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Paths towards globally fair biodiversity conservation

The panel discussion on May 22nd focused on how cultural – especially indigenous – identities or worldviews can be linked to conservation measures and participatory, gender-responsive approaches to biodiversity conservation. 

Around 70 participants gathered on the International Day for Biological Diversity at Zukunft –Umwelt –Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH in Berlin to explore an important question for the future: How can the protection of natural resources be shaped jointly and fairly? The event involved discussions on the outcomes of the recent UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal and sought solutions for a path to globally equitable biodiversity protection. 

Focus on participatory and gender-responsive approaches 

ZUG’s Executive Director Corinna Enders and Verena Klinger-Dering, Head of Division N I 5 at the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection (BMUV), opened the event. In their welcoming statements, they focused on the question of how different identities and worldviews can be combined with an inclusive approach to nature conservation. To this end, both speakers emphasized the need for participatory and gender-responsive approaches that respect the rights of indigenous and local communities to land, territories and resources and involve them in decision-making processes.  

Video messages from Tanzania and more  

Dr. Jes Weigelt, Head of Programs at TMG Research, moderated the event, which also featured the broadcast of two video messages to the Atrium on Berlin's Stresemannstraße. The speakers were David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, and a Maasai delegation from Tanzania. The Maasai community members reported on the violent evictions from their traditional territories, which have been recurring for many years and have intensified since June 2022, and shed light on current problematic developments in the Serengeti ecosystem. 

International panel discussion  

An international panel discussion during the event delved into the practical implementation of this approach, exploring how it could and should be effectively enacted. Faith Alubbe, CEO Kenya Land Alliance, Ana Osuna Orozco, Head of Programs Rainforest Foundation UK, Roberto Maldonado, South America Officer WWF, and Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa, Head of the Indigenous Peoples Unit FAO, shared their valuable insights and perspectives on stage. The panelists discussed various solutions, encompassing respect for the rights of indigenous and local communities, inclusion of indigenous languages, a strong emphasis on community monitoring, the need to reevaluate the design of national parks, and recognition of alternative conservation approaches.  

Follow-up events from ZUG

The event highlighted the importance of biodiversity as the foundation for human well-being and a healthy planet. Worldwide, however, about one million species are currently on the verge of extinction and 25 percent of all species are endangered. Many of the funding programs and competence centers operated by ZUG help to protect biodiversity. 

ZUG continues to exchange information on relevant topics related to the protection of the environment, nature and climate. If you would like to receive further information and invitations by mail, you can subscribe here.  

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Video Messages:

David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment
Maasai delegation from Tanzania
Kader Baba, Research Associate, Country Programme Manager Benin, TMG Research


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