made under it having been rejected.

"....The claims under the FRA are not being recognised in the protected areas such as National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries...." In many cases, more than one person/family has been granted title over the same plot of land

More… May 07, 2012