Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law
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Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law

Alexander Gillespie

This important and timely book provides a rigorous overview of the defining issues presently facing conservation at international level. The author provides detailed coverage of topics ranging from the classification of species right through to access and benefit sharing, drawing on his personal experience at intergovernmental level. Each question is examined through the prism of dozens of treaties and hundreds of decisions and resolutions of the key multilateral regimes, and the law in each area is supplemented by the necessary considerations of science, politics and philosophy – providing much-needed context for the reader.
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Chapter 18: Local Peoples, Education and Finance

Alexander Gillespie


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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