'No mechanisms to secure rights of indigenous peoples'



`No mechanisms to secure rights of indigenous peoples` Hyderabad: Most governments in the world have no or very inadequate legal and policy mechanisms to respect indigenous peoples and local communities, especially with regard to territorial, collective, and tenurial rights, a publication on a study by Indigenous Peoples' and Local Communities' Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA) consortium said.

The publication 'Recognising and Supporting Territories and Areas Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities', released today by Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), said there are very big gaps in facilitating secure livelihoods, especially for younger generations, linked to the conservation initiative.

"Despite the very visible progress in recognizing and supporting ICCAs there remain huge weaknesses and gaps. Most countries have no or very inadequate legal and policy mechanisms to respect indigenous peoples and local communities (especially with regard to territorial, collective, and tenurial rights), and in many the existing policy environment may actually be against their interests," it said.

"Financial support can often be inadequate, or inappropriately channelled leading to local elite capture. There are very big gaps in facilitating secure livelihoods, especially for younger generations, linked to the conservation initiative," it added.

Research and documentation still do not cover the vast majority of ICCAs, and sometimes, when done without adequate involvement of the relevant people or community, can be exploitative, it said.

As ICCAs are often an effective mechanism for conservation, there is a need to recognize their crucial role in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, it said.

The publication is based on a range of past studies on ICCAs conducted in several regions of the world in the last two decades, and, most recently, on 19 country-level case studies. The latter were commissioned as part of a project on ICCA Recognition and Support undertaken by the ICCA Consortium, coordinated by Kalpavriksh, an environment action group.

PTI