On 4 August the Environmental Law Centre’s (ELC) Internet platform on Rights-based Approaches to Conservation (RBA) was launched amongst IUCN staff and members of IUCN Commissions (www.rights-based-approach.org). The aim is for this platform to become a central point for collecting and sharing relevant information and experience on the conceptualisation, development and implementation of RBAs to conservation and for building an interactive community of stakeholders, in order to ensure the integration of rights considerations into conservation practices.
Failure to conserve natural resources and biodiversity can undermine human rights as well as the rights of individuals and/or local communities under national law, while nature conservation can also support the respect for and fulfilment of these rights. Unfortunately, certain approaches to conservation have the potential to clash with (human) rights, and at the same time, failure to respect, ensure, and fulfil internationally and domestically guaranteed rights can be a trigger for environmental destruction. RBAs to conservation can serve to ensure that the protection of rights and biodiversity conservation become mutually reinforcing.
Through its interactive structure the portal aims at developing a community of stakeholders (including an “RBA Community of Practice” made up of IUCN staff, Commission members and institutional members) that will continue to share RBAs to conservation related information (case studies, publications, project information, events, etc.) and support the further promotion and development of RBAs worldwide.
The portal was first launched during the XIII World Forestry Congress in Buenos Aires in October 2009. It is part of the ELC’s work to support the implementation of Resolution N° 4.056 “Rights-based approaches to conservation”, adopted by IUCN members at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC 4) in Barcelona in 2008, which stresses the need to “facilitate the exchange of experiences, methods and tools on rights-based approaches to Conservation”.
Membership to the portal is open to IUCN and non-IUCN stakeholders. Non-IUCN stakeholders can apply for membership on the website’s main web-address and IUCN staff members can access the portal directly through the internal IUCN SharePoint system. Accessing the portal as a member offers multiple functions including editing pages, adding content, uploading documents, participating in discussion boards, etc., to share experiences and lessons learnt on RBAs and to contribute to the further development of the portal (a Wikipedia-like approach).
Link to RBA to Conservation Portal (www.rights-based-approach.org)
Resolution 4.056 (Full text of the Resolution 4.056 can be obtained here: http://www.iucn.org/congress_08/assembly/policy/)