International Policy Concerns

Ban Ki-moon Urges Leaders to Ensure that Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Cultural Contributions Remain Central in Combating Climate Change
By: Øyvind Ravna
Arctic Review on Law and Politics, 7(2):199-200
Key words: Climate change, Indigenous peoples’ rights
On 8 October 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon received the Arctic Circle Prize 2016 for his leadership in bringing together world leaders for the Paris climate agreement. The Secretary-General gave an impressive acceptance speech at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, which addressed the challenges facing the global community created by rapidly increasing climate change.

Committing to Ecological Restoration: Efforts around the Globe Need Legal and Policy Clarification
By: Katharine Suding, Eric Higgs, Margaret Palmer, J. Baird Callicott, Christopher B. Anderson, Matthew Baker, John J. Gutrich, Kelly L. Hondula, Matthew C. LaFevor, Brendon M. H. Larson, Alan Randall, J. B. Ruhl, & Katrina Z. S. Schwartz
Conservation, 348(6235): 638-640
Key words: Ecosystem restoration, environmental policy
At the September 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, governments rallied around an international agreement- the New York Declaration on Forests-that underscored restoration of degraded ecosystems as an auspicious solution to climate change. In total, parties committed to restore a staggering 350 million hectares by 2030. The ambition affirms restoration’s growing importance in environmental policy. Achieving this promise requires careful thought about how we restore ecosystems. Authors outline four core principles of scientifically based, workable, and comprehensive restoration that can provide appropriate best practice guidelines in legal, policy, and planning efforts.

The Right to be a Part of Nature: Indigenous Peoples and the Environment
By: Leena Heinämäki
Lapland University Press
Key words: Canada, international law, Arctic, United Nations, human rights, environmental law
This dissertation focuses on international law regarding human rights, the general public, and environmental law as they relate to the protection of indigenous people.

Anticolonial Strategies for the Recovery and Maintenance of Indigenous Knowledge
By: Leanne R. Simpson
The American Indian Quarterly, 28.3&4: 373-384
Keywords: Indigenous peoples, traditional knowledge, ecological sustainability, applied ecology, Native Americans, state government, biodiversity, conservation biology, occupied territories, territories
Indigenous thinkers have advocated for the recovery and promotion of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge (IK) systems as an important process in decolonizing Indigenous nations and their relationships with settler governments, whether those strategies are applied to political and legal systems, governance, health and wellness, education, or the environment. Recovering and maintaining Indigenous worldviews, philosophies, and ways of knowing and applying those teachings in a contemporary context represents a web of liberation strategies Indigenous Peoples can employ to disentangle themselves from the oppressive control of colonizing state governments. Combined with the political drive toward self-determination, these strategies mark resistance to cultural genocide, vitalize an agenda to rebuild strong and sustainable Indigenous national territories, and promote a just relationship with neighboring states based on the notions of peace and just coexistence embodied in Indigenous Knowledge and encoded in the original treaties.

Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous & Local Communities: International Debate & Policy Initiatives
By: Francesco Mauro & Preston Hardison
Ecological Applications, 10(5): 1263-1269
October 2000
Keywords: Biodiversity; conservation, sustainable use, Convention on Biological Diversity, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous peoples and communities, local communities, sustainable development, Traditional Ecological Knowledge
This paper reviews international law and policy regarding the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities that are defining the role of traditional and indigenous knowledge in the management and conservation of biodiversity. The most influential forums occur within the United Nations system, particularly the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and the Convention on Biological Diversity. We discuss the “soft-law” context of declarations, regional agreements, ethical guidelines, research protocols, and policy frameworks, which reinforce indigenous entitlements. The elaboration of these rights will increasingly impinge upon scientific research by regulating access to the knowledge and resources of indigenous and local communities, and by requiring that policy and management be made with their full participation. Scientists should respond by following these developments, institutionalizing this participation at all levels of scientific activity, and respecting the value of indigenous knowledge.

Last updated: November 8, 2018