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Meeting of the representatives of African indigenous peoples and local communities (ILCs) and Community based Organisations (CBOs) on Biocultural Community Protocols (BCPs)

2-3 September 2010, Cape Town, South Africa

  • Participants reported on and shared a variety of case studies and experiences on rights-based approaches (RBA) related to biological resources and traditional knowledge. They confirmed that BCPs improve and strengthen RBAs.
  • Based on the above, BCPs and their strategic value as an RBA to securing the rights of African ILCs to their natural resources and traditional knowledge were critically and collectively discussed and analysed. It was agreed that BCPs have a real potential to be used as community developed interface tools to bridge the gaps between ILCs and the national and international law and policy processes.


Participants agreed on use of the existing networks to allow for greater sharing and learning of experiences. It was also decided to create a network through which generated information is being made available. There remains a need for greater legal capacity and training so as to build local expertise.

Communities should continue to develop BCPs so that governments recognize and engage with BCPs. Learning from the lessons in Asia and Latin America could aid in developing good process on BCPs.

It was also decided to develop a team of resource people that will assist networks build legal capacity in the local setting. Natural Justice was mandated to co-ordinate and the ABS Initiative to support this process.

The 35 participants included 21 representatives of ILCs and CBOs from 11 African countries as well as resource persons from Natural Justice and the ABS Initiative.

Hosted and facilitated by Natural Justice.