Canadian Biodiversity Strategy
- Executive Summary
- Biodiversity: Our Living Legacy
- A Vision For Canada
- GOAL 1 - Conservation and Sustainable Use
- A. Wild Flora and Fauna and Other Wild Organisms
- B. Protected Areas
- C. Restoration and Rehabilitation
- D. Sustainable Use of Biological Resources
- E. Biosafety: Harmful Alien Organisms and Living Modified Organisms
- F. Atmosphere
- G. Human Population and Settlement
- GOAL 2 - Ecological Management
- A. Improving Our Ecological Management Capability
- B. Increasing Resource Management Capability
- C. Monitoring
- GOAL 3 - Education and Awareness
- GOAL 4 - Incentives and Legislation
- GOAL 5 - International Cooperation
- Indigenous Community Implementation
Indigenous Community Implementation
For thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans, indigenous people depended on the land and its natural resources to meet their physical, social, cultural and spiritual needs. Many indigenous communities continue to have an intimate cultural relationship with the land and its resources. Individuals in these communities possess a range of expertise that could significantly contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources.
The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the indigenous people of Canada are recognized and affirmed in the Constitution and by decisions of the Supreme Court. Agreements between governments and aboriginal authorities have led to the creation of cooperative management regimes for wildlife. Indigenous people have certain management authorities relating to the use of settlement and reserve lands and management of the resources on those lands. Through negotiated cooperative agreements, indigenous communities are assuming increased responsibility for the management of biological resources.
In 1987, the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development highlighted the importance of preserving the traditional knowledge and experience that exists within indigenous communities. The report stated that the loss of traditional knowledge and skills in sustainably managing complex ecosystems would be a loss to society. The Convention on Biological Diversity reinforces the need to respect, preserve and maintain the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous communities that relate to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Indigenous response to the Convention must be community-based and community-paced. This will require formulating local systems for preserving, using and regenerating traditional indigenous knowledge.
- Indigenous communities develop an approach to implementing the Convention with a view to reflecting distinct indigenous values, social networks, traditional economies and cultures by:
- building on the current networking process of meetings, workshops and other consultation methods that enable indigenous communities to determine how they will contribute to the implementation of the Biodiversity Convention;
- demonstrating the role of indigenous knowledge and management in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and establishing opportunities for indigenous communities to share their knowledge of biodiversity and the management of biological resources with non-indigenous communities;
- leading the development of community-based regimes designed to preserve traditional indigenous knowledge, innovations and practices and recognizing their potential economic, scientific, social and cultural values;
- establishing linkages with federal, provincial and territorial agencies responsible for implementing the Convention; and
- facilitating the maintenance of indigenous social and cultural traditions that support the communication of traditional knowledge and resource use methods among generations and communities.
- Encourage the development of an indigenous community analysis of the Convention with reference to "knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous communities" by taking into account issues of intellectual property rights and the use of genetic resources. This analysis should emphasize ways in which knowledge and practices are applied in biodiversity conservation and examine how innovations can be protected by intellectual property rights.
- Examine ways in which indigenous groups can share their knowledge and experience, and develop joint programs with indigenous groups inside and outside Canada.
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