Reflecting on multi-level governance from the experience of rights-based community conservation
There is growing recognition of the need for global biosphere stewardship to address environmental crises like climate change and biodiversity loss. Scholarship and practice over several decades has highlighted the role that community conservation initiatives play in enhancing resilience at the local level through more sustainable, biocultural approaches, contributing to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Multi-level and interactional governance models are proposed as vehicles to link such local conservation initiatives to regional, national and international environmental governance regimes. Yet multi-level governance models tend to emphasise the global linking down through the national to the local and may be blind to power imbalances between local rightsholders and global stakeholders. There is significant risk, therefore, that if land is governed to serve primarily global objectives, the rights and interests of local rightsholders related to those lands become marginalised. This is particularly problematic in the forest and agriculture sector, as the rightsholders that depend most on forests and sustainable agriculture tend to be politically and economically marginalised groups like Indigenous Peoples, women and smallholder farmers. These marginalized groups often do not have a place at the global negotiating table, and their experiences remain hidden, perpetuating the failure of States to prioritize the formal and customary land tenure rights of those that depend most directly on it for their livelihoods. In this paper we analyse the tensions that arise in multi-scale governance proposals within the climate regime from the experience of supporting bottom-up and rights-based governance approaches. We explore tools such as participatory community conservation resilience assessments, indigenous and local conserved territories and areas (ICCAs), and multi-actor dialogues within global negotiating processes and share learning and recommendations on how to build rights-based and inclusive multi-level environmental stewardship.
Contributed session oral presentation
Room 24/25 (70)
Maria Tengö, Rosemary Hill
Wednesday, 23 August
09:00 - 10:30
09:00 - 10:30