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19 -23 April 2017; Cusco, PERU - ICCA-GSI supported a workshop to consolidate and strengthen the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples’ (INMIP) Adaptation Programme and global South-South exchange platform through a process that develops i) the relevant capacity for communities and civil society stakeholders, and accordingly strengthen their networking, and ii) the collaboration with government entities in the use of indicator information for sustainable development of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in mountain and high altitude environments.

Workshop Participation and Activities:
The 5-day workshop was co-organized by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) and Asociación Andes through global/regional grants from the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), an ICCA-GSI partner. Over 100 indigenous people representing 39 mountain communities from Bhutan, China, India, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Thailand joined 26 representatives from civil society, research, government and donor organizations to discuss the role of indigenous and modern knowledge systems in improving the well-being of mountain communities in the face of climate change.

Fernando León, Peru’s Environment Vice-Minister, opened the session by announcing that the Potato Park would be the first area to be legally-recognized under Peru’s new law on Agrobiodiversity Zones. This would set a precedent for legal recognition of the country’s bio-cultural heritage territories. The first day of the workshop entailed a multi-stakeholder dialogue on ‘Indigenous and modern knowledge systems: Challenges and opportunities for the well-being of mountain communities towards 2050’ and was followed by a 2-day particpatory training on Resilient Biocultural Landscapes in Potato Park.

The discussion points on the ‘Indigenous and modern knowledge systems: Challenges and opportunities for the well-being of mountain communities towards 2050’ dialogue included: (i.) the development of culturally-led responses for climate-resilient development and articulation with indigenous peoples, also referred to as Life Plans, given by the representatives from the Ministry of Culture; (ii.) the Peruvian government’s initiatives in the Apurimac region to support afforestation by indigenous peoples using native species for mitigation and adaptation to climate change; (iii.) the experiences with biocultural landscapes in Papua New Guinea (PNG), given by the INMIP representative from PNG; (iv.) Participatory Plant Breeding in Yunnan, China, given by Naxi women; (v.) the role of Lepcha customary laws and practices in conservation of natural resources, given by an IP representative from the eastern Himalayas, India; and (vi.) an overview of the Kyrgyzstan’s biocultural heritage, given by an INMIP representative from the country; (vii.) establishing a community monitoring system for the progress towards the Aichi Targets 11, 14 and 18 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are linked to government planning and policy-making.

Subsequently, the two-day training focused on methods and tools for establishing biocultural heritage landscapes. The training was given by indigenous representatives from the Potato Park, with translations provided by the INMIP coordinator, and delivered as participants walked through the landscapes of five different Potato Park communities. Discussion points included: (i.) community planning; (ii.) assessment of Biocultural Heritage Territories (BCHT) proposal, research and organization of resources; (iii.) implementation of Biocultural Territories; (iv.) assessing progress and impacts and scaling up; (v.) consolidating and strengthening INMIP and communications; and (vi.) community database and monitoring system.

Outcomes: As a result of these workshops, INMIP’s vision, objectives and a 5-year Strategic Plan were developed with key activities identified, particularly for the coming year. A Potato Park Declaration was also drafted by participants. Additionally, the concept of Biocultural Heritage as discussed in the workshop has been published online by IIED in two languages: English and Spanish.

For more information on ICCA-GSI, please click here.
To download the workshop report, please click here.