Conservation is a hot topic, particularly in light of the ongoing biodiversity crisis. The issue is foremost at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) where protected areas form part of the negotiations for a new global biodiversity framework.
The diversity of ecosystems, species and genetic resources, is the foundation of life; we cannot live without it. But human activity is at odds with biodiversity, due to an ever-increasing upward spiral of growth and consumption and an ever stronger exploitation of resources and natural habitats. Protected areas can and in some cases are a force for good, but many interpretations are irreversibly damaging to biodiversity and the very people who protect it.
In this position paper we outline the model and conditions needed to ensure that protected areas result in a better conservation system than the present one. We need a rights-based approach to conservation and protected areas, that truly protects biodiversity and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.