Biocultural Community Protocols : Bridging the Gap Between Customary, National and International Law
Posted 11 August 2011, by Mikey Salter and Johanna von Braun, Effectius, effectius.com
(see link below for full paper)
Over the last two decades as a result of the indigenous people’s rights movement a new cluster of rights has emerged that falls under the broad category of group or collective rights, but makes a specific link to conservation and the sustainable use of biological diversity. These are referred to as biocultural rights (BCRs), and they acknowledge the relationship between communities, resources and culture in areas where communities have historically been stewards of common lands because of their reliance on the ecosystem that surrounds them. According to this belief, biocultural rights, by protecting the way of life of indigenous peoples and local communities, protect the ecosystems that surround such communities.
Though biocultural rights make the link between the community and ecosystems through the assertion of a bundle of property rights, the spirit of these rights is not purely a property claim. Unlike the typical market view of property as universally commensurable, commodifiable and alienable, biocultural assertions of property rights are property claims in the form of use, stewardship and fiduciary rights. The “peoplehood” of biocultural communities is integrally linked to their rights to stewardship of their lands and their related traditional knowledge through a complex system of customary use rights and fiduciary duties.
Download the full paper in .pdf format here.