Session: Conservation Planning, Policy, And Theory 2
Broadening the concept of biocultural rights to value the vital links between human communities and ecosystems in the Atrato River, Colombia
Monday, August 2, 2021
Link To Share This Presentation: https://cdmcd.co/w3QMZ7
Valentina Gonzalez-Morales, Parque Omora, Instituto de Ecologia y Biodiverisdad, Puerto Williams, Chile, Alejandra Tauro, IIES (Instituto de Investigaciones eb Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Morelia, Mexico, Terra Schwerin-Rowe, Philosophy & Religion, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, Gabriel Nemogá, Master of Arts Indigenous Governance, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, Canada and Ricardo Rozzi, Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, IEB-UMAG-UNT, Denton, TX
Parque Omora, Instituto de Ecologia y Biodiverisdad Puerto Williams, Chile
Background/Question/Methods Since 2016, the Colombian Constitutional Court recognized legal personhood to the Atrato River and introduced the notion of biocultural rights Biocultural rights seek the legal protection of both ecosystems and local communities. These rights align the ESA Stewardship Initiative and the biocultural ethic that values the vital links between ecosystems and human cultures. Here, we investigate the precedents of biocultural rights in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992, the post development discourse, a third generation of human rights in the Colombian Constitution. With the conceptual framework of the biocultural ethics that integrates biophysical, cultural-linguistic -symbolic and institutional dimensions in co-inhabitation relationships (among human and other-than—human beings), we performed a comparative analysis of biocultural rights in the Colombian Constitution with (i) the CBD, and (ii) the ESA enunciation of the Earth Stewardship Initiative. The aim of this work is to broaden the spectrum of values associated with biocultural rights in legal documents as well as in international initiatives, which often focus on anthropocentric values (e.g., ecosystem services, Nature contribution to People). Through hermeneutic work, we examined biocultural rights in the Colombian Constitution, contrasting its language and values with those used in the ESA Earth Stewardship Initiative and CBD. Results/Conclusions We found that the concept of biocultural rights is not mentioned in the CBD. However, with the “3Hs” model of the biocultural ethics we identified that the CBD recognizes and values the vital links between the life habits of local communities and the conservation of the ecosystems (habitats) that they co-inhabit. This recognition aligns with the legal demand of biocultural rights. The CBD also demands equitable sharing of the benefits of biodiversity, and its Preamble affirms the intrinsic value of biodiversity in CBD’s opening sentence. However, CBD does never mention intrinsic value again, neither does it develop this concept. A major limitation in the CBD is its focus on instrumental values. For this reason, we propose that both the CBD and the Earth Stewardship ESA Initiative would benefit from more explicitly including intrinsic the value of biological and cultural diversity, as well as multiple relational values. Both post-development discourses and the biocultural ethic demand a broader set of values and worldviews to more justly, and effectively, implement biocultural rights. Intercultural dialogues among indigenous communities, policy makers and scientists could be essential to achieve this goal of a broader and more inclusive concept of biocultural rights.