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Stronger laws will aid conservation, experts tell COP11 October 14,2012   |  Source: TNN

Countries need to recognize the rights of local communities to achieve the ''Aichi Targets' (on conservation of biodiversity) by 2020, said Ashish Kothari, founder member of Indian NGO Kalpavriksh, on Saturday. Kothari was speaking at the launch of a new publication, 'Recognising and Supporting Territories and Areas Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities' at HICC, on the sidelines of the ongoing Conference of Parties (CoP-11) on biodiversity here.

The document, published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is based on a study undertaken by a consortium on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) and lists out details about the range, extent and value of these sites. It also offers lessons on how best to provide recognition to ICCAs.

Talking specifically about India, Kothari pointed out how there was a need to strengthen the legal framework of the country to bring locals into the fold for better upkeep of the environment.

Apart from suggesting an amendment to the existing Wildlife Protection Act, to include peoples' empowerment, he also stressed the need for implementing the Forest Rights Act in letter and spirit. "The Act has already done a lot of good in curbing the timber mafia and


© 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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