Legalizing community rights to resource use

Honouring communal enterprises
Providing legal security for communal property holdings
Recognizing local biodiversity legal rights
Protecting local biological diversity through law
Defending local legislative protection for biodiversity
Protecting common property rights to biodiversity
The [Convention on Biological Diversity] (CBD) recognises the sovereign rights of local communities to local biological resources and knowledge. These rights over biodiversity and biodiversity-related knowledge are inalienable.

The current World Trade Organization (WTO) [Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreements] (TRIPs) infringe upon the [Common Property Rights] (CPRs) to biodiversity and biodiversity-related knowledge by recognising only the private property rights as enshrined in the culturally biased system of the Western industrialised states.

The [Convention on Biological Diversity] reaffirms that States have sovereign rights over their own biological resources.

India and its laws recognise the jurisdiction of local communities over the biodiversity in their area. As per the amendment in the Constitution of India, inserted by the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992, the Panchayati Raj system for decentralised democracy for the rural areas has been reinforced. As per a further Amendment in 1996 the Gram Sabha (the village community) is the highest competent authority to take decisions on natural resources at the grassroots' level. The national government has also reiterated this by declaring the year 1999-2000 as the "Year of the Gram Sabha". The jurisdiction of the Gram Sabha on the biodiversity and the biodiversity-related knowledge are inalienable.

It has been argued that landowners have little incentive to invest in long-term measures such as soil conservation if they do not have the right to sell or transfer their land, and thus cannot realize the value of any improvements. This is patently false, since the best examples of soil conservation -- such as the hill-terraces of the Himalaya -- have been realized for precisely the opposite reasons. Communities who are not threatened by alienation of resources and their benefits have the long-term possibility and interest to conserve them.
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions