Session Organizer: Interamerican Institute for Global Change research.
Session Description: Incorporating participatory processes into conservation planning and management has emerged as a major topic in sustainability debates in the last decades and became a mainstream trend in biodiversity policy. IUCN, IPBES, and CBD have recently produced documents that stated the need to better incorporate diverse knowledges, perspectives, and values to improve people’s well-being while safeguarding biodiversity. These documents underscore that a participatory decision-making regarding biodiversity conservation is more effective in practice because the entire process is more likely to be perceived as legitimate.
The Kumming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework presents bold targets and advances in mainstreaming inclusiveness in global biodiversity policy and decision-making, but challenges still remain regarding the depth of the non-western perspectives in defining the paths for safeguarding the diversity of life on earth. Although “indigenous peoples and local communities” are cited 16 times in the framework, their inclusion is based in policies that are often led by other actors and institutions. The framework, therefore, reflects the increasing awareness about the importance of local and indigenous perspectives in conservation but does not contemplate entirely the discussion about the extent to which different stakeholders are actually involved and how different knowledge claims are incorporated in biodiversity policy, especially regarding pre-existing power asymmetries.