The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and UNESCO, together with a number of partners, including FAO GIAHS, the World Indigenous and Local Community Land and Sea Managers Network (WIN/EI/UNDP), the ICCA Consortium, the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, and CBD Korean Civil Network and local communities, organized a weekend of activities during CBD COP 12 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, with the purpose of investigating the links between biological diversity and cultural diversity.
Mr. William Dunbar, Communications Expert at the IPSI Secretariat at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), was invited to participate in the event by contributing the perspective of the Satoyama Initiative as it applies to both biological and cultural diversity. Mr. Dunbar spoke during a session titled “The Power of Local Action for Biodiversity”, explaining how local peoples’ control over the resources in their own landscapes and seascapes results in the most effective resources management. An interesting complementary example was provided by the other panelists, some of whom were involved in production activities in the Demilitarized Zone on the Korean Peninsula, where political disputes prevent people from having autonomous local control of their landscape.
In addition to presentations and panel sessions, the weekend included an excursion to the nearby Woljeong Temple, which is surrounded by National Park land, and where participants were given a tour, locavore vegetarian lunch, and presentations by the temple staff including the launch of the “2014 Pyeongchang Buddhist Declaration for Life-Peace”, with some panelists involved in faith-based initiatives promoting biodiversity. Many other IPSI partners and friends were involved in the weekend activities, including the GEF Secretariat, Asosiacion ANDES, the Forest Peoples Programme, and TEBTEBBA, so the weekend served as a fruitful complement to the negotiations at CBD COP 12.
More information, including the weekend programme and key messages identified, can be found on the Convention on Biological Diversity website.