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17 December 2021

Human rights-based approach to safeguard biodiversity and livelihoods

La grabación está disponible en español también

With the ongoing intertwined biodiversity, climate and inequality crises in focus, this exchange aimed to bridge knowledge between communities, policy and practice actors with a focus on human rights and biodiversity protection. The exchange explored how a human rights-based approach can be “translated” into development cooperation, biodiversity policy, as the ongoing CBD negotiations, and into different local contexts across regions.

Via “bottom-up learning” messages, shared by representatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) and associated partners, the exchange further provided an opportunity for policymakers, program officers and negotiators to contextualise challenges and ways forward in safeguarding biodiversity, people’s lives and livelihoods. This includes the key roles that IPLCs and environmental human rights defenders play and the risks if their participation and rights are not sufficiently included in policy and implementation of conservation programmes. The event further opened for input from participants on related policy, practice and ways forward.

The global exchange was centered around these three questions:

  1. What is a human rights-based approach (HRBA) and how does it support biodiversity and sustainable use?
  2. What are the key roles of Indigenous peoples, local communities and environmental human rights defenders in tackling biodiversity loss?
  3. How can a HRBA for biodiversity be implemented in practice? Examples from local to global processes.


  • David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment and Associate Professor of Law, Policy, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia
  • Soo-Young Hwang, Legal Officer with UN Environment Programme
  • Anna Bolin, Programme Manager, Biodiversity and natural resources, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida
  • Joan Carling, Global Director, The Indigenous Peoples Rights International 
  • José Gualinga, one of the Leaders of the Native People of Sarayaku, an Indigenous Kichwa Group in Ecuador’s Southern Amazon
  • Matilda Månsson, Legal Advisor International Affairs at Sametinget – Sámediggi – Sámi Parliament in Sweden
  • Milka Chepkorir, Coordinator, Defending Territories of Life – ICCA Consortium and member of the Sengwer Indigenous Peoples of Cherang’any Hills, Kenya
  • Juana Esquivel, Honduran Defender of Human Rights, and our Natural and Common Resources. Founding Partner and Current Director of the San Alonso Rodríguez Foundation
  • Claudia Ituarte-Lima, Senior Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute

See full programme and go directly to the desired speaker on the SIANI YouTube channel.

Dive into the topic of human-rights based approaches and discover why they matter.

Read the news story based on the event.

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Human Rights-based approach to safeguard biodiversity and livelihoods

The Focali – SIANI Dialogue Forum, in collaboration with Sida, Swedbio, The Tenure Facility and GGBC, will arrange a global online exchange on translating a Human rights-based approach (HRBA)...

1 December 2021