Germany supporting nature conservation efforts by Indigenous Peoples and local communities
The German Federal Government backs nature conservation which also offers prospects for local people. In the context of the Biodiversity Conference in Montreal/Canada in mid-December 2022, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke and Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze therefore made new pledges to provide around 85 million euros to strengthen indigenous and local communities.
The major share of the Earth’s biological diversity is in developing countries and emerging economies: species-rich areas needing protection in which humans live, too – Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Protecting nature also has to be worthwhile for them and offer them development prospects, especially through active management of protected areas, which includes sustainable use.
Indigenous Peoples must have a say
Federal Environment Minister Lemke and Federal Development Minister Schulze therefore stressed at CBD-COP15 that Indigenous Peoples and local communities were entitled to having a say in nature conservation, and that their land rights and rights of usufruct must be secured. Germany was insisting on this in the negotiations at the Biodiversity Conference.
In order to also support this being implemented, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUV) and the Federal Development Ministry (BMZ) are investing a total of around 85 million euros in measures to strengthen Indigenous Peoples and local communities. While these are among the best and most knowledgeable nature conservationists, they often lack land rights, having a say in the management of protected areas or access to reasonable remuneration of valuable nature conservation services, the BMUV and the BMZ maintain.
In accordance with an announcement by the two ministries on the 15th December, part of the German financing goes into a World Bank fund called EnABLE which promotes equal access for Indigenous Peoples and local communities to biodiversity and climate finance.
Finance to be provided for land rights and nature conservation
Other BMZ funds are to go to the Community Land Rights and Conservation Finance Initiative (CLARIFI), which promotes the formal recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ land rights and supports the nature conservation plans of local communities.
In addition, the UNDP Equator Initiative, which rewards the services of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and promotes networking of communities with the United Nations, governments, civil society and business, is to receive finance.
Furthermore, a new Climate Investment Fund investment programme is to be supported which can also administrate direct payments to Indigenous Peoples and local communities for their nature conservation services and coping with climate change.
BMZ investment totals around 63 million euros, all of it aimed at strengthening the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in international nature conservation. Planned additional finance is to be provided once Germany’s 2023 budget has entered into force.
The BMUV, for its part, announced in Montreal that it would step up its financing of the Global ICCA Support Initiative, emphasising its engagement for the implementation of what is known as the 30 by 30 conservation target in cooperation with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. In the new phase, with 22 million euros, the Initiative will further strengthen the role of ICCAs (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas).
With this type of protected area, the implementation of two central goals of the new covenant on biological diversity is supported. Both the 30 by 30 conservation target, seeking 30 per cent of terrestrial and marine areas being protected by 2030, and equal as well as effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in decision-making processes and the observance of their rights to land, territories and natural resources are to benefit from it.