PANEL-III Marine and Coastal Biodiversiy
Thank you very much for giving the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) the opportunity to contribute in this panel discussion which is very important for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
Coastal marine ecosystems in the territories and lands of indigenous peoples and local communities represent important natural systems for survival, development and resilience of our cultures. We would like to remind you all that Indigenous Peoples play a critical role in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable development, protection of the waters and the resources we depend upon therein, has always been important for Indigenous Peoples. Many of the world’s most bio-diverse sites fall within marine and coastal territories which are effectively managed with our traditional and indigenous knowledge systems. A strong proof of this is that the biodiversity is still contained rich and healthy in our territories.
To this effect, the Indigenous Peoples have already implemented steps in order to achieve Aichi Targets. IIFB emphasizes that in order for the Parties to reach the Aitchi Targets, and to comply with targets 14 and 18, our experiences and knowledge for the effective management of biodiversity should be recognized and to fully be taken into consideration. The IIFB is ready to offer our advice in order to meet the Targets.
IIFB will emphasize that the CBD and its Parties need to facilitate resources to ensure full and effective participation by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in the activities on coastal and marine issues carried out under the Convention, both in experts and regional workshops and in identification and management Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSA). IIFB urges Parties to ensure that any identification of EBSAs has to be based on both the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples, technical, scientific and technological knowledge.
Mr Chair, we further urge Parties to recognize the mangrove ecosystems as one of the five most productive ecosystems in the world, and meets strategic functions of 70% of the global fisheries and mangrove ecosystems. The mangrove ecosystems are also an important area of food source for millions of indigenous peoples and local communities worldwide and the importance of continued traditional knowledge should not be allowed to deteriorate and must be maintained. The Mangroves meet ecological functions as a natural buffer against the effects of climate change, as protective barriers of coasts, with phenomena such as floods, storm surges and tsunamis, which was stated 3 to 4 times more carbon that other tropical forest becomes an important mitigation for climate change.
From the perspective of IIFB, and for the Convention to fulfill our needs to protect our people and cultures, the answer to all the questions raised in this panel is to ensure full and effective participation by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in all processes and initiatives concerning impact assessments, management, to enhance our livelihoods, based on best available knowledge, both traditional and scientific. Together we stand stronger in realizing the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
In the closing Mr Chair, the IIFB supports any events that provides any opportunity for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to network and build their capacity as land and sea managers and urges Parties to encourage and support their Indigenous Peoples and Local communities to attend these forums such as the Inaugural International Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Land and Sea Managers Network in Darwin, Australia from 27-31 May 2013, which was referred to by the Minister of Australia.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.