Draft framework for the Whakatane Mechanism open for feedback by IUCN members

21 August, 2012

A draft Framework for the Whakatane Mechanism has been developed jointly by the IUCN secretariat, IUCN-CEESP, IUCN-SPICEH and FPP with feedback by many others and based on the experience of the two pilot Assessments in Thailand and Kenya. The aim is to circulate it within IUCN for wider feedback in order to agree on a final Framework by the end of the World Conservation Congress in Jeju. The draft Framework (available here) includes suggestions in track changes to facilitate a final agreement at WCC5. If you are an IUCN Member and you'd like to provide feedback, please send comments or text suggestions in track changes to by 30 August. The details of the functioning of the Mechanism start on page 10. We look forward to receiving your input and ideas.

To find out more about the Whakatane Mechanism visit its website.

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Whakatane Mechanism workshop at the 5th World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea on 10th September 2012

8 August, 2012

A workshop about the Whakatane Mechanism will be held at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 10th September from 7pm to 9pm (in Room 202 of the Jeju ICC).

The Whakatane Mechanism aims to ensure that conservation practices respect the rights of indigenous peoples. It assesses the respect of human rights in protected areas, provides recommendations to address human rights violations and facilitates a dialogue between the management authorities and indigenous peoples in order to reach joint solutions. It also celebrates and promotes best practices in conservation and successful partnerships between indigenous peoples and protected areas authorities.

To read more about the workshop click here.

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Pilot Whakatane Assessment in Ob Luang National Park, Thailand, finds exemplary joint management by indigenous peoples, local communities, National Park authorities and NGOs

20 February, 2012

Since its inception at the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) ‘Sharing Power’ conference in Whakatane, New Zealand, in January 2011, the Whakatane Mechanism has been piloted in two places: at Mount Elgon in Western Kenya and most recently in the Ob Luang National Park in Northern Thailand. The aim of the Whakatane Mechanism is to assess the situation in protected areas and, where people are negatively affected, to propose solutions and implement them. The Mechanism also aims to identify, celebrate and support successful protected areas where the new paradigm of conservation is being implemented.

Joint management of the Ob Luang National Park is an example that should be shared. Since 2004, the park authorities, local communities and NGOs have been working together to implement joint management, taking special care to include women and young people. The pilot Whakatane Assessment in Ob Luang was also carried out jointly, with a team including staff from the Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT), Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Forest Peoples Programme, IUCN, local NGOs, indigenous peoples and local community networks (the Watershed Network and Highland Nature Conservation, Chomthong).

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Draft concept note for pilot Whakatane Assessments now open for feedback

7 July, 2011

Update 3rd August 2011

The concept note for pilot Whakatane Assessment has been finalized. You can download it here

As mentioned in Forest Peoples Programme’s February E-Newsletter, a meeting was held at the IUCN CEESP Sharing Power conference in Whakatane, New Zealand, January 2011, between indigenous representatives, the chairs of three IUCN commissions (CEESP, WCPA and SSC) and sub-commissions (TILCEPA and TGER), key staff of the IUCN secretariat (the Director of the Environment and Development Programme and the Senior Adviser on Social Policy), and other staff from IUCN, Conservation International and Forest Peoples Programme.

The main outcome of the meeting and subsequent follow-up discussions was an agreement to implement a series of measures to review the implementation of resolutions related to indigenous peoples adopted at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC4) in 2008 and to advance their implementation should there be a gap.

As part of this agreement, the IUCN committed itself to implement Whakatane Assessments of protected areas at the local level, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations (IPOs), the Forest Peoples Programme, CEESP, TILCEPA and TGER. It was decided that FPP would draft a concept note, which will be used to guide pilot Whakatane Assessments.


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International Union for the Conservation of Nature takes positive steps towards realising indigenous peoples’ rights in conservation

18 February, 2011

Over the last 10 years, governments and conservation organisations have made significant commitments at the international level to promote participatory conservation, and uphold the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in protected area policies and activities. But, on the ground, progress to implement these commitments has been very patchy. In many cases, protected areas are still imposed through top-down policies and approaches, leading to the displacement of indigenous peoples, curtailment of their livelihoods and conflict over resources.Last month, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) took positive steps to address these issues at a high-level dialogue with indigenous peoples’ representatives and other conservation organizations during the 'Sharing Power' conference, in Whakatane, New Zealand. IUCN agreed to review the implementation of their previous resolutions relating to indigenous peoples, and in collaboration with indigenous peoples to develop appropriate mechanisms for implementing conservation programmes and projects that fully involve indigenous peoples and respect their rights.

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Press Release: International Union for the Conservation of Nature to review and advance implementation of the ‘new conservation paradigm’, focusing on rights of indigenous peoples. January 14, 2011

14 January, 2011

Indigenous peoples’ representatives met with Chairs of Commissions of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other conservation organizations, for a high-level dialogue during the Sharing Power conference, in Whakatane, New Zealand, on January 13th, 2011. IUCN agreed to review the implementation of resolutions related to indigenous peoples taken at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC4) in 2008, in Barcelona, Spain, and to advance their implementation. These resolutions, along with the Durban Action Plan and the Programme of Work on Protected Areas of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), are often termed as the “new conservation paradigm”. They are crucial for ensuring that conservation practices respect the rights of indigenous peoples and their full and effective participation in policy and practice. Unfortunately, the actual implementation of these decisions in support of indigenous peoples has been very patchy. The information gathered by the IUCN review processes will feed into its 2013-2016 Programme, to be discussed and adopted in September 2012 in Jeju, Republic of Korea.

Specifically, the meeting participants agreed that IUCN will:

·       Reinforce its multi-level process (encompassing international, regional, national and local levels) to assess and advance the implementation of the “new conservation paradigm”. This process would focus on specific WCC4 resolutions relevant to indigenous peoples.

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