New report on the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in wetland management

The wise and customary use of wetlands by indigenous peoples and local communities can play an important role in the conservation of wetlands.

In this respect, the Ramsar Convention has just published a new report with the support of MAVA on this very subject.

The publication is divided into the four following sections:

1) a review of the Ramsar Convention’s policy framework;

2) an analysis of lessons learned from national experiences;

3) thoughts on the way forward, including new developments in environmental policy processes and international law and practice; and

4) options for action.

Today, there are an estimated 370 million indigenous peoples across the world. Although they represent a relatively small portion of the global population, they account for the largest portion of linguistic and cultural diversity on Earth. The lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous peoples are also estimated to contain the majority of the world’s remaining biodiversity.

As the wetlands protected under the Ramsar Convention cover an area larger than Mexico (over 245,614,112 ha), Ramsar Sites overlap with the territories and lands of numerous indigenous peoples and local communities. Their wise and customary use of wetlands can therefore play and important role in the conservation of these ecosystems.

Co-authored by Gonzalo Oviedo, who is managing MAVA’s action plan on the promotion of sustainable land-use practices, the report can be downloaded here.

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