Theme on Sustainable Livelihoods


The CEESP Theme on Sustainable Livelihoods (TSL) has started exploring the characteristics of rotational agriculture in a changing world, and the conditions that may still maintain it as a viable and sustainable option for people, especially indigenous peoples. TSL has been working on this and the following issues and activities:

  1. The whole site of TSL has now been translated into French, and is being edited for uploading to the CEESP site; the same will be done with Spanish;
  2. The web site on Genetically Modified Organisms has been maintained as requested by IUCN’s Council. It still needs to be linked to the home page of IUCN as originally wished by Council. The site is a follow up to the Bangkok Resolution of IUCN calling for a moratorium on GMOs.
  3. Promotion of activities on indigenous knowledge and customary institutions for the governance and management of natural resources, including on issues related to climate change, such as participation in the recent seminar on the use of biodiversity by indigenous peoples for adaptation to climate change, sponsored by CGIAR and the University of Chiang Mai, Thailand, which included a very exciting field visit to an indigenous region in Thailand where rotational agriculture (shifting cultivation) is continuing to be practiced sustainably
  4. Support activities to some project work from before have been continuing, including cooperation with WISP, and technical advice (supported financially by IIED) to the empowerment of indigenous peoples in Iran (which consist mainly of about 100 tribal confederacies and some 600 independent tribes of indigenous nomadic peoples), with considerable advances in policy and programme reform; and continued engagement with joint activities with IIED under Michel’s leadership (dealing mainly with two international projects: Democratising Agricultural Research in the context of the food sovereignty approach (which has been endorsed by IUCN policy resolutions), and Sustaining local Food Systems, agro-biodiversity and Livelihoods). Each of these projects involves teams in a number of countries;
  5. Continued engagement and visibility in forums and gatherings on issues of poverty eradication and conservation (the latest being participation in a training seminar in Vilm, Germany last week, sponsored by GTZ and other actors);
  6. Participating in the Programme Coordinating Committee meeting of WISP (World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism), which was set up about 5 years ago with TSL/CEESP help and support: (;
  7. Supporting/co-sponsoring/chairing workshop/side events at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII, New York, May 2009) and the UN Human Rights Commission’s Expert Mechanism for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) in Geneva August 2009. Both events were related to Indigenous Conservation Territories and other ICCAs, work that is interwoven through a number of CEESP Themes as well as the WCPA through TELCEPA, and shared with other bodies such as the ICCA Consortium and its partners.
  8. Continuing to promote issues of sustainable livelihoods and policy advocacy in the context of WAMIP, which is an affiliated network of TSL;
  9. Providing support to IFAD’s Western Sudan Natural Resources Management Project;
  10. Diverse collaboration with other CEESP Themes and other partners in the ICCA Consortium on issues such as Indigenous Conservation Territories/ICCAs which have a high importance for livelihood sustainability for indigenous peoples and local communities.