CBD GUIDELINES. Akwé: Kon Guidelines - PDF

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CBD GUIDELINES Akwé: Kon Guidelines Akwé: Kon Voluntary guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding developments proposed to take place on, or which are

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CBD GUIDELINES Akwé: Kon Guidelines Akwé: Kon Voluntary guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding developments proposed to take place on, or which are likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Akwé: Kon Guidelines Published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Copyright 2004, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity ISBN: This publication may be reproduced for educational or non-profit purposes without special permission from the copyright holders, provided acknowledgement of the source is made. The Secretariat of the Convention would appreciate receiving a copy of any publications that uses this document as a source. Citation: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2004).Akwé: Kon Voluntary Guidelines for the Conduct of Cultural, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment regarding Developments Proposed to Take Place on, or which are Likely to Impact on, Sacred Sites and on Lands and Waters Traditionally Occupied or Used by Indigenous and Local Communities Montreal, 25p. (CBD Guidelines Series). For further information, please contact: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 413 St. Jacques Street, suite 800 Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 1N9 Phone: (514) Fax: (514) Website: The photo on the cover, taken by Evan Loveless, was graciously donated by the Kitasoo Xai'xais First Nation, a Tsimshian community on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada. To the Kitasoo Xai'xais, the watchman pole articulates both their continuing occupation and custodial relationship with Neeso Wakwis, which means Our Lands in the Kitasoo language. The watchman pole is as much an assertion of occupation to the outside world, as it is a physical statement that the Kitasoo realize their duty to pass on their lands to future generations.the Kitasoo people have thrived there for thousands of years in one of the richest, most diverse ecosystems on earth. For more information on the Kitasoo Xai'xais visit: Printed on recycled paper Foreword Foreword The international community has recognized the close and traditional dependence of many indigenous and local communities on biological resources, notably in the preamble to the Convention on Biological Diversity. There is also a broad recognition of the contribution that traditional knowledge can make to both the conservation and the sustainable use of biological diversity - two fundamental objectives of the Convention - and of the need to ensure the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of traditional knowledge. For this reason, Parties to the Convention undertook, in Article 8(j), to respect, preserve and maintain traditional knowledge relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and to promote its wider application. Most indigenous and local communities live in areas where the vast majority of the world's genetic resources are found. They have used biological diversity in a sustainable way for thousands of years and their cultures and knowledge are deeply rooted in the environment on which they depend. As a result, developments proposed to take place on lands and waters traditionally occupied by indigenous and local communities have been a source of concern to these communities because of the potential long-term negative impacts on their livelihoods and traditional knowledge. To address this concern, as part of the work programme on Article 8(j), Parties to the Convention decided to develop, in cooperation with indigenous and local communities, guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding such developments. On the basis of recommendations by the Open-ended Working Group on Article 8 (j) and related provisions, the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties adopted the Akwé: Kon Voluntary Guidelines for the Conduct of Cultural, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment regarding Developments Proposed to take place on, or which are Likely to Impact on, Sacred Sites and on Lands and Waters Traditionally Occupied or Used by Indigenous and Local Communities. It is expected that impact assessment procedures and methodologies embodied in the Voluntary Guidelines will play a key role in providing information on the cultural, environmental and social impacts of proposed developments and, thereby, help to prevent their potential adverse impacts on the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities concerned. The Voluntary Guidelines were named by a Mohawk term meaning everything in creation , so as to emphasize the holistic nature of this instrument. Indeed, the guidelines are intended to provide a collaborative framework ensuring the full involvement of indigenous and local communities in the assessment of cultural, 1 Akwé: Kon Guidelines environmental and social concerns and interests of indigenous and local communities of proposed developments. Moreover, guidance is provided on how to take into account traditional knowledge, innovations and practices as part of the impact-assessment processes and promote the use of appropriate technologies. The Akwé Kon Voluntary Guidelines are a tangible tool in keeping with the greater emphasis now placed by Parties to the Convention on practical results based on the identification and pursuit of outcome-oriented targets with a view to achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity, as set out in the Strategic Plan of the Convention and endorsed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in As indigenous and local communities are guardians of a significant part of the planet's terrestrial biodiversity, implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines could contribute to the 2010 target of achieving a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss. I urge all concerned to use the Voluntary Guidelines in conjunction with the guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or process and in strategic environmental assessment, endorsed by the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting. Please also share with us your experiences in using the Voluntary Guidelines and any suggestions you may have to improve them. Hamdallah Zedan Executive Secretary 2 Introduction Introduction The Akwé: Kon Voluntary Guidelines for the Conduct of Cultural, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments Regarding Developments Proposed to Take Place on, or which are Likely to Impact on, Sacred Sites and on Lands and Waters Traditionally Occupied or Used by Indigenous and Local Communities were developed pursuant to task 9 of the programme of work on Article 8(j) and related provisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity at its fifth meeting, in May The programme of work was, itself, adopted on the basis of recommendations from the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions established at the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in The programme of work on Article 8 (j) and related provisions is the main instrument that Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity have given themselves to achieve the commitments in Article 8(j) to respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, to promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of traditional knowledge. Other major elements of the work programme include: participatory mechanisms for indigenous and local communities, status and trends, equitable sharing of benefits, legal elements, as well as monitoring elements of which the Guidelines are a part. The Akwé: Kon Voluntary Guidelines will provide guidance to Parties and Governments on the incorporation of cultural, environmental and social considerations of indigenous and local communities into new or existing impact-assessment procedures. They should be applied in conjunction with the guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or process in strategic environmental assessment endorsed by the Conference of the Parties in decision VI/7 A and contained in the annex to that decision. Parties and Governments are invited to take the Voluntary Guidelines into consideration whenever developments are proposed to take place on, or are likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities. Similarly, international financial and development agencies are invited to take into consideration the need to incorporate 3 Akwé: Kon Guidelines and implement the guidelines within the framework of bilateral and multilateral cooperation efforts and to provide funds, as appropriate, for the prevention and mitigation of negative impacts and risk factors of proposed projects and policies. The Voluntary Guidelines should be adapted to suit the circumstances of each development initiative. The application of the Akwé: Kon Voluntary Guidelines has the potential to contribute significantly to achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity with respect to traditional knowledge as set out in its Article 8(j) and related provisions. 4 Purpose and Approach Akwé: Kon * Voluntary guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding developments proposed to take place on, or which are likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities I. PURPOSE AND APPROACH 1. The present Guidelines are voluntary and intended to serve as guidance for Parties and Governments, subject to their national legislation, in the development and implementation of their impact-assessment regimes. The guidelines should be taken into consideration whenever developments are proposed to take place on, or which are likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities. 2. The objective of these Guidelines is to provide general advice on the incorporation of cultural, environmental, including biodiversity-related, and social considerations of indigenous and local communities into new or existing impact-assessment procedures, noting that some existing procedures may take these concerns into consideration in different ways. The Guidelines should be applied in conjunction with the guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or process and in strategic environmental assessment endorsed by the Conference of the Parties in paragraph 1 of decision VI/7 A, and contained in the annex to that decision. 3. More specifically, the purpose of these Guidelines is to provide a collaborative framework within which Governments, indigenous and local communities, decision makers and managers of developments can: (a) (b) Support the full and effective participation and involvement of indigenous and local communities in screening, scoping and development planning exercises; Properly take into account the cultural, environmental and social concerns and interests of indigenous and local communities, especially of women who often bear a disproportionately large share of negative development impacts; * Pronounced {agway-goo}. A holistic Mohawk term meaning everything in creation provided by the Kahnawake community located near Montreal, where the guidelines were negotiated. 5 Akwé: Kon Guidelines (c) (d) (e) (f) Take into account the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities as part of environmental, social and cultural impact-assessment processes, with due regard to the ownership of and the need for the protection and safeguarding of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices; Promote the use of appropriate technologies; Identify and implement appropriate measures to prevent or mitigate any negative impacts of proposed developments; Take into consideration the interrelationships among cultural, environmental and social elements. 4. The Guidelines recognize that developments vary enormously in nature, scale and complexity with respect to such aspects as their scope, size and duration; strategic and economic importance; and the nature of impacts. The Guidelines therefore should be adapted to suit the appropriate circumstances of each development. Individual countries may redefine the steps in the cultural, environmental and social impact assessment procedure to their needs and requirements, taking into account the needs and concerns of indigenous and local communities and their national legislative, administrative and policy framework, bearing in mind that nothing in these Guidelines should adversely affect biodiversity and the livelihoods of other communities, and that they should be implemented in a manner that is consistent with international law and with other international obligations. 5. Cultural, environmental and social impact assessment procedures should refer to other relevant domestic legislation, regulations, guidelines and international and multilateral environmental agreements and protocols that have been ratified by the Party and have come into force, bearing in mind that nothing in these Guidelines should adversely affect biodiversity and the livelihoods of other communities, and that they should be implemented in a manner that is consistent with international law and with other international obligations. 6. For the purpose of the Guidelines: II. USE OF TERMS (a) Cultural impact assessment - is a process of evaluating the likely impacts of a proposed development on the way of life of a particular group or community of people, with full involvement of this group or community of people and possibly undertaken by this group or community of people: a cultural impact assessment will generally address the impacts, both beneficial and adverse, of a proposed development that may affect, for example, the values, belief systems, customary 6 Use of Terms (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) laws, language(s), customs, economy, relationships with the local environment and particular species, social organization and traditions of the affected community; Cultural heritage impact assessment - is a process of evaluating the likely impacts, both beneficial and adverse, of a proposed development on the physical manifestations of a community's cultural heritage including sites, structures, and remains of archaeological, architectural, historical, religious, spiritual, cultural, ecological or aesthetic value or significance; Customary law - law consisting of customs that are accepted as legal requirements or obligatory rules of conduct; practices and beliefs that are so vital and intrinsic a part of a social and economic system that they are treated as if they were laws 1 ; Environmental impact assessment - is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of, and proposing appropriate mitigation measures for, a proposed development, taking into account interrelated socio-economic, cultural and human health impacts, both beneficial and adverse; Sacred site - may refer to a site, object, structure, area or natural feature or area, held by national Governments or indigenous communities to be of particular importance in accordance with the customs of an indigenous or local community because of its religious and/or spiritual significance; Social impact assessment - is a process of evaluating the likely impacts, both beneficial and adverse, of a proposed development that may affect the rights, which have an economic, social, cultural, civic and political dimension, as well as the well-being, vitality and viability, of an affected community - that is, the quality of life of a community as measured in terms of various socio-economic indicators, such as income distribution, physical and social integrity and protection of individuals and communities, employment levels and opportunities, health and welfare, education, and availability and standards of housing and accommodation, infrastructure, services; Strategic environmental assessment - is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of proposed policies, plans or programmes to ensure that they are fully included and addressed at an early stage of decision-making, together with economic, social and cultural considerations 2 ; Traditional knowledge - refers to the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. 1 See definition contained in Black's Law Dictionary (7th edition), Term derived from the definition contained in paragraph 1(b) of the Guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or process and in strategic environmental assessment contained in the annex to decision VI/7 A. 7 Akwé: Kon Guidelines III. PROCEDURAL CONSIDERATIONS 7. Noting that the actors involved in the assessment process may include the proponent of the development, one or more governmental agencies, indigenous and local communities, stakeholders, and technical experts conducting the assessment; noting further the desirability of integrating cultural, environmental, and social impacts within a single assessment process, and taking into account the fundamental components of an environmental impact assessment as described in the guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or process and in strategic environmental assessment, an integrated assessment should involve the following stages: (a) Preparatory stage: (i) Screening; (ii) Scoping; (b) Main stage: (i) Impact analysis and assessment; (ii) Consideration of mitigation measures (including not proceeding with the development, finding alternatives which avoid the impacts, incorporating safeguards in the design of the development, or providing compensation - monetary and/or nonmonetary - for adverse impacts); (c) Reporting and decision-making stage: (i) Reporting of the impact assessment study; (ii) Review of the impact assessment study; (iii) Decision-making; and (iv) Devising management and monitoring plans, including roles and responsibilities, alternative proposals and mitigation requirements and conditions; (d) Monitoring and auditing stage: Monitoring and environmental auditing. 8. As part of the above stages, the following steps may also be considered in carrying out an impact assessment for a development proposed to take place on, or which is likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities: (a) (b) (c) Notification and public consultation of the proposed development by the proponent; Identification of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders likely to be affected by the proposed development; Establishment of effective mechanisms for indigenous and local com- 8 Procedural Considerations (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) munity participation, including for the participation of women, the youth, the elderly and other vulnerable groups, in the impact assessment processes; Establishment of an agreed process for recording the views and concerns of the members of the indigenous or local community whose in
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