AIPP plans to celebrate International Biodiversity Day and World Environment Day

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Photo: Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa/AIPP

The land, territories and resources of indigenous peoples are home to 80% of the planet’s biodiversity[1] and, at least 24% of the total carbon stored above ground in the world’s tropical forests[2]. 56 percent of all terrestrial key biodiversity areas, including protected areas, parks, critical watersheds, etc. overlap with the ancestral domain titles of indigenous peoples in the Philippines. About 90% of the Philippines’ remaining forest cover is located in the ancestral domains of indigenous peoples[3]. Recent research found that indigenous peoples, local communities and people of African descent “already make investments equivalent to a quarter of the global investment in conservation”, a contribution that is underrecognized, undervalued , undersupported and underestimated. reported[4].

There is growing evidence that indigenous peoples are the best guardians of the world’s remaining forests and biodiversity. Therefore, it is essential to further strengthen our voices to affirm the recognition, respect and fulfillment of indigenous peoples’ customary land rights and governance systems as part of the solutions to combat the climate crisis, protect biodiversity and strengthen Sustainable development. The conclusions of the global report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)[5] and the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)[6] support this argument of indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples’ worldviews, values, knowledge and especially customary laws and governance systems have played a vital role in ensuring the sustainable customary use and management of their lands, territories and resources. Indigenous peoples are living examples of world leaders in living sustainably, maintaining biocultural diversity and protecting the planet’s fragile ecosystems.

Therefore, to reinforce the narrative that Indigenous Peoples are the global leaders whose initiatives and actions on the ground are essential to protect the biological and cultural diversity on which we all depend, and above all, for the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the AIPP will partner with its existing members and networks and celebrate the International Day for Biodiversity 2021 and World Environment Day from May 22 to June 5, 2021.

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[1] The World Bank, The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Conserving Biodiversity: Natural but Often Forgotten Partners 2008

[2] RRI, LandMark and Woods Hole Research Center, Towards a Global Baseline of Carbon Storage in Collective Lands, November 2016

[3] https://localbiodiversityoutlooks.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/local-biodiversity-outlooks-2016-english-web.pdf

[4] https://www.forestpeoples.org/en/briefing-paper/2021/re-thinking-nature-based-solutions

[5] https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-02/ipbes_global_assessment_report_summary_for_policymakers_en.pdf

[6] https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/4/2020/02/SPM_Updated-Jan20.pdf

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