Reflections and outcomes of the seminar were also presented at a side event organized by the conveners of the Dialogue seminar at the Second Session of the Plenary meeting of the on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 16-21 April 2012 in Panama City. Information and links to the presentations at the side event here.
Additional outcome documents are forthcoming.
Reflections from the Dialogue Workshop (15 april)
Indigenous peoples and local community representatives, scientists, international organizations, and NGOs are deeply concerned about the degradation of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. This concern led to the establishment of a dialogue for the interaction of diverse knowledge systems (traditional, indigenous, local, and scientific) called Dialogue on Knowledge for the 21st Century: Indigenous, Traditional, Local Knowledge and Science and connecting diverse knowledge systems. This is a starting point for working together to address these concerns in a holistic and open manner. A dialogue workshop was carried out on 11-13 of April, 2012 in Usdub, Guna Yala, Panama. Participants were Scientists, Governments, Indigenous peoples and local community representatives, international organizations and NGOs.
It was acknowledged that indigenous, traditional, local, scientific and other knowledge systems are different manifestations of valid and useful knowledge systems which can contribute to the sustainable management of ecosystems.
IPBES represents an opportunity to establish a dialogue between knowledge systems with the full and effective participation of knowledge holders to debate, propose and plan ideas for moving forward. In paragraph 7 of the Busan outcome of the IPBES process a number of principles were identified. One of them was to recognize and respect the contribution of indigenous and local knowledge to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems.
Based on the dialogue in Usdub it was recognised that diverse knowledge systems, such as indigenous, traditional, local and practitioners knowledge, is a cross-cutting issue in the rules of procedure of IPBES as well as in its functions, activities, and future work. In this regard, a series of principles and values was recognised to be important for a continuous dialogue in IPBES and to create a productive, effective and respectful space for the interaction of all interested parties.
These are the following:
Respect. It is understood that all knowledge systems have their particularities and there should not be a supremacy of one knowledge system over another.
Trust needs to be generated between the different parties to allow the exchange of knowledge systems to be effective and fruitful.
Reciprocity. The principle of reciprocity needs to underline sharing between knowledge systems.
Complementarities of the different knowledge systems has been recognised as a way forward.
The inter-relation between biological and cultural diversity. Since time immemorial indigenous peoples have demonstrated how this relation generates and maintains biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is a relation where biodiversity is not at the service of mankind, but mankind is one element in a complex network.
The following reflections for IPBES were discussed during the dialogue workshop:
Indigenous peoples and local communities must be recognized both as knowledge holders and experts on the one hand, and as rights-holders and stakeholders on the other.
Participation Equitable, full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities to be guaranteed at all levels in IPBES. This includes the plenary, the bureau, and the working groups as well as the functions from local to global levels - in assessments, knowledge generation, capacity building, policy support tools and methodologies.
Sub Global including Local Assessments. It was recognised that indigenous and local knowledge is of indispensable value in Sub Global Assessments - especially at the local level, and it is important to support and catalyse such assessments under the IPBES mandate.
Intercultural dialogue. To foster a horizontal and respectful dialogue between different stakeholders, a mechanism could be developed which reduces the asymmetries of power between the different stakeholders and establishes an atmosphere of trust among them. In this regard, a dialogue space among knowledge systems could be created. IPBES can provide and facilitate these dialogues, where specific issues can be addressed from different perspectives based on diverse knowledge systems such as scientific, indigenous and local. This can be done through a virtual and physical permanent space.
Validation. IPBES could facilitate a space where interested parties can work on developing evaluation procedures that fully recognize diverse knowledge systems with their specificities. As stated in the principles of the document, this needs to be based on mutual respect and understanding. This is based on distinct mechanisms for dealing with grey literature and indigenous and local knowledge.
Funding. In order to enable a full and effective dialogue between diverse knowledge systems within IPBES, the need for the creation of some mechanism providing financial resources was recognised. Particularly important is funds to enable full participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in their function as experts and knowledge holders.
Existing frameworks and guidelines. It was also reflected that the international human rights framework needs to be respected, including the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The CBD Tkarihwaié:ri Code of Ethical Conduct as well the Akwé: Kon guidelines for impact assessment should be used, and adapted as necessary, as well as lessons learnt from the process regarding the Nagoya protocol.