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First international conference of the Forests and Communities Initiative: "Inclusive conservation: indigenous peoples and local communities at the forefront of forest protection"




From 21 to 23 November, representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities from around the world, together with experts and renowned scientists, met in Monaco at the invitation of the Forests and Communities Initiative (FCI) to address the challenges of conserving forest ecosystems through an inclusive approach. A comprehensive programme put together by the FCI, an Initiative led by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation alongside the World Commission onEnvironmental Law of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Ranger Federation (IRF), the Global Forest Coalition (GFC) and the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB). 

The day and a half of discussions ended with a call for action in favour of fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable models of forest conservation.

This message was echoed by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who reaffirmed the importance of including local communities and indigenous peoples at the heart of forest conservation strategies, despite the fact that they have long been sidelined, depriving us of their knowledge, skills and capacity for action.

The Sovereign concluded His speech by reminding us that "if we need to listen to nature with greater modesty, we also need to learn to listen better to each other, our fellow human beings from other cultures, other civilisations and other continents. At a time when our world is riven by so much hatred and misunderstanding, I believe that this message can resonate far beyond the forests for which we are gathered here today.

Taking part in this first conference were the five indigenous chiefs from the series "Les Gardiens de la Forêt" produced by ARTE and Lato-Sensu: Tumursukh Jal, Mundiya Kepanga, Twyla Edgi Masuzumi, Hilarion Kassa Moussavou known as "Mambogo" and Benki Piyãko, as well as the photographer Sebastiao Salgado, Nemonte Nenquimo Waorani, Professor Carlos A. Nobre, Juliette Biao Koudénoukpo, Txai Surui, and Tasso Azevedo.

Three panels addressed issues relating to effective forest conservation approaches based on rights and gender equality, the use of environmental law to preserve forests, and the importance of reconnecting funding and governance for indigenous peoples and local communities in forest conservation.

The conference concluded with a call for action signed by all participants,
in favour of fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable models of forest conservation.

Stay tuned for its forthcoming release…

Missed it? Watch the replay of the conference.

Photo credit: ©Philippe Fitte / FPA2