Rights-Based Conservation: The path to preserving Earth’s biological and cultural diversity?

Author: Rights and Resources Initiative

Date: November 24, 2020

This report is informed by the imperative to prevent the collapse of biodiversity while respecting the tenure and human rights of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), local communities (LCs), and Afrodescendant Peoples (ADPs). It seeks to highlight the risks and opportunities for IPs, LCs, and ADPs arising out of the proposed expansion of conservation areas by asking the following questions:

  1. How many people live within important biodiversity conservation areas (see table of key terms), including existing protected areas that could be affected by future conservation action required to meet biodiversity protection imperatives?
  2. What is the distribution of people living in important biodiversity conservation areas
    according to income status of countries?
  3. As a notional exercise, what could be the potential financial cost of exclusionary conservation practices applied to all high biodiversity value terrestrial areas?
  4. What are the costs and benefits of community rights-based conservation as an alternate pathway for expansion of areas under conservation to meet biodiversity goals?
  5. To what extent would recognizing and enforcing the collective tenure rights of IPs, LCs, and ADPs contribute towards area-based targets for conservation?

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