A priority identified at an IUCN Canadian Forum was "recognizing the inherent responsibilities and guardianship Aboriginal people have with respect to the earth, there is a need to recognize their ways of knowing and their treaty rights, and to engage in cross-cultural relationships in support of joint priorities." Four Indigenous representatives from North America, South America, Africa and Asia will discuss their connections to land and how those connections are being challenged by conservation initiatives that are foreign to their world view. Representatives from two conservation organizations that are working to be more responsive to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the IUCN Conservation Initiative on Human Rights will be part of the dialogue.
The session will focus on finding common ground and new policy directions. It will be organized under these topics: a) Indigenous peoples´ practices in the preservation of lands, territories and natural resources; b) western conservation practices and threats to Indigenous peoples´ stewardship; c) mechanisms to protect Indigenous peoples´ rights under domestic and international law, as well as identifying gaps; and d) how to move forward from ideas to joint action.
This workshop will build on the January 2011 CEESP Sharing Power conference. That conference acknowledged that "open and respectful dialogues are needed to transform the dominant paradigm for conservation and development. Individuals and groups belonging to different cultures can be brought together to generate a deeper understanding of each others´ world views and this can lead to transformative action."