Schlusserklärung des Internationalen Indigenen Forums
Statement der indigenen Expertinnen und Experten auf der Bonner Uno-Tagung Closing Statement of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity at the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing Convention on Biological Diversity, 22-26 October 2001 - Bonn, Germany Madam Chair/Mr. Chairman, The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity has been particularly concerned about ensuring the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity because it affects the lives of our peoples and our fundamental rights: the right to self-determination, the rights to our lands, territories, natural resources, livelihoods and control over our knowledge. Although we recognize the progress made at the 5th Conference of the Parties, especially regarding the general principles of decision V/16, the delegations present in this Working Group do not even seem to be familiar with the contents of their own decisions. Further, we have observed a lack of political will among some of the Parties which would have been necessary to make meaningful progress in our work. We wish to emphasize that the concept stakeholders is not applicable to indigenous peoples because we are rights-holders. Rights over our traditional knowledge and natural resources are collective rights which are inherent and inalienable to our peoples. Once again we emphasize that the fundamental precondition for progress on the implementation of the Convention is the recognition of our existence and rights as indigenous peoples. With regard to the discussions which took place within Sub-Working Group 1 concerning guidelines on Access and Benefit Sharing we maintain our position that at present the guidelines will not win the consent of indigenous peoples. As we have repeatedly recommended, this reveals the need for capacity-building among the Parties with respect to the rights of indigenous peoples as established within existing and emerging international instruments and agreements. In this respect we draw your attention to the fact that while the debates which have taken place under Sub-Working Group 2 have been regarded as a side-issue, in reality significant progress has been made. On this basis we recommend that the most practical way forward would be to realise a series of activities drawing on case studies prepared by indigenous peoples in countries where the existence and rights of indigenous peoples are already recognised as a basis for formulating concrete recommendations to the Parties in the future. We would welcome the opportunity to work with countries where the existence and rights of indigenous peoples are already recognised within national legislation, in accordance with international law, and countries which have adopted policies recognising indigenous peoples rights. We further recommend that in order to ensure consistency in the development of the work of the Convention, other relevant UN bodies and specialized agencies should be invited to contribute to future work. In order to assist with this process we reaffirm the fundamental importance of the recommendations that we presented on Monday in establishing the preconditions for any future progress and request that these basic recommendations, which we will now present to you, be annexed to the report of this meeting. Annex Self- Determination Acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples are rights-holders and not mere stakeholders. Indigenous Peoples have the collective rights to: · Self-determination · Their lands and territories · Their cultural heritage and control over their own knowledge · Free, prior and informed consent to all activities affecting their lands, territories, natural resources and traditional knowledge. Prior and Informed Consent In the context of Indigenous Peoples rights to self-determination, free, prior and informed consent means: 1. All members of the communities affected consent to the decision 2. Consent is determined in accordance with customary laws, rights and practices 3. Freedom from external manipulation, interference or coercion 4. Full disclosure of the intent and scope of the activity 5. Decisions are made in a language and process understandable to the communities 6. Indigenous Peoples customary institutions and representative organizations must be involved at all stages of the consent process 7. Respect for the right of Indigenous Peoples to say NO. Relationships with other International Legal Regimes The Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity must uphold its integrated approach towards biological diversity, traditional knowledge and access and benefit sharing over narrow commercial approaches in WTO TRIPS and similar agreements. Existing and emerging international legal instruments on the rights of Indigenous Peoples must be applied. Operations of the Convention on Biological Diversity Promote language and mechanisms for the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples as equal partners in the entire work programme of the Convention on Biological Diversity in an integrated way: · Adopt the expression Indigenous Peoples and local communities in all the work and documents of the Convention on Biological Diversity · Establish the necessary linkages between the Convention on Biological Diversitys work programmes on cross-cutting issues: Article 8(j) and related provisions, Incentive Measures, Access and Benefit Sharing; and between these cross-cutting issues and thematic work programmes · Ensure that the progress which has already been made in the Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions is reflected in the work and documents of the Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing · Ensure that the positive language on Indigenous Peoples in the report of the Second Meeting of the Panel of Experts on Access and Benefit Sharing is adequately reflected in the main working documents of this Working Group · Recall that at COP5 advances were made in prioritizing the elements and tasks of the Work Programme of Article 8(j) and related provisions. Very high priority was given to participatory mechanisms; exchange and distribution of information; monitoring; and legal elements. Progress on these priorities is a precondition for Indigenous Peoples involvement in the Convention on Biological Diversitys work on access and benefit sharing · Develop mechanisms for the full and effective protection of Indigenous Peoples rights. Until such time that such mechanisms enter into effect, we propose that a moratorium on the commercial exploitation of their traditional knowledge and natural resources, including genetic resources should be respected. Comments on the Access and Benefit Sharing Documents Legislative, administrative and policy measures, and means to ensure the respect, preservation and maintenance of the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous Peoples and local communities Legal recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples is the most effective measure to ensure the respect, preservation and maintenance of the knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Clarity in the legal position of Indigenous Peoples is also the most effective way of reducing transaction costs and delays due to conflicts with communities. Capacity Building The report of the Second Meeting of the Panel of Experts on Access and Benefit Sharing concludes that capacity building should be the essence of the work of the Convention in this area. The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity recommends: · The need for capacity-building among Parties with respect to existing and emerging international standards on the rights of Indigenous Peoples · The need to identify examples of best practice in the development of national legislation and sui generis systems conforming with the standards proposed by Indigenous Peoples · Promote direct engagement with representative Indigenous Peoples organizations in enhancing the capacity of Parties with regard to legislative and other measures to secure practical recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples as set out in existing and emerging international instruments. Equitable Sharing of Benefits For Indigenous Peoples the legal recognition of Indigenous Peoples rights, especially land and territorial security, is paramount over monetary and non-monetary benefits. Only from this position of security can flow equitable sharing of benefits.