May 10

IIFB-SBSTTA 20- Item 4 Marine and Coastal Biodiversity



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The IIFB first acknowledges the traditional people of this place, the Kanien Keha; ka, members of the Haudenosaunee, keepers of the eastern door. We thank their senior members past, present and future, for their custodianship.

This statement is made on behalf of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB). For all of us, the conservation of marine – coastal ecosystems and its biodiversity is vital, since these resources are the reservoirs so important for the food security of humanity, each day we see these ecosystems and their resources are being threatened by pollution and overexploitation.
Evidently IPLC, including indigenous women, have been contributing to the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and its biodiversity for time immemorial.
Many marine areas of ecological and biological importance are in the ancestral territories of indigenous peoples and local communities, and their role in these areas are indispensable.
As indigenous peoples and local communities we have some comments:

  1. The participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in the regional workshops for describing ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs), has been very limited or absent and, for this reason, we request to increase the effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in future workshops related to this work.
  2. It is essential to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities, including indigenous women and youth, particularly when addressing traditional knowledge and continued practices

Mr chair

On the linkages with other relevant international agreements;

Its important to consider the IPLC reliance on the sustainable use of marine resources for their livelihoods. The IIFB therefore recommend changes to the suggested recommendation 3(c).

Suggested recommendation.

Given their direct relevance, we encourage parties to include explicit reference in para 3(c) to FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests and voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries.

In regards to recommendation 6, in order to achieve the objectives of ensuring the marine and coastal resources for future generations is crucial taking in to account the indigenous peoples participation, because, based on their traditional knowledge they have succeeded to conserve the marine and coastal ecosystem.

Therefore, IIFB recommends that separate regional workshops for indigenous peoples and local communities are organised to address the contributions of indigenous traditional knowledge in the conservation and use of marine – coastal resources, ecosystems and biodiversity. Similarly supporting cultural practices associated with livelihoods ensures that indigenous traditional knowledge systems are maintained and can play a role in the management and sustainable use of marine biological resources.

Many thanks