Conservation approaches have been moving away from the idea of “fortress protection” and its Western-inspired understanding of protecting biodiversity. There is increasing recognition that protected area management must draw on traditional knowledge and customary land rights and that consequently, local stakeholders – including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) – should have a greater say in conservation governance. This trend was clearly confirmed at the UN Biodiversity Conference, COP15, held in December 2022 in Montreal.
Still, much remains to be done. There are interesting and promising examples of IPLC-led conservation schemes or co-management between indigenous groups and the state, for example in the Peruvian Amazon. But research on these examples is still sparse, making it all the more important to investigate what potential they have, what hurdles they face, and how best to support them, so that similar schemes can be repeated elsewhere.
The overall aim of this interdisciplinary project is to examine the potential of IPLC-led governance schemes to contribute towards more just conservation. Jointly implemented by CDE and the Wyss Academy for Nature, it will draw on transdisciplinary case studies from the Peruvian Amazon to identify leverage points that can inform the design of further IPLC-led governance schemes, also in other forest frontier contexts such as in Madagascar and Laos.
Specifically, the project aims to
Wyss Academy for Nature
Dr. Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel
Prof. Dr. Julie Zähringer