A new perspective to World Ranger Day: honouring and showing solidarity also with the defenders of the natural commons

31st July 2015 – World Ranger Day Press Release

On the occasion of World Ranger Day, The ICCA Consortium– a Swiss based international association with members from over seventy countries around the world– joins in to the chorus paying respect to the rangers who dutifully protect nature as part of their daily jobs and obligations in protected areas.  It stresses that the world owes a huge debt to the many of them who dedicate their lives – with loyalty and selfless courage– to preserve the water we drink, the fresh air we breathe, the landscape and species in which we find solace and delight.

Uncommonly, however, the ICCA Consortium is also drawing attention to the indigenous peoples and local communities who protect and defend comparable nature and biological diversity not only in official protected areas but in the land, water and natural resources held as “commons” all over the world.[1] “The natural commons are at enormous risk from the powerful forces of extractive industries, infrastructure development, monocultures, poaching, commercial overfishing, land and water grabbing, wars and armed conflicts, imposed cultural change, and the privatisation and monetisation of natural resources in general.  These are some of the most powerful forces at play in the world today and the price of resisting them to conserve nature, cultural diversity and traditional lifestyles can be exceedingly high in terms of intimidation, violent abuse and injury… and unfortunately even death.” said Dr. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Global Coordinator of the ICCA Consortium.

Indigenous peoples and traditional caretaker communities[2] are on the frontline in the struggle to preserve, protect, restore and defend the “natural commons” and, in particular, the territories and areas they collectively conserve on the basis of their traditional knowledge and customary practices, law and institutions (in short referred to as ICCAs).  People such as Councillor Armin R. Marin— gunned down by a mine guard while leading a peaceful anti-mining protest in Sibuyan Island, The Philippines; [3] Ms. Karunamoi Sardar— killed by a bomb while she was leading a peaceful protest against the encroachment of industrial shrimp farms into local mangrove areas in the Khulna Delta of Bangladesh;[4] and Guarani Indian leader Ambrósio Vilhalva— killed after decades of campaigning for his tribe’s right to live on its ancestral land in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state[5] are some better known examples of— unfortunately–  countless victims.

The ICCA Consortium is extremely concerned by the on-going violations of environmental customary law and human and indigenous peoples’ rights that include the killing or severe harming of leaders and members of indigenous peoples and local communities who resist land conversion, natural resource grabbing and imposed ‘development’ processes. “This is an unfortunately frequent occurrence in the global South, and particularly severe in places where local resistance and mobilisation to defend community commons and ICCAs has led to the militarisation of territories.  In too many cases, national armies and para-military security forces end up backing the interests of corporations and private investors at the expense of poor and vulnerable communities.” said Giovanni Reyes, a Kankana-ey Igorot, Secretary-General of the National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines and member of ICCA Consortium’s Steering Committee.

The majority of cases of killing and severe harm perpetrated against the defenders of community commons and ICCAs remain unsolved, with both instigators and executors of such crimes rarely identified or brought to justice. The risk of losing one’s life in the attempt to protect community commons and ICCAs and even the likelihood that that sacrifice will remain unrecognized and unpunished represent a disincentive for people to engage in resisting undesired land conversions and “development” schemes and, in general, in equitably governing and sustainably managing their land, water and natural resources. “This is the effect intended and hoped for by the perpetrators of the crimes. Yet, despite this, and at times because of this, many defenders of the natural commons remain unhindered and some double their efforts and are singled out for reprisal.” affirmed Dr. M. Taghi Farvar, President of the ICCA Consortium. “Crucially, the families of the murdered and harmed defenders bear the long-term consequences of their loss, including loss of security and livelihoods, and the possibility of a lifetime of poverty and marginalisation. Unlike for rangers of official protected areas, there may not even be a token compensation or pension for the orphaned families. In addition, the communities of the murdered and harmed defenders remain deprived of some of their most aware, active and generous members.” said Dr. Dario Novellino, an activist-anthropologist and ICCA Consortium honorary member, who is spending his life in the service of vulnerable indigenous communities.

The threats to rangers and defenders of community commons and ICCAs were recognised at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia held in November 2014, and this recognition was incorporated into The Promise of Sydney Vision released at the Congress.  The Congress, which represented the largest ever gathering of conservationists from around the world, stated: “…we recognize that threats to nature, its biological diversity and protected areas are now at the highest level in human history, due to a convergence at immense scale of the impacts of human consumption patterns, population growth, and industrial activity. Many protected and conserved areas are at risk (…) and many rangers on the frontline have sacrificed everything for this cause. This reality must be faced directly, truthfully, and collaboratively. Bold vision and concerted action are required if we are to meet both conservation goals and human aspirations for current and future generations. There is no time to lose”.

The ICCA Consortium anticipated its celebration of World Ranger Day with a gathering at the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), which met this month in Geneva.  On the occasion, it called for the development of a global Solidarity Fund for Defenders of the Commons and ICCAs. “This Fund will seek to provide some level of compensation to families and communities adversely affected by the killing or severe harming of activists involved in the protection of their collective rights to natural resources, often based on ancestral ownership un-recognized by states or private interests. It will show solidarity with the communities willing to continue the struggle.” said Dr. José Aylwin, a human rights lawyer with the Observatorio Ciudadano of Chile.  “The establishment of this Fund is– simply put— a moral obligation for all of us environment and human rights activists.” added Sarah Selvy Fortuné, a Touareg member of the ICCA Consortium Steering Committee, from Niger.  “While the ICCA Consortium is willing to spearhead the initiative, the shape, organisation and hosting institution of the Fund are entirely open” stressed Sarah Ryder, Programme Manager of the ICCA Consortium “…and a number of individuals of known commitment and integrity are ready to serve as members of the body that will administer the Fund.”

The Fund forms part of the wider strategy the ICCA Consortium is fostering to respond to human rights violations of the defenders of community commons and ICCAs, and to expose and bring to justice the people and companies responsible for these crimes.  Further work to plan and structure the Solidarity Fund is scheduled, notably as a follow up to the 4th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, to be held in November 2015 in Geneva (Switzerland).

For more information on the Fund or about ICCAs and the work of the ICCA Consortium please contact info@iccaconsortium.org and consult www.iccaconsortium.org where specific accounts– such as reports, videos and photostories— can be found about defenders of the commons and ICCAs.

 Released July 24, 2015


Councillor Armin R. Marin gunned down by a mine guard while leading a peaceful anti-mining protest in Sibuyan Island, The Philippines. He died a few instants after this picture was taken.


Karunamoi Sardar was  killed by a bomb launched at her while she was leading a peaceful protest against the encroachment of industrial shrimp farms into local mangrove areas in the Khulna Delta of Bangladesh.


Guarani Indian leader Ambrósio Vilhalva was murdered after decades of campaigning for his tribe’s right to live on its ancestral land in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state.


[1] Kothari, A. et al., Recognising and Supporting Territories and Areas Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, CBD Technical Study No. 64, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, ICCA Consortium, Kalpavriksh, and Natural Justice, Montreal, Canada, 2012.

[2] Hereafter referred to as “communities”.

[3] Goodland, R. and C. Wicks, Gold and Nickel Mining -Sibuyan Island, Case Study 6 for Philippines: Mining or Food?, Working Group on Mining in the Philippines, London, 2008.

[4] Environmental Justice Foundation, Smash & Grab: Conflict, Corruption and Human Rights Abuses in the Shrimp Farming Industry, AJF and Wild Aid, London, UK, 2003.

[5] Survival International, Ambrósio Vilhalva, 1960-2013 – an obituary 11 December 2013, accessed July 2015.

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Making Another World Possible Will Require Radical Alternatives – Impressions from the World Social Forum

By Ashish Kothari, Member of the ICCA Consortium Steering Committee.
*This article is quoted from the German Degrowth blog. Find it here.

If sheer enthusiasm can deliver ‘another world’, the opening rally of the World Social Forum in Tunis on 24th March held much promise. Thousands of women and men, young and old, vociferous and quiet, a colourful multitude of sloganeering, banner-holding, dancing and singing braved rain and well-below expected temperatures to march from the historic Bab Sadoun to the iconic Bardo Museum. The fact that this rally came just a week after the horrific attack on visitors and workers in this museum, killing 21, was itself highly symbolic. The Forum organisers were quick to not only denounce the attack, but also announce that the Forum would proceed as scheduled in a mark of solidarity with all peace-loving Tunisians, and in celebration of the remarkable revolution wrought by the country’s youth and workers as the first uprising of the Arab Spring.

Over the next 4 days, about 70,000 people from over 4000 movements or organisations are reported to have thronged the Forum in the sprawling El Manar University, with participation from every possible cause one could think of, and then some. Feminists of various persuasions, ecologists and environmentalists, climate justice and peace warriors (does that sound contradictory?), those seeking spiritual engagement, recyclers and upcyclers, proponents of the commons, free-the-internet hackers, Palestine supporters and anti-imperialism activists, peasant and indigenous peoples’ and worker movements, anti-discrimination fronts, global citizenship proponents, community health workers, poverty eradication and food sovereignty groups, the global movement against corporate impunity, alternative learning and education practitioners; you name it, they were there.

Unfortunately, with hundreds of events taking place over these 4 days, there was no way anyone could have got more than a glimpse of the Forum. I for one was dedicated to two events relating to the search for systemic change, and got no chance to participate elsewhere. But these two events themselves encompassed significant diversity, possibly forming a tiny microcosm of the Forum.

Courtesy: A.Kothari

Courtesy: A.Kothari

Towards a World Citizens’ Movement

The first, somewhat ambitiously named ‘Towards a World Citizens’ Movement’, brought together about 200 civil society members and movement activists from various countries.Organised by several civil society groups and networks including CIVICUS, Action/2015, GCAP, and CONCORD/DEEEP, this was a continuation of a 2-3 year process of bringing together practitioners and thinkers advocating transformations towards sustainability and equity. It was an interesting convergence (and at times divergence!) of perspectives and experiences from labour activism to spiritual living, from deschoolers and adult education proponents to activist artists, from climate justice activists to poverty eradicators, from degrowth advocates to youth revolutionaries (several from Tunisia!), and many many more. But there were also conspicuous absentees, such as the global movements of small peasants, fishers and indigenous peoples (e.g. Via Campesina), or of workers and trade unions; with humility several in the gathering noted that a world citizens’ movement has to be led by such peoples’ movements and not by NGOs, the latter needing to take a facilitative, supportive role.

My second event was much smaller, only about 20 participants. ‘Radical Well-being Alternatives to Development’, organized by Kalpavriksh, the Global Diversity Foundation, the Centre for Environment and Development, and SADED, made up in quality what it lacked in quantity. Panelists and participants described a range of inspiring examples of communities, civil society or others achieving positive change. Such initiatives, combined with peoples’ resistance to destructive projects and landgrab, are yielding diverse approaches to well-being, some ancient (like buen vivir and sumak kawsay in Latin America, ubuntu in southern Africa, and swaraj in South Asia), some very new (like Degrowth in Europe, and Radical Ecological Democracy in South Asia).

Radical wellbeing alternatives to development

Leah Temper described the resistance to pipelines and the move to claim sovereignty over traditional territories by First Nations in Canada. This has reinforced the policy of seeking prior and informed consent from communities when their interests are threatened, and the judiciary upholding oral accounts as valid testimony for establishing inalienable rights. She mentioned that the Environmental Justice Atlas coordinated by Autonomous University of Barcelona has been useful in mapping and making accessible accounts of environmental conflicts and resistance movements.

Uchita de Zoysa described how community and civil society efforts after the 2007 tsunami in Sri Lanka were successful in making the state accountable to its relief and reconstruction responsibilities, but also in maintaining the coast as part of the commons in the face of privatization threats. From such local initiatives to a global level was the move to forge 14 Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties, coming together at the Rio+20 conference.

Gary Martin pointed to the Moroccan concept of agdal, the collective management of the commons. A manifestation of this is the initiative to provide culturally appropriate education opportunities to girls from traditional communities in dartaliba (girl houses) where they can live and study collectively, with a mix of Amazari (their traditional language) and Arabic, helping them avoid the alienation taking place in mainstream educational institutions.

Patrick Bond described how in South Africa, some recent transformations have occurred in the successful struggle to make generic AIDS medicines available to the affected population, defeating US pharmaceutical company attempts to retain their private IPR stranglehold; and in the struggle for ‘commoning’ water and electricity in Soweto, Johannesburg.

Direct Democracy and Food Sovereignity

I spoke about the struggle for direct democracy by Mendha-Lekha, an adivasi (indigenous) village in central India, which has practiced self-rule, conservation of its surrounding forests, sustainable harvesting of forest produce, and the use of resulting revenues for full livelihood, water, and energy security. It has also converted all its private agricultural land to the village commons.

In southern India an organization of dalit women farmers, Deccan Development Society, has achieved food sovereignty by organic cultivation of traditional seed diversity, linking this to a public distribution system for the poor and to urban consumers. The women have also become film-makers, run a community radio, and manage a school where children are exposed to both traditional and modern knowledge systems. A global network of peoples and communities are trying to promote such local governance of nature and natural resources, through Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas.

The many faces of bottom-up change

Aseem Shrivastava spoke of the successful mobilization of farmers in western India against attempted land acquisition by one of the country’s most powerful corporations, Reliance. Jai Naidoo gave a brief historical perspective of the anti-apartheid and workers’ struggles in South Africa, with the major lesson that if revolutions are to happen, they will only be by and with ‘common’ people. Ruby van der Wekken described her involvement in demonetization, local currency, and other community exchange initiatives in Finland. Omar Sbei described an inspiring example from Tunisia, of workers at an oasis taking over control (its private owner being absent), democratically managing it, and putting back revenues from dates into a school, health clinic, and other community facilities. In India the Vikalp Sangam or Alternatives Confluences is a process of converging such initiatives and social movements for mutual learning and collaboration, and building a framework or paradigm of a sustainable and just society.

At more global level there are a number of initiatives, including on documenting and/or mapping local alternatives, on challenging conventional economic paradigms and proposing radical new ones such as the alternatives to development in Latin America arising from worldviews like Buen Vivir and Sumac Kawsay, the Degrowth movement in Europe, Solidarity Economy and Transition initiatives in North America and Europe, and the dialogue on Radical Ecological Democracy.

Converging the multitude of alternatives

As a participant of mainly these two events, it was not possible for me to get a sense of whether the rest of the WSF was indeed helping move us towards the promise of ‘another world is possible’. One view holds that the deliberately eclectic, almost anarchic space of the WSF is not conducive to cohesive convergence of perspectives and political mobilization, and so it is not a transformative process; another view holds that precisely because of this nature, it has the ability to attract enormously diverse movements and groups but still within an overall framework of justice and sustainability and that this in the long run is more transformative than trying to forge consensus through political declarations.

At the Tunis WSF there was some attempt made to host ‘convergence assemblies’ to bring people together, and a final session of open mingling and some common messages, which may be a step towards making it a more transformative process while retaining openness. There was considerable synergy between the movements demanding an end to corporate dominance and impunity, those fighting for climate justice, and women’s movement groups. The language of alternatives from various parts of the world also seemed to get significant traction in the convergence assemblies. Facilities to record one’s initiatives and continue the discussion, and a new process called the Internet Social Forum that enables such sharing and attempts to free the internet of state and corporate control, will aid in bringing movements together. But someone else who was able to participate in a greater number of events and in the final sessions, can reflect better on these issues. For me, being able to dialogue and interact with a diversity of activists and practitioners and thinkers on the issue of radical well-being alternatives, was itself well worth the long haul to Tunis. Not to mention being able to get a tiny glimpse at how youth can indeed be a revolutionary force.

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CARTA ABIERTA a las autoridades y a la prensa de Chile sobre la tragedia del incendio del territorio conservado por las comunidades de Quinquén y de Icalma

quiquen2En una carte abierta, el Consorcio TICCA comparte sur profunda preocupación y solidaridad frente a la situación de las comunidades de Quinquén y Icalma en relacion con los incendios que se desarollan en Chile desde hace varios días que amenazan su territorio.


Una peticion a la atencion del ministro del Interior Chileno, Rodrigo Peñailillo, se firma aqui.



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TICCA y la Iniciativa sobre los Sistemas Ingeniosos de Patrimonio Agrícola Mundial

Carolina Amaya, miembro honorario Consorcio TICCA, ColombiaSIPAMforblog

> Hace un clic aqui para leer la minuta del acontecimiento

El Consorcio ICCA recibió la invitación de parte de la FAORLC, desde la Coordinación para pueblos indígenas y punto focal SIPAM, a participar en el Seminario Internacional sobre Diversidad Cultural, Sistemas Alimentarios y Estrategias Tradicionales de Vida los días 4 a 6 de noviembre de 2014 y a la Reunión de organización de la Red Regional de la Iniciativa sobre los Sistemas Ingeniosos de Patrimonio Agrícola Mundial —SIPAM— en América Latina y el Caribe, el día 7 de noviembre. El Consorcio fue representado en ambos eventos por Carolina Amaya, miembro honorario del Consorcio en Colombia.

Con la participación de representantes de al menos 28 países, se presentaron ejemplos de sistemas agroalimentarios, sistemas de gestión sostenible del territorio y de la agrobiodiversidad, sistemas marcados por productos emblemáticos y experiencias de diálogo de saberes y diálogo intercientífico, con el fin adicional de aportar a la reflexión de expertos en el marco del año de la agricultura familiar declarado por la FAO para 2014.

En la Reunión de organización de la Red Regional de la Iniciativa SIPAM, se presentó la evaluación de la primera fase de la iniciativa SIPAM (proyecto GEF), así como los dos casos SIPAM reconocidos en la región (el Corredor Cusco-Puno y la experiencia SIPAM-Chiloé), propuestas metodológicas para la sistematización del conocimiento tradicional y la patrimonialización de los sistemas agrícolas tradicionales, y las posibilidades de financiación y de alianzas institucionales y de cooperación interagencial entre las que destacan el Sexto Ciclo GEF, el Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica y el Consorcio ICCA.

La representante del Consorcio ICCA hizo una presentación para introducir el concepto de territorios y áreas conservados por pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales (ICCA) y para presentar las características del Consorcio como una red, los fundamentos del Registro ICCA y la metodología para caracterización de aquellas ICCA potenciales de autodeclaración. Adicionalmente, se aportaron algunas ideas que pueden contribuir a la conformación de la red SIPAM en la región de Latinoamérica y el Caribe. Estos aportes se adjuntan al presente informe.

¿Qué puede aportar el Consorcio respecto de lo que ya tiene de capacidad montada para impulsar la red regional de SIPAM?

  • Establecer comunicación fluida entre los puntos focales de FAO/SIPAM y los coordinadores regionales (Mesoamérica, Amazonia, Norteamérica Y Cono Sur)
  • En tanto que el trabajo se hace con y a través de los Miembros y los Miembros Honorarios, se puede dar una directriz para identificar sistemas agroalimentarios en las ICCA locales/nacionales que pudieran aspirar a un estudio como sistemas ingeniosos. Traslape ICCA/SIPAM
  • Comenzar por las ICCA ya autodeclaradas y registradas. Seguir con ICCA que no quieren ser consideradas como territorios de conservación exclusivamente sino que tienen una orientación hacia reivindicación de territorios, autodeterminación, medios de sustento e incluso intereses económicos.
  • En este sentido, resulta importante la experiencia y la plataforma del Registro ICCA, así como la metodología para el registro. Se puede tener en cuenta el ejercicio que antecedió al registro: una base de datos construida por los pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales, los Miembros y Miembros Honorarios del Consorcio, funcionarios del Centro Mundial de Monitoreo de la Conservación del Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente, gobierno y consultores en campo. (Este ejercicio está en línea en la página del Consorcio). El Registro ha sido construido según la estructura de la Base de Datos Mundial de Áreas Protegidas y está vinculado a esta para alimentación mutua.
  • El Registro ICCA puede ser sin divulgación pública, las comunidades gestionan su nivel de acceso, se fundamenta en CPLI y en la decisión de la comunidades de declararse como ICCA. Las comunidades y líderes del proceso han de tener claras las ventajas de registrarse, tanto como de declararse ICCA. Esto se puede extrapolar a los sitos SIPAM.
  • Establecer herramientas y mecanismos de divulgación de la noción SIPAM y reconocimiento/valoración social de los sitios y experiencias SIPAM tanto como de los desarrollos conceptuales, que se compartan con los miembros de la red así como con otros interesados. Por ejemplo las fotohistorias de las ICCA.
  • Establecer sistemas de alarma para aportar, todos los miembros de la red, en ejercicios de presión y de solución de conflictos.
  • El Consorcio ICCA cuenta no solo con sus Miembros —las organizaciones de pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales y las organizaciones que las apoyan— sino también con Miembros Honorarios (académicos y activistas, entre otros) que han hecho trabajos de conceptualización, por un lado, y de lobbying ante organismos como el sistema de Naciones Unidas, la UICN, las agencias multilaterales, los gobiernos nacionales, los institutos descentralizados, los sistemas de áreas protegidas de los países, etc. Podría ser interesante una retroalimentación de parte de quienes han orquestado todo esto dentro del Consorcio.

Para el Consorcio

  • Puede ser muy importante el énfasis en sistemas (agro)alimentarios. En el lenguaje ICCA hablamos de medios de sustento. Quizás adoptar mejor la noción de sistemas puede dar mayor relevancia a la estrecha relación que hay entre sistema de conocimiento tradicional, configuración cultural, manejo del territorio y desarrollo de sistemas alimentarios. Cambiar la flecha —por lo menos en algunos casos—: son los sistemas alimentarios los que garantizan resultados de conservación.


Algunos comentarios, en función de las presentaciones durante el Seminario y la preservación de sistemas de conocimiento

  1. Es menester evitar las imposiciones occidentales verticales tales como:
  • Desarrollo e incluso desarrollo sostenible
  • Economía de mercado, proyectos que traen dinero a las comunidades directamente con el proyecto
  • Estándares nutricionales traídos del Norte o de poblaciones urbanas y que desconocen además ciclos de dietas, restricciones, abstinencias rituales, ritualización de la vida cotidiana, sobre la certeza de que donde hay sistemas de conocimiento robustos hay verdaderos sistemas de salud pública con promoción de la salud, prevención de enfermedades y autocuidado
  • Orientaciones de género que promueven más bien la disrupción cultural y la erosión de estructuras tradicionales de autoridad
  • Derechos universales y programas internacionales/nacionales sin seguridad cultural
  • Intento por fijar por escrito cuerpos de conocimiento de la Tradición oral complejos y en permanente producción y adaptación
  1. El territorio y la gobernanza son fundamentales para garantizar la permanencia de sistemas de conocimiento y por ende de sistemas agroalimentarios.
  2. Y entonces, resulta crucial comenzar por el fortalecimiento de los sistemas tradicionales de conocimiento y de quienes detentan la producción de los conocimientos.
  3. Importante la fuerza que se pone en la restauración, así como es lícito para el movimiento ICCA que estas al autodeclararse están invitadas a renovar esfuerzos hacia la restauración que sigue de la reapropiación no solo territorial sino cultual y de identidad.
  4. De ahí, importante ser cuidadosos con la imposición de tecnologías apropiadas que pueden coartar o seguir invisibilizando los sistemas tradicionales de conocimiento.
  5. Por la misma línea, es necesaria la parsimonia respecto del ingreso de proyectos productivos y de apoyo técnico que fracturan los sistemas colectivos de trabajo con la «individualización» de los beneficiarios: esos «elegidos» que matan la solidaridad y el ejercicio colectivo.
  6. Vale la pena subrayar la importancia de la autovaloración por parte de las mismas comunidades para que sean ellas mismas quienes identifiquen problemas y vulnerabilidades culturales y para que tomen decisiones propias de corrección (que no sean las calificaciones que les traemos de afuera y que se configuran alrededor de los paradigmas del desarrollo). Lo que se ha llamado «poner en orden la casa». Indicadores culturales de los que habló Andrea Carmen, herramientas de evaluación cultural que parten desde la autoetnografía, etc.
  7. Por último, una ayuda para saber si el sistema de conocimiento esta vigente, en permanente producción y adaptación porque sus sabedores están fuertes y con autoridad: buscar las tres plantas alrededor de las cuales se configura el sistema de conocimiento y su expresión cultural: una planta alimenticia (como la yuca), una planta estimulante (como la coca y el tabaco) y una planta de poder o de conocimiento (como el caapi/yagé/ayawasca). Allí donde se siguen usando estos tres tipos de plantas, la cultura está vigente, preservada, en constante producción y adaptación. Los sistemas de conocimiento no están anclados en el pasado, son sistemas dinámicos en permanente cambio sobre la base de los principios y valores que sí son inamovibles.
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African civil society and global allies challenge Chatham House conference on ‘Extractive Industries in Africa’

photo 1 Starting on Monday the 16th, Speakers and participants gathered on Chatham House, a ‘think tank’ based in central London, which is hosting an event entitled ‘Extractive Industries in Africa’.

Individuals, organisations and coalitions from across Africa and beyond have signed an open letter challenging the conference organisers and attendees. The letter asks that delegates consider an alternative set of questions and discussion points which, rather than paying ‘mere lip service’ to sustainability and international protocols, addresses the climate, social and ecological crises that the extractives industries are implicated in and consider a genuine transition away from fossil fuels.


The letter has been delivered by hand by Nnimmo Bassey -a lifelong activist challenging big oil in the Niger Delta, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nigeria, and former Head of Friends of the Earth International- to a member of Chatham’s Africa Research Team who said she would give it to the conference organisers.



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 Más de 80 organizaciones solicitan a Bruselas que exija a las autoridades españolas la subsanación de graves incumplimientos cometidos en el proceso de participación social en los nuevos Programas de Desarrollo Rural 2014 – 2020. Estas organizaciones, que representan a más de 300.000 personas, dicen detectar graves incumplimientos de la normativa europea en el proceso de elaboración, que podrían dar lugar a la nulidad de los documentos aprobados.

 89 organizaciones representativas de un amplio abanico de sectores vinculados al desarrollo rural han hecho llegar a la Comisión Europea una carta en la que se exponen los graves y continuados incumplimientos de la normativa europea en materia de participación y acceso a la información en el proceso de elaboración de los Programas de Desarrollo Rural. Estas organizaciones, que van desde el sector agrario, ganadero, pesquero, forestal y de caza hasta entidades conservacionistas, de mujeres rurales y sindicatos, y aún siendo muchas de ellas miembros de la Red Rural Nacional y de los Comités de Seguimiento de la programación nacional o autonómica, señalan que un claro ejemplo de esos incumplimientos es la aprobación por Bruselas del Marco Nacional de Desarrollo rural español, sin que las organizaciones firmantes conociesen siquiera la versión definitiva enviada por nuestras autoridades a la Comisión.

La obstrucción de la posibilidad de participación real de los interesados, ha dado lugar a la elaboración de Programas de desarrollo rural “a puerta cerrada” y con unas propuestas no consensuadas con la sociedad. Además, los programas presentan graves deficiencias técnicas, ya que se basan en diagnósticos de situación incompletos y parciales y las medidas que proponen son básicamente incoherentes.

Ante esta situación, y dada la escasa respuesta de las autoridades nacionales ante las reiteradas solicitudes de la sociedad civil, estas organizaciones se han dirigido a la Comisión Europea para que exija a las autoridades españolas que subsanen esta situación, y piden la puesta inmediata a disposición pública de las versiones de los Programas de Desarrollo Rural estatales y autonómicos remitidas a la Comisión Europea, a la que no se ha tenido acceso. Asimismo, exigen se reactive y rehabilite lo antes posible el proceso de participación como dicta la ley, es decir, en tiempo y forma y dando participación a todos los agentes sociales interesados hasta el final del proceso,

Las entidades reclamantes consideran que aún hay tiempo de conseguir una Programación de Desarrollo Rural 2014–2020 que aporte soluciones a los problemas, y respuestas a las demandas reales del medio rural español. Las entidades firmantes manifiestan su disposición a participar activamente y de acuerdo a sus capacidades, si se abren los cauces adecuados, insistiendo en que un Programa de Desarrollo Rural sólo tendrá éxito si está basado en una buena gobernanza que evite la dañina inercia del reparto de fondos que simplemente privilegian intereses parciales.



Portavoces de la campaña:

Jesús Garzón (Asociación Trashumancia y Naturaleza), pastores.sinfronteras@pastos.es, Teléfono: 942 700 753 y 659 20 90 95

Celsa Peiteado (WWF-España) agricultura@wwf.es , Teléfono: 616 20 61 01

Ana Carricondo (SEO/Birdlife) acarricondo@seo.org ,
Teléfono: 914340910 / 638963801

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Nota importante del Foro Mundial de Pueblos Pescadores (WFFP) al Presidente de la Republica de Honduras

En el 1 de Febrero 2015, el Foro Mundial de Pueblos Pescadores (WFFP) ha enviado una nota al Presidente de la Republica de Honduras, a su homólogo en el Congreso Nacional y a los honorables Diputados que lo integran.
La nota hace referencia a la propuesta de WFFP de Ley de Pesca y Acuicultura, les ha sido enviada desde South África, donde está la sede actual del WFFP, a los presidentes del Congreso y de la República la semana recién pasada. El suscrito ha entregado hace dos dias en la oficina de Protocolo 128 copias de dicha nota para sendos diputados. WFFP ruega tambien al Presidente Congreso Nacional de Honduras y al Presidente de la República confirmar si han sido entregadas y en su defecto hacer lo conveniente para cumplir con ese cometido.

Se puede leer la nota aqui:
1era parte
  2nda parte
   3ra parte

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Concern over community evictions and disrespect for human rights pitted against conservation in Tanzania

Press Release 17 February 2015

maasai bomas burned pic 5

Please find the PDF Version of this press release here.
Follow the case on this webpage.

The ICCA Consortium, Geneva (Switzerland)

 Earlier this week the ICCA Consortium received notification through various networks and members of an operation carried out by Serengeti National Park against the Maasai residents of villages bordering the park in the villages of Ololosokwan and Arash in Loliondo. As reported in the Tanzanian media,[i] this incident involved the destruction of over 100 homesteads, as well as food and other family supplies, the confiscation of livestock, and alleged violence committed against members of the community. The Serengeti National Park Chief Warden is quoted in media reports as justifying the situation as follows: “We are protecting the park; these pastoralists have been bringing large groups of livestock to graze inside the park. We are clearing them out.”

It should be noted that this destruction of property is reported to be taking place outside the park boundaries on community lands. These are the same community lands in Loliondo that have been the subject of recurrent conflicts between government agencies and local community members, including past destruction of property and alleged human rights abuses that took place in 2009. In 2013, this same area was the subject of local, national and international controversy when the government proposed converting the entire area into a Game Reserve and evicting up to 25,000 people. [ii] As this week’s reports indicate, Loliondo and the greater Serengeti area continue to be the focus of conflicts between the government and local community members over land use and conservation policy.

maasai bomas burned pic 2 maasai bomas burned pic 4

The conflicts just reported in Loliondo are the latest acute incident of a chronic tension between government conservation policies and enforcement measures and local communities in Tanzania. The villagers of Uvinje, on the border of Saadani National Park, have been fighting eviction for 14 years,[iii] despite having played a central role in the creation of the park, spontaneously offering to conservation the land they rightfully owned. In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, more than 60,000 people recently faced famine due to restrictions on land and resource use in the region of the World Heritage Site even during an exceptional drought period.[iv] Other areas where similar controversies have surfaced in recent years include Kimotorok village, adjacent to Tarangire National Park, the Kilombero Valley, and the Usangu wetlands now enclosed in Ruaha National Park.

Tanzania has long been known as a global leader in conservation, with more than a quarter of its total land area set aside as national parks and other protected areas. But the country has also been the site of conflicts between government agencies, private investors, and local communities, and it is clear from these events that these conflicts are worsening. These conflicts have critical implications for the country’s conservation results and national income, as the tourism industry, built upon Tanzania’s wildlife areas, generates nearly $2 billion in annual revenue.

The critical issue is that Tanzania’s recent pattern of forceful eviction, confrontation and destruction of property of community members living adjacent to protected areas, works counter to the objectives of its own conservation policies and national interests, as well as contravening international human rights standards and conservation instruments. In November 2014, more than 6,000 people from countries around the world, including Tanzanian government officials,gathered at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, to identify key strategies and actions for conservation over the next decade. The resulting Promise of Sydney,[v] the key document produced by this global gathering, highlights the central importance of local communities and indigenous peoples in conservation:

We will motivate and engage a new generation of urban and rural communities as an essential investment in the future of sustainability on the planet, and in the quality of life of people everywhere. Further, by working in partnership with and recognizing the long traditions and knowledge, collective rights and responsibilities of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to land, water, natural resource and culture, we will seek to redress and remedy past and continuing injustices in accord with international agreements.maasai bomas burned pic 1 maasai boma burned pic 3

This statement builds on more than 20 years of evolving conservation policy under the Convention on Biological Diversity and by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which have worked to align conservation with international human rights standards and to foster greater partnership with local communities and indigenous peoples. All of this is born from the recognition of two crucial facts. The first is that nature conservation cannot be sustainably maintained if it fails to gain the support of the peoples living alongside wildlife, forests and nature in general. The second is that indigenous peoples and local communities, properly recognised in their collective rights and supported to enforce local and customary rules and secure livelihoods, can be the most effective actors in conservation.

Tanzania itself is emblematic of these facts. On the one hand, no fewer than 1,233 villages have brought 2.366 million hectares of woodland and forest and comparable natural flora areas under protection as village owned and managed reserves. A further 5.392 million hectares of National and Local Authority Reserves are managed by communities under the technical guidance of local and national forest authorities.[vi] And more than 3% of the country’s land area is under 38 Wildlife Management Areas— communal lands set aside by 148 villages exclusively as habitat for wildlife, engaging active contributions to conservation by more than 440,000 people.[vii] On the other hand, and readily picked up by prestigious international media,[viii] the country faces a poaching crisis. Perhaps 50% of its elephants have been lost in the past five years, and both government and private investors are deeply concerned about the impact wildlife killing will have on the critical tourism industry. It is widely recognized, in Tanzania’s own official policy and in a range of new internationally-funded conservation initiatives, that stemming the loss of elephants and other wildlife requires enlisting communities in the fight against poaching. Sharing revenues from wildlife inside and outside protected areas and involving communities in conservation is critical to this. Evicting rightful landowners and burning down the homes of communities living next door to one of the most famous national parks in the world is flagrantly counter-productive to such aims and interests.

For its own economic interests in tourism, for the human rights and wellbeing of its people, and for the sustainability of its extraordinary wildlife and other biological riches, Tanzania needs to address the recurrent sources of conflict pitting conservation against indigenous and local communities. It has the choice of engaging with policies and practices that respect both, effectively and coherently.

The ICCA Consortium, Geneva, Switzerland 16 February, 2015

The ICCA Consortium is a Swiss-based international association dedicated to promoting the appropriate recognition of, and support to, the territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCAs).


Dr. M. Taghi Farvar, President taghi@cenesta.org

Dr. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Global Coordinator gbf@iccaconsortium.org

Ms. Sarah Ryder, Programme Manager sarah@iccaconsortium.org


[i] http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=77398

[ii] http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2013/04/20134309749467675

[iii] http://www.iccaconsortium.org/?page_id=1704

[iv] http://www.minorityvoices.org/news.php/fr/1339/tanzania-pastoralists-face-famine-as-effects-of-drought-are-worsened-by-government-neglect

[v] http://worldparkscongress.org/about/promise_of_sydney_vision.html http://worldparkscongress.org/about/promise_of_sydney_vision.html

[vi] Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism of Tanzania, Participatory Forest Management in Tanzania, Facts and Figures, Department of Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dar es Salaam, 2012.

[vii] WWF, Tanzania’ s Wildlife Management Areas: A 201 2 Status Report , WWF, Dar es Salaam, 2014.

[viii] The economist, Big game poachers, http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21631202-claims-links-between-politicians-and-poachers-merit-further-investigation-big

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Igorot Raises “Two-Headed Monster” at UNHRC
Urges Global Support for ICCAs

giov talking27th Session, UN Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations, Geneva, September 17, 2014. An indigenous person belonging to the Kankanaey Igorot tribe of Sagada, Mountain Province, Northern Philippines raised before the 27th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council a “two-headed monster” that pose grave threats to indigenous peoples. Representing the National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines and backed by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Reyes was invited by UN Human Rights Council President Endong Ella to share suggestions on how Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness initiatives could better enrich experience of communities from different regions so that UN Human Right Council member states could better appreciate the value of support for indigenous peoples globally. Other panelists of prestige included MARGARETA WAHLSTROM, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, MR. ALBERT DETERVILE, Chair-Rapporteur, Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; ALEJANDRO MALDONADO, Executive Secretary, National Coordination Office for Disaster Reduction, Guatemala; AISSATOU OUMAROU IBRAHIM, Association of Indigenous Women, Chad.

The discussion consisted of two segments namely: Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples; and, Planning, Prevention and Preparedness Initiatives.
First Segment

In her opening remarks, FLAVIA PANSIERI, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, cited a study by the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) in the context of disaster risk reduction particularly “the contributions indigenous peoples could make to disaster risk reduction”.

Pansiere was followed by Reyes who used series of slides of maps, charts and statistics to show links between Disaster Risk Reduction, Human Rights and indigenous peoples. He said there are 110 ethnic tribes in the Philippines including12-15 million indigenous peoples inhabiting more than five million hectares of ancestral lands of the country’s total land mass of 30 million hectares. Reyes identified the “two-headed monster” as: One, the 19 to 21 typhoons assaulting the country annually with the November 8, 2013 Typhoon Haiyan the strongest in 100 years; two, numerous large-scale mining operations that transgress into ancestral lands. Of the first, “indigenous communities have virtually zero carbon emissions, owing to indigenous peoples’ simple lifestyle and world views that treat their forests and rivers with deep reverence and therefore not to be destroyed”. He said, “yet IPs are the most vulnerable to climate change impact.” He said, “Disaster Risk Reduction depends on the protection of our knowledge systems and the ancestral lands in which we thrive and persist. This is because we have learned to equate such systems with LIFE-PRINCIPLES, that is to say – LIFE is not only satisfactory when food is available, adequate, accessible and acceptable to indigenous peoples, but rather, when we have access to and control over our land and resources. Therefore, Disaster Risk Reduction cannot be understood in isolation with indigenous peoples’ traditional governance systems.” He said man-made calamities include large-scale mining and informed the Council that since 2012, through the Mining Act of 1995 and Executive Order 79, the Philippine government approved 771 large scale mining permits covering one million nine (1.9) hectares, half of which overlap with ancestral territories and bringing in its wake the plunder of resources and violation of human rights. He ended the first segment with a question: “Must indigenous peoples consider themselves covered by State laws that ask their own annihilation as a people?”

Panelist MARGARETA WAHLSTROM, said that in 2015, three major international frameworks will redefine the future pathway of humanity: a new agreement on climate change, a new sustainable development agenda and a new framework for disaster risk reduction while ALBERT DETERVILLE, emphasized that Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) will continue to be a human rights policy issue because it contributes against impacts of natural hazards on housing, health, land rights and access to food. AISSATOU OUMAROU IBRAHIM of Chad, said the world is facing floods, droughts and hurricanes. She said, there is a need to have tools to ensure policy adaptation and mitigation while ALEJANDRO MALDONADO said “Western perspective could not be unaware of the impact of climate change on development – and on disasters. He said, Guatemala has changed its approach, from a disaster perspective to a disaster risk management perspective with intensive participation from indigenous peoples and especially indigenous women. Mr. Maldonado emphasized that Disaster risk could not be separated from land use planning, geological changes and water use.

During the 90-minute open forum, ambassadors from Costa Rica, the European Union, Mexico, Canada, Bolivia, Republic of Congo, Germany, El Salvador, United States, Philippines, Denmark and the Indian Council of South America manifested positions regarding how their respective countries are coping with disaster with respect to indigenous peoples. Civil Society groups like the International Association of Schools of Social Work said that United Nations bodies and mechanisms “still operated on biased grounds and colonialism” and cited “activities related to Alaska and Hawaii had for example regrettably omitted the question of self-determination.”giovanni-

Second Segment

Dealing with Experiences in Preparedness Initiatives, Reyes showed how communities, as experienced by his organization, cross-analyse between Landcover map, Landslide susceptibility map, Flood and erosion susceptibility maps and between a landcover map and a fault line map. He said no one but community members themselves are in the best position to cross-analyse because the maps are associated with their human settlement areas, crops and animals and in return, guides them in terms of vulnerabilities and risks. Reyes asserted that Indigenous peoples could become a driving force not only against climate change but for peace and national development. As a member of the Steering Committee of The Indigenous Peoples Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA) Consortium, Reyes, called for global support of the world’s remaining indigenous community conserved areas by support the Global ICCA Consortium which is taking the lead in global advocacy on ICCAs. After all, he said, “indigenous peoples’ territories are the planet’s remaining epicenters of climate change mitigation and resiliency.”

In response, Russia, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Morocco, Brazil welcomed the timely discussions and acknowledged among others that IPs are most at risk, that there is a need for emergency strategies, coherence in initiatives and inclusion of IPs in planning. The Lawyer’s Rights Watch-Canada underlined the need to respect indigenous peoples’ prior information and consent while expressing “regret that indigenous human rights activists received threats and attacks, and had their activities restricted in many places, including in Colombia and Thailand”. The group urged the Council to pay specific attention to the situation of indigenous rights defenders. The International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism in a joint statement with National Coalition Against Racial Discrimination said that indigenous peoples are one of the most vulnerable to natural disasters. It said, Nepal’s indigenous peoples were not sufficiently included in Nepal’s policies on disaster risks.

The last group to speak, the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact said that disaster risk reduction measures were crucial for indigenous peoples. It cited the case of Indigenous Nagas who are victims of discrimination and other human rights violations in India since the end of the Second World War. With support from MESEREOR, the AIPP works in partnership with the National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines (KASAPI Inc)among other Indigenous Peoples Organizations in Asia through a project entitled “Building Resiliency of Indigenous Communities on Climate Change Adaptation”

1. Giovanni Reyes, “Disaster Risk Reduction, Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples”, Speech, 27th Session, UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Chamber, RM XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva, September 17, 2014.

2. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15049&#sthash.HNiuLSMg.dpuf

3. Dave de Vera and Kail Zinggapan, “Conflicts on National Land Use Policies”, Philippine Association for Inter-Cultural Development, Quezon City. Nov. 24, 2011.

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El Congreso Mundial de Parques 2014: Desafíos para Chile

Article extracted from: http://www.observatorio.cl/2014/el-congreso-mundial-de-parques-2014-desafios-para-chile



Más de 6000 personas, entre ellas representantes de organismos estatales, ambientales, comunitarios e indígenas, provenientes de cerca de 170 países, se reunieron en el Congreso Mundial de Parques 2014 de la UICN (Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza) realizado en Sídney, Australia, del 12 al 19 de noviembre. En el caso de Chile, participaron representantes de CONAF, del Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Ongs ambientales y de derechos humanos, y representantes de pueblos indígenas y de entidades privadas de conservación.

Los temas discutidos en este Congreso abarcaron desde el cumplimiento de las Metas de Aichi sobre la diversidad biológica, los desafíos del cambio climático, la relación entre conservación y desarrollo, hasta las diversas formas de gobernanza de áreas protegidas y conservadas y la contribución de los conocimientos tradicionales a la conservación de la biodiversidad.

El documento final del Congreso, denominado “La Promesa de Sídney” resume la visión de los participantes sobre el crítico estado actual de la conservación del planeta y alerta sobre los desafíos que esta realidad nos plantea a todos en momentos de graves amenazas para la sustentabilidad, manifestados en la acelerada explotación y degradación de los recursos naturales y en el cambio climático.

Así, si bien el documento valora el incremento de áreas protegidas y conservadas alrededor del mundo desde el último Congreso de Durban 2003, destacando el establecimiento de nuevas áreas marinas protegidas y el reconocimiento de áreas y territorios conservados por pueblos indígenas, comunidades locales y entidades privadas; reconoce que las amenazas a la diversidad biológica y a las áreas protegidas han alcanzado su nivel más alto en la historia, debido a la convergencia a gran escala de los patrones de consumo humano, el crecimiento de la población y la actividad industrial.

Para hacer frente a esta realidad se propone no solo aumentar la cobertura de protección de ecosistemas terrestres y marinos –claves para la conservación– sino también mejorar “la diversidad, calidad y vitalidad de la gobernanza, incluyendo el reconocimiento y apoyo apropiados a las áreas conservadas por pueblos indígenas, comunidades locales y entidades privadas”. Más aún, la promesa de Sídney trasciende la visión tradicional de la conservación que ha estado limitada a las áreas protegidas, planteando la necesidad de avanzar hacia “promover los usos sostenibles de la tierra y eliminar las actividades y políticas que degradan, amenazan o producen la extinción o la pérdida de los ecosistemas y su biodiversidad…”, destacando además la importancia de contar con “…economías sostenibles y equitativas que respetan los límites planetarios y la justicia social”.

Para ello se propone la implementación de políticas públicas que “…ayuden a detener la pérdida de biodiversidad, mitigar y responder al cambio climático, reducir el riesgo y el impacto de los desastres, mejorar la seguridad alimentaria y de suministro de agua, y promover la salud y dignidad humanas”. Junto con ello se plantea la necesidad de trabajar “…en alianza con los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades locales, reconociendo la larga tradición y conocimiento, los derechos colectivos y las responsabilidades en relación con la tierra, el agua, los recursos naturales y la cultura” destacando además la necesidad de “…rectificar y remediar las injusticias pasadas y presentes en cumplimiento de los acuerdos internacionales”.

La promesa de Sídney no puede pasar inadvertida en Chile, país signatario de la Convención sobre Diversidad Biológica (CDB), donde de acuerdo al informe de OECD de 2011, se constatan serios problemas ambientales que han resultado en una acelerada perdida de la biodiversidad. Se trata de un fenómeno que, como sabemos, es consecuencia de un modelo de desarrollo basado en la extracción y explotación de recursos naturales, que ha tenido fuertes impactos entre otros recursos, en el agua, los bosques nativos y los recursos del mar. Dicho fenómeno sa ha facilitado por una normativa –la Constitución de 1980 y el entramado legal a que dio origen– que ha permitido una enorme concentración de la propiedad de los recursos naturales comunes, como el agua y los recursos del subsuelo, en pocas manos, enajenando el control público y ciudadano sobre estos recursos.

Las conclusiones del Congreso de UICN en Sídney tampoco pueden pasar desapercibidas en un momento tan crucial como el actual, donde se está debatiendo en que el Congreso Nacional el proyecto de ley que crea el nuevo Servicio de Biodiversidad y Áreas Protegidas y del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas. A pesar de su título y ambiciosos objetivos, el proyecto en cuestión solo pone énfasis en las áreas protegidas (sin considerar otros medios efectivos de conservación), mientras está lejos de asegurar la protección de los ecosistemas más valiosos del país y, por lo mismo, conservar la biodiversidad en los territorios.

A la vez el proyecto de ley parece estar lejos de las preocupaciones planteadas en Sídney en relación, por ejemplo, con las implicancias adversas que tienen para la biodiversidad la actividad industrial y los mega proyectos de desarrollo. Tampoco propone mecanismos que permitan mejorar y proteger la seguridad alimentaria, el suministro de agua, la promoción de la salud y dignidad humana. Menos aún, no hace ninguna referencia a la importancia de avanzar hacia economías sostenibles y equitativas que respeten los límites planetarios y la justicia social, que se encuentran en la base de la conservación.

Otra grave omisión de este proyecto es la referida a las distintas formas de gobernanza de las áreas protegidas y conservadas, reconocidas por la UICN y el CDB. El proyecto actual restringe el sistema a la consideración de solo dos tipos de gobernanza, la realizada por el Estado y los privados, y no considera las categorías de gobernanza compartida y la de pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales, desconociendo por completo el esencial aporte que estos han realizado –y que continúan realizando– a la conservación de la naturaleza. Muchos de estos territorios y áreas, a pesar de su importante rol en el sistema de conservación, hoy se encuentran amenazados por proyectos extractivos y de infraestructura que les son impuestos sin procesos de consulta y sin mecanismos que les permitan participar en los beneficios. El proyecto, tampoco hace referencia a la necesidad de fortalecer sus derechos colectivos y gobernanza sobre dichas tierras y territorios, así como sus conocimientos tradicionales.

El proyecto de ley presentado al Congreso, además, desconoce por completo las experiencias que hoy se impulsan en la mayor parte de los estados, donde los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades locales son considerados actores centrales en la conservación de la biodiversidad, contando con incentivos económicos y resguardo legal para ello. Uno de los casos más relevantes en este sentido es precisamente el de Australia, país anfitrión del Congreso de UICN, donde las áreas protegidas indígenas, que cubren más de 36 millones de hectáreas, alrededor del 25% del sistema nacional de áreas protegidas, no solo son reconocidas legalmente, si no cuentan con el respaldo, asesoría y apoyo público.

¿Si ello es posible en contextos como el de Australia, cabe preguntarse porque no en Chile? ¿Porque nuestro país sigue siendo una isla en esta materia, así como en tantas otras, privilegiando el rol de los privados –muchas veces asociados a los conglomerados que siguen devastando la diversidad biológica en el país– y se niega a reconocer legalmente y a apoyar las iniciativas de comunidades como Quinquen, Mapu Lahual, Diaguitas de Huasco Alto, Atacama y Alto Loa, Puerto Eden, entre otras, que realizan para conservar sus tierras y recursos, muchas veces enfrentadas a amenazas de industrias extractivas o productivas?

En síntesis, el proyecto de ley dista mucho de estar a la altura de la reflexión internacional sobre esta materia. Son demasiadas las omisiones de temas que hoy se reconocen centrales para contar con sistemas efectivos y equitativos de conservación.

Es de esperar que los representantes de gobierno asistentes al Congreso de Sídney informen a sus instituciones de los contenidos de la promesa de Sídney y de las tendencias dominantes en materia de conservación de la biodiversidad y áreas protegidas que allí se dieron a conocer. También es importante que la discusión sobre este proyecto de ley se abra a los distintos actores involucrados, para lo que es indispensable que salga de Santiago a las regiones y sus rincones, donde están quienes se enfrentan diariamente con estos temas. Ello permitiría enriquecer la propuesta legislativa que hoy debate el Congreso, y abrirla a nuevas tendencias, visiones, perspectivas, sin las cuales la biodiversidad en el país posiblemente seguirá amenazada.


Jose Aylwin, Co Director OC

Lorena Arce, Consorcio TICCA

Joaquin Meliñir, Comunidad Quinquen e Intengrante Consorcio TICCA

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