New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Chapter 18: Local Peoples, Education and Finance
INTRODUCTION The long-term future of conservation is directly linked to the meaningful participation of local populations, including those which are indigenous, to ensure its success. Nongovernmental organizations also have an active part to play in this area. Additional tools of importance which help achieve these goals are the provision of conservation-based education, financial assistance and (as appropriate), technology transfer. 2. LOCAL POPULATIONS The idea of ‘popular participation’ as a necessary ingredient of sustainable development was iterated in a number of international documents leading up to the 1992 Earth Summit1 and at Rio itself, where Principle 10 of the Declaration emphasized that ‘environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant levels’.2 This type of perspective was reinforced by, inter alia, international commissions in the 1990s,3 the 1998 Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters,4 and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). It was agreed at the WSSD that ‘good governance within each country and at the international level is essential for sustainable development’5 and popular participation is the foundation of good governance. An overlapping ideal to the goal of popular participation is the preservation of knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. This ideal was iterated at the WSSD,6 following the adoption of this principle in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)7 and...
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