Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013, Claudia Lewis, Plan C Initiative, Carlos L. de la Rosa, Catalina Island Conservancy, "The Youth Guide to Biodiversity" 1st Edition (Chapter 12) Youth and United Nations Global Alliance. Reproduced with permission.
Chapter 12. Verbatim.
Local Community Involvement In Biodiversity Protection In Mexico
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico is home to some 2 000 people, mainly of Mayan descent. Its mission is to integrate human activities with the rich biodiversity of the region without harming the natural environment. Including local people in its management helps to maintain the balance between pure conservation and the need for sustainable use of resources by the local community.
Without the agreement and collaboration of the resident population, the area could have suffered great losses through unsustainable development. Initiated by a presidential decree in January of 1996, it became a source of national pride when UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site a year later.
Indigenous Groups Setting Their Own Course In Brazil
The development of the Xingu Indigenous Park, a 2.6 million hectare (6.5 million acre) area of tropical rainforest in Brazil, is an example of a national NGO (the National Indian Foundation or FUNAI) and an international NGO (the Amazon Conservation Team or ACT ) who worked with the Brazilian government’s environmental agency and a coalition of 14 indigenous groups to achieve an unprecedented conservation milestone.
Together, they developed a series of maps describing and delineating traditional territories, fishing and hunting areas, and even sacred sites, which were incorporated into the park’s management plan. The indigenous tribes participated fully in the mapping project and will be the managers of their own protected area.Source: www.terralingua.org
Biodiversity Conservation Involves All Stakeholders
As you can see from this chapter, biodiversity conservation activities involve numerous actors at all levels (global to local), including:
National governments and decision-makers within ministries, agencies (e.g. ministries of environment, forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and regional planning) can:
•• raise awareness and support education on the importance of biodiversity
•• ensure that laws and policies are in place to protect biodiversity
•• support collaboration and coordination between agencies at all levels (international, national,regional and local)
•• support capacity building for biodiversity conservation at the local level
•• ensure that local authorities have access to information
•• ensure participation of all stakeholders
•• provide financial resources to implement biodiversity conservation activities
•• demonstrate a political commitment to implementing sustainable biodiversity management.
Local governments can:
•• ensure that biodiversity considerations are included in local planning and decision-making
•• promote collaboration with various stakeholders
•• support local action and collaborate with NGOs, CSOs and local communities.
Universities and research institutes:
•• undertake research and analysis to support improved conservation strategies and initiatives
•• can provide scientific information and findings that can support awareness campaigns on informing the general public about the current state of the planet’s biodiversity.
Media and celebrities can:
•• highlight the perspectives of different stakeholders
•• undertake independent research that gives a new view on the topic
•• form, shape and influence public opinion on the importance of biodiversity conservation
•• raise awareness and put pressure on decision-makers.
Environmental NGOs and CSOs can:
•• act and provide support for sustainable biodiversity management at all levels
•• collaborate with various stakeholders (see box: “How Non-governmental and Civil Society Organisations Help to Conserve Biodiversity”).
Farmers, livestock holders, fisherfolk, land owners and local communities:
•• are the local managers of biodiversity and are key to conservation actions on the ground.
The private sector can:
•• provide financial resources for biodiversity initiatives
•• ensure sustainable use of biodiversity products
•• coordinate and collaborate with various stakeholders on biodiversity actions (see box: “Companies Can also Play a Role in Biodiversity Conservation”).
YOU! Yes, you!yes you! Every individual can make a difference at the local, national or even international level.