CITES – While there is movement, there is inertia in including indigenous youth

When the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted in March 1973, the discourse on including indigenous peoples into the decision-making processes was just emerging. Now, almost 50 years later, CITES has become a fierce battleground of competing interests, similar, yet not quite as bad, as in …

Youth is becoming ever more important for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat - commonly referred to as the Ramsar Convention - is one of the oldest multilateral biodiversity treaties in the world. It was concluded already in 1971 and has 171 parties. These 171 parties decide which wetland areas under their jurisdiction is to be …

The Saami Council’s Arctic Strategy — Partnership, Education and Advocacy

The Saami Council released the Sámi Arctic Strategy during the EU Arctic Forum in Umeå, Sweden, in early October 2019. It is the second Arctic indigenous people's strategic document, which has been released, following the 2016 Inuit Declaration on Arctic Sovereignty. While structurally and in scope different, these two documents demonstrate the increasing role indigenous …

The Rural North – Opportunities and Challenges for Scottish and Arctic Communities

Image by Bill Kasman from Pixabay. Disclaimer: This post has originally been published for Polar Connection. Introduction The recently released Scottish Arctic Policy Framework provides significant insight into the parallel challenges and opportunities that both Scotland and the Arctic region face. In this post, I will focus on the role of local (rural) communities. In the …

Where conservation efforts and conservation collide? The tension between tackling immediate and long-term threats

In a recent opinion piece in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, entitled Integrating Proximal and Horizon Threats to Biodiversity for Conservation (Bonebrake et al., 2019), the authors propose a rather new way of addressing conservation efforts. Their main argument rests in the assertion that there is no such thing as a 'major' threat to biodiversity, …

Canada becomes third party to ratify commercial fishing regulation in the Central Arctic Ocean

The protection of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction is an issue of immense importance for global conservation efforts. After all, around 61% of the world's oceans are areas which are not part of any state's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which makes them in principle susceptible to uncontrolled commercial exploitation. The Arctic has seen …

A thin Arctic statement, and a thick worrying report

The second week of May 2019 started with two important events: the release of a summary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' (IPBES) Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; and the Eleventh Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council (AC). These two events are crucial events for the advancement of our …

Guyana becomes first state to ratify Escazú Agreement!

The process towards respect towards and inclusion of local populations in the decision-making processes on environmental matters has taken another major leap forward: Guyana has ratified the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (Escazú Agreement; text of the Agreement in English here). …