Log in

You will be redirected to IUCN Accounts to input your credentials. After log in you will be redirected back to this site.

Rest assured your personal data resides with IUCN and IUCN only. For more information please review our Data policy.

WCC 2016 Res 072 - Activity Report

General Information
IUCN Constituent: 
Forest Peoples Programme
IUCN Constituent type: 
IUCN Member
Period covered: 
Geographic scope: 
In implementing this Resolution your organization has worked/consulted with...
IUCN Members: 
World Wide Fund for Nature - Switzerland ( WWF ) / Switzerland
Forest Peoples Programme ( FPP ) / United Kingdom
Wildlife Conservation Society ( WCS ) / United States of America
IUCN Commissions: 
IUCN Secretariat: 
Other non-IUCN related organisations: 
Indigenous peoples organisations and supporting CSOs - e.g. (1) the Mt Elgon Ogiek's Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples Development Project (CIPDP) in Kenya, and (2) the Batwa of Kahuzi Biega, DRC, supported by CAMV
Indicate and briefly describe any actions that have been carried out to implement this Resolution: 
Convene stakeholders/NetworkingWhakatane Mechanism (WM) was reviewed at: CEESP’s Feb 2017 meeting in Gland, & the Nov 2017 Global Dialogue on Conservation & Human Rights, Kenya (report: http://www.forestpeoples.org/en/environmental-governance-rights-based-conservation/news-article/2017/recognising-real-conflict One strong hope expressed in the CEESP meeting was that such a grievance mechanism could become housed, recognised and resourced within the UN HR system. Little has moved forward. Another hope was for national dialogue processes, one such happened in Kenya in March. Out of the CEESP meeting a small task force (CEESP, FPP, Natural Justice, WWF, WCS) formed to examine how to prevent conflict between conservation and communities (e.g. conservation standards) and how to resolve current conflicts (e.g. the WM). The Global Dialogue (organised by FPP, Swedbio, Natural Justice, CEESP and CIPDP) brought together communities (incl. from Kenya, DRC & Thailand where the 3 Whakatane processes have taken place) and conservation and human rights organisations. Despite being invited, few government/ large donor reps attended. The Dialogue considered why conflicts between conservation and communities arise, how they can be prevented, and how ongoing conflicts can be resolved. It was highlighted that, despite the seriousness of the issue, only THREE WMs have happened since 2011, and that the real conflict is not between ecological integrity and community well-being but is driven by powerful state and private forces who divide and rule the better to exploit both. Does the lack of progress on the WM and the lack of willingness to resource it, suggest that conservation organisations are by and large preferring the short term easier route of allying with state and private interests to impose protected areas that are completely unsustainable? How can conservation instead champion a healthy relationship with communities against such forces?On-going
Field activitiesIn 2017, FPP received further requests to follow up on the Whakatane Assessment that was held in Thailand in 2012 (see: http://whakatane-mechanism.org/thailand), including at the Global Dialogue where the Karen of Thailand spoke of the huge discrimination against indigenous peoples who are not recognised by the Government, and whose forests are being decimated. In 2017, the stalling dialogue in DRC that the WM had enabled since 2014 (between evicted Batwa at Kahuzi-Biega National Park (PNKB) and ICCN/ PNKB) ground to a halt when one Batwa man searching for medicines on his ancestral lands was shot dead by PNKB eco-guards (see http://www.forestpeoples.org/en/environmental-governance-rights-based-conservation/news-article/2017/symptom-deeper-malaise-killing). However the conservator has since been replaced and current dialogue involving the Batwa, CAMV and ICCN/ PNKB may help allow the stalled WM to resume. In 2017, the slow but steady progress initiated by the 2011 WM with the Ogiek at Mt Elgon, Kenya, continued. County Government continues to engage positively, but Ministry of Environment has show no willingness. Meanwhile, the nearby Sengwer indigenous peoples of Cherangany Hills have been suffering violent displacement from their ancestral lands by the Ministry’s Kenya Forest Service, now including the shooting and killing of peaceful community members. Only after the killing, and after 3 UN SRs called for suspension, did the EU suspend its forest conservation focused WaTER project (see: http://www.forestpeoples.org/en/rights-based-conservation/press-release/2018/eu-suspends-funding-kenya-government-over-indigenous) however the violent evictions continue. THREE WM processes are so few for the task that needs to be undertaken to turn conservation round so it allies with, rather than tramples on, such communities rights. Will the big Conservation organisations recognise the need to urgently resource and multiply such processes?On-going
Please report on the result /achievement of the actions taken: 
There has been some good dialogue at the Global level, but the resources have not been committed by major conservation organisations to make this a success.

There have been some slow advances at the local level: e.g. in Kenya in relation to the Ogiek, but the Government's forceful evictions of the Sengwer - including shooting and killing - demonstrate that conservation organisations and international donors must take a firm approach and ally with human rights organisations and communities to ensure the successful securing of community and ecological well-being.

Meanwhile in DRC the only reason for the possible resumption of an effective dialogue in relation to the Batwa appears to be because PNKB/ ICCN has gone as far as killing a Batwa man. That such dialogue is not pursued ad a matter of course here, in Thailand, in Cameroon, etc,. but instead often appears to be sacrificed in order to please governments and other powerful players, is a very disturbing possible conclusion.
What challenges have you encountered in implementing this Resolution and what measures have you taken to overcome them?: 
Challenges remain huge: Seeking paradigm change: NOT a question of conflict between communities and conservation, BUT forceful appropriation by powerful forces Lacked financial resources and strong institutional support. The 3 WMs have not always received support from key actors (e.g. ESARO in Kenya, ICCN in DRC)
Identify and briefly describe what future actions are planned for the implementation of this Resolution: 
Future ActionDescription
Convene stakeholders/NetworkingFPP and WWF Indonesia are exploring the possibility of a follow on Global Dialogue to be held in Asia in 2018. The CEESP convened task force involving FPP, Natural Justice, WWF and WCS continues Possible further dialogue at the CEESP May meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Field activities(i) Continue with DRC dialogue: hopefully expand it to seek legal change at the national level; and (ii) Continue with the Kenya dialogue, but these require support from the IUCN Secretariate to ICCN (DRC) and ESARO (Kenya) to back these moves; and (iii) Resume the Thailand WM process, and respond to requests to have WM processes elsewhere. All this requires IUCN and big conservation orgs to PRIORITISE AND RESOURCE THIS.
FundraisingOnly a commitment by large conservation organisations to reorientate so they ally with those who care for their lands against those who want to exploit them (rather than v-v) can enable the alliance building at the local and national levels, and can enable the mobilisation of resources so we can continue and expand on the 3 WMs so that conservation is responding to the critically urgent need for rights-based conservation.
Additional Information