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Participation of IPLC in IPBES

Background

Participation of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) is crucial for developing IPBES assessments and other activities in ways that recognize the role of Indigenous and local knowledge in biodiversity conservation, as well as current challenges faced by IPLC, and ways forward. This allows IPBES assessments and other activities to be of relevance not only to policy makers, but also to IPLC themselves. 

As agreed at the fifth IPBES plenary, IPBES has been working to develop a “participatory mechanism” – a series of methodologies and pathways to facilitate the effective engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities and their organizations or networks in IPBES assessments and other areas of work. This is, so far, the most ambitious effort of an intergovernmental platform to bring ILK to the core of large-scale assessments. 

How can IPLC participate in IPBES assessments and other areas of work?

The task force on indigenous and local knowledge currently has six indigenous members (you can see the task force members here). The task force membership is renewed periodically, and a call for nominations will be sent out.

Developing methods for IPLC participation in global-scale IPBES assessments is still a work in progress, and we are learning with each new activity and assessment. Avenues for IPLC participation in assessments currently include:

  • Participation in scoping for new assessments: Indigenous and local knowledge experts can participate in the scoping processes for upcoming IPBES assessments. Calls for nominations are sent out prior to the formation of scoping working groups.
  • Participation as authors - there are several ways that IPLC can participate as authors:
    • Authors on assessment teams: IPLC can apply to be nominated by governments or organizations to be on the author teams of upcoming IPBES assessments. Calls for nominations are sent out prior to the assessments starting.
    • Contributing authors: IPLC can participate as contributing authors for different chapters of an assessment. This can include providing case studies that illustrate key issues or themes of an assessment, or working on portions of text with assessment authors.
    • Fellows: Early career IPLC experts can engage in the assessment process through the IPBES fellowship programme. Calls for nominations of fellows are sent out prior to assessments starting.
  • Indigenous and local knowledge dialogue workshops: these usually last one or more days, and bring together IPLC and assessment authors to discuss, provide input to, review and potentially co-produce content for an assessment. At least three global dialogue workshops are held during each assessment process:
    • A first dialogue takes place as soon as possible within the assessment process, and aims to engage IPLC in framing the methods, key questions and themes for the assessment.
    • A second dialogue takes place during the first order draft review period, and engages IPLC in critically reviewing the content of the drafts, assessing strengths, gaps, and providing recommendations for additional sources of information.
    • A third dialogue takes place during the second order draft review period, and engages IPLC in critically reviewing the content of the drafts, assessing strengths, gaps, and providing recommendations for additional sources of information.
    • Other dialogues may be arranged during the course of the assessment, including at national and regional levels.
  • Online call for contributions: An on-line call for contributions is opened for each assessment, giving an opportunity for IPLC to provide information or case studies, and also to recommend networks, organizations or individuals who could be engaged with during the assessment process. Contributions could include community reports, academic papers, case studies, videos, songs and artworks. The calls are available in English, Spanish and French.
  • Online review periods: Online reviews of first and second order drafts of assessments are conducted by making the drafts available online on the IPBES website and inviting comments by reviewers. IPLC are invited to engage in these review processes of IPBES assessments. Collaboration among IPLC or their organizations to create group consensus comments is also encouraged. Each comment submitted is specifically addressed by IPBES author teams.
  • Outreach and follow up after assessments: IPBES will organize a series of activities after its assessments are completed, including working with IPLC to develop materials specifically for IPLC.

To connect with IPBES you can register as an IPBES Stakeholder. It is free and you receive regular information about the work of IPBES as well as opportunities to get involved. To register please go to www.ipbes.net/stakeholders.