Update on Whakatane Mechanism

20 August 2012 | Article
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The Whakatane Mechanism, an IUCN “One Programme” initiative in which CEESP is deeply involved, aims to ensure that conservation policy and practice respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including those specified in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It is a tool for the implementation of IUCN Resolution 4.052 and other resolutions taken by the WCC to respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in conservation. 

The Mechanism includes undertaking a fieldwork assessment in a protected area by a multi-stakeholder taskforce. This taskforce provides recommendations to address human rights violations and facilitates a dialogue in order to reach joint solutions to be put in place by the various parties involved. The Mechanism also celebrates and promotes best practices in conservation and successful partnerships between indigenous peoples, local communities and protected areas authorities.

Since January 2011, the Whakatane Mechanism has been piloted in two places: at Mount Elgon in western Kenya and in Ob Luang National Park in northern Thailand. The structure of both pilot Assessments was similar: a first roundtable that brought together the different institutions involved in the protected area to explain the concept of the Whakatane Mechanism and plan ahead. This was followed by a scoping study of several days in the protected area to meet with communities and local officials. A second roundtable followed to present and agree on the findings and recommendations of the Assessment.

A draft Framework for the Whakatane Mechanism has been developed jointly by the IUCN secretariat, IUCN-CEESP, IUCN-SPICEH, FPP with feedback by many others and based on the experience of the two pilot Assessments in Thailand and Kenya. Our 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.  We would appreciate your feedback on it by August 30th. The details of the functioning of the Mechanism start on p10. Please send comments or text suggestions in track changes to emmanuel@forestpeoples.org. We are looking forward to getting your input, support and ideas.

If you will be at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea, we would be very happy to welcome you at the side event on the Whakatane Mechanism (more information). You can also find more information about the Whakatane Mechanism on the website: www.whakatane-mechanism.org.


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