Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Target 22. Ensure participation, justice, and rights for indigenous peoples and local communities, women, youth persons with disabilities and environmental defenders

Ensure the full, equitable, inclusive, effective and gender-responsive representation and participation in decision-making, and access to justice and information related to biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities, respecting their cultures and their rights over lands, territories, resources, and traditional knowledge, as well as by women and girls, children and youth, and persons with disabilities and ensure the full protection of environmental human rights defenders.

Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 22

Indigenous peoples and local communities have a cultural and holistic understanding of nature  based on their traditional knowledge, practices and innovation. This information and understanding of biodiversity in turn play a crucial role in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The insights of indigenous and local communities on local ecosystems play a fundamental role in developing conservation initiatives that integrate cultural values and traditional governance systems, including sustainable use such as resource management techniques, traditional hunting and fishing, and elective harvesting. Further, their lands encompass diverse ecosystems, ranging from forests and wetlands to mountains and coastal areas with high concentrations of biodiversity and often promote sustainable land use, including agroforestry, rotational farming and community-based conservation management systems. Involving indigenous peoples and local communities in biodiversity conservation and the recognition of their perspectives and expertise can contribute to the development of context-specific and effective conservation strategies. 

The target also recognizes the importance of meaningful participation of women and girls, as well as the inclusion of children, youth and persons with disabilities, in promoting social equity and empowering these groups to actively contribute to biodiversity conservation. It also highlights the need to protect environmental human rights defenders as they are at the forefront of protecting biodiversity by monitoring and exposing environmental violations, promoting sustainable practices and advocating for a human rights-based approach to conservation efforts. 

Target 22 aims at ensuring the full, equitable, and inclusive representation and participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making processes related to biodiversity as well as to foster inclusive, participatory and rights-based approaches to biodiversity conservation. This target identifies several elements to accomplish this:

  • Participation of indigenous peoples and local communities – This part of the target refers to the need to ensure the active involvement and engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making processes. It acknowledges their right to participate in decisions affecting their way of life, customs and resources. 
  • Access to justice and information –Strengthened access to judicial systems and information on environmental matters is a key element of ensuring the full, equitable, and inclusive representation and participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and protecting environmental human rights defenders. This part of the target call for measures to be put in place to ensure transparency, accountability, and participation in decision-making processes.  
  • Rights of indigenous peoples and local communities over their cultures, lands, territories, resources and traditional knowledge – This part of the target pertains to recognizing and upholding the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities  as outlined in other international frameworks, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and human rights law, including respecting their right to own, use, develop and control their lands, territories, and resources.
  • Rights of women and girls, children and youth, and persons with disabilities – Individuals living in vulnerable situations often do not enjoy rights or access to biodiversity and resources. In many places this includes women and girls, children and youth, and persons with disabilities. This target calls for measures to ensure that individuals belonging to these groups enjoys the same rights and access as others. 
  • Full protection of environmental human rights defenders  This part of the target refers to measures that can be taken to safeguard individuals or groups who work to protect the environment, advocate for environmental justice, and defend the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. Key aspects of protecting environmental human rights defenders could include but are not limited to: preventing violence and intimidation by providing legal protection, effective remedies and secure exercise of their rights free from reprisals and retaliation, and raising awareness about the important role of environmental human rights defenders.
  • Actions to reach Target 22 should take into account the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. 
  • Progress towards Target 22 will directly support the attainment of all goals and targets.  However, progress towards this target is particularly relevant for the achievement of targets 13591321 and 23. Conversely, progress towards targets 21 and 23 will support progress towards this target. 
  • Target 22 addresses issues that were also addressed by Aichi Biodiversity Target 18.
  • Elements of Target 22 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, including targets 1.45.5, 5.a10.2, 10.316.3, 16.7, and 16.10.   
  • What processes or mechanisms are in place or should be put in place to ensure the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making processes? 
  • What legislative, regulatory and policy measures can be put in place to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities over their lands, territories, and resources? 
  • What mechanisms should be put in place with a view to recognizing indigenous and traditional territories in area-based conservation?
  • How could gender equality and participation of women and girls in biodiversity-related decision-making processes be promoted? How could the participation of children and youth be ensured? How could the participation of persons with disabilities be ensured?
  • What measures are in place the ensure the full protection of environmental human rights defenders? How do the existing mechanism address and respond to threats and attacks against human rights defenders? How could their effectiveness be improved?
  • What mechanisms can be adopted to ensure timely and accurate information and access to justice for environmental human rights defenders? 

The monitoring framework for the Montreal-Kunming Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicators for this target:

Component indicators:

  • Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, (a) with legally recognized documentation, and (b) who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and type of tenure. 

Complimentary indicators:

  • Percentage of positions in national and local institutions, including (a) the legislatures; (b) the public service; and (c) the judiciary, compared to national distributions, by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups. 
  • Number of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure tenure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure 
  • Number of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control. 
  • Number of protected areas that have completed a site-level assessment of governance and equity (SAGE)
  • Trends in number of environmental human rights defenders killed annually, disaggregated by country, gender; number of indigenous environmental human rights defenders killed. 
  • Land tenure in the traditional territories of indigenous peoples and local communities by sex and type of tenure Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group.

In addition to the indicators identified in Decision 15/6, four indicators for traditional knowledge were adopted in  decisions XIII/28, and 15/22:

  • Trends in linguistic diversity and numbers of speakers of indigenous languages; 
  • Trends in land-use change and land tenure in the traditional territories of indigenous peoples and local communities. 
  • Trends in the practice of traditional occupations; and 
  • Trends in degree to which traditional knowledge and practices are respected, through the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and safeguards in national implementation of the Strategic Plan. 

Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5