Fostering Community Conservation Conference was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 4-8 July 2018.
This conference was a follow-up to the last global conference, which took place in Durban in 2015. It brought together a large number of communities and actors from around the world, who are dedicated to conserving the forests and biodiversity. Community representatives, Indigenous Peoples, women’s groups, governments, NGOs, and many other participants celebrated the invaluable contribution that community conservation has made to protecting Mother Earth.
Around the world, there is a growing concern that mainstream conservation measures have tended to marginalize the communities and Indigenous Peoples, who have lived within forest and other ecosystems for millennia. But, a slow shift in thinking is also taking place. There is growing recognition that local communities must become partners in conservation and their territorial rights must be ensured. The Global Forest Coalition has been engaged in this very process for many years in collaboration with many indigenous and non-indigenous organizations and movements through the collective effort called the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI).
The CCRI aims to make concrete policy recommendations for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Strategic Plan. The past conference contributed to a global dialogue between a diverse group of rightsholders and stakeholders on how to strengthen the resilience of community conservation initiatives in the light of the many threats they face.
CCRI has carried out bottom up assessments in 22 countries and documented the resilience of community conservation initiatives. The initiative has documented cases of community conservation from Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Nepal, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania and Uganda. The global report of the first 10 assessments was launched at the last global conference in 2015. In Montreal, there was launch the second global report which included 12 case studies.
The conference took place close to the venue of the CBD meetings, at Concordia University’s Grey Nuns Residence, 1190 rue Guy, in the centre of Montreal, unceded Indigenous territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, known as the Mohawks, which has historically been a place of meeting and exchanges between nations.