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Principles for Conservation Implementation in the Pacific

Solomon Islands , Honiara Fishing village - Stuart Chape

About the Principles: A code of conduct for implementation of conservation programmes

These Principles articulate the critical components for implementing conservation projects in Pacific contexts. They are designed as a guide for designing, establishing, delivering and sustaining conservation programmes in the Pacific. They apply to all conservation initiatives undertaken in the Pacific region, not only those specifically linked to the Framework.

The nine Principles are mutually supporting, indivisible amongst themselves and are applicable across all six Strategic Objectives of the Framework. Their application will lead to enriched, more respectful relationships between conservation agencies and Pacific communities, and to a significant improvement in the conservation capacity of the region with corresponding progress towards the Vision and Goals of the Framework.

Principle 1: Community rights Pacific indigenous and local communities have the right to own, use, manage, and conserve their natural resources and wider environment.

National and international partners will actively recognise, respect and support:

  • Community property rights, including traditional rights over natural resources, and indigenous intellectual property relating to natural resources and cultural knowledge.

  • Community decision-making practices.

  • Community rights to design, prioritise, conduct, and publish research.

  • Community rights to access information available on their resources, natural cultural heritage, and society in appropriate forms of language.

  • Community rights to develop opportunities that support and sustain local livelihoods and wellbeing.

Principle 2: Conservation from Pacific perspectives Natural environments are central to the cultures, identities, livelihoods, and development opportunities of Pacific communities. Nature conservation affects all aspects of social, cultural, and economic life and must therefore align with the values, priorities, and aspirations of these communities.

National and international partners will actively recognise, respect and support:

  • Community aspirations for development and wellbeing.

  • Pacific approaches to conservation based on sustainable resource use, cultural heritage and expressions, and traditional, indigenous, and local knowledge.

  • The need of some communities to use their own languages and protocols when engaging with or undertaking conservation initiatives.

  • The importance of establishing and maintaining lasting individual and organisational relationships with Pacific communities.

Principle 3: Ownership of conservation programmes Lasting conservation in the Pacific can only be achieved if national partners and local communities lead the design, implementation, and evaluation of conservation initiatives.

National and community partners will commit to:

  • Exercising and building their capacity for leadership of conservation programmes.

  • Greater engagement and ownership of conservation within the private sector and local organisations, including cultural, spiritual, business, sporting, youth, and women’s organisations.

International partners will commit to:

  • Respecting, encouraging, and helping to build capacity for national and community partner leadership of all conservation programmes.

  • Aligning all conservation programmes, including regional and international initiatives, with national programmes, priorities, and aspirations.

  • Strengthening and resourcing national and local partners as an alternative to establishing independent institutions or infrastructure.

  • Ensuring all key programme decision-making takes place in-country alongside national and community partners, and is led by local conservation priorities.

Principle 4: Resourcing for longevity

Conservation initiatives must be adequately and appropriately resourced over time, by planning for the financial, social, organisational and cultural components of project longevity.

National and international partners will commit to:

  • Ensuring their conservation programmes are of scale and budget appropriate to the local context.

  • Long-term strategic planning and resource mobilisation that sustains conservation over time.

  • Adhering to best practices for supporting livelihoods and community wellbeing, including poverty reduction and enhancing community financial sustainability based on local biocultural resources.

  • Developing appropriate new and improving existing methods and partnerships to sustain financial investment and resources for conservation.

  • Ensuring that locally specific social, cultural, and equity factors are considered when decisions are made about conservation financing.

Principle 5: Good governance and accountability Conservation is inclusive, participatory, accountable, transparent, equitable, and open to stakeholder scrutiny.

National and international partners will commit to:

  • Reinforcing inclusive and participatory approaches by involving all stakeholders, particularly community representatives, when designing, implementing, communicating, assessing, and reporting on conservation programmes.

  • Ensuring systems are in place to enable full transparency and accountability to the people affected by conservation programme implementation and environmental regulatory services.

  • Recognising and applying inter-generational equity and gender equality principles in all activities.

  • Promoting and supporting cost-effective scaling up and adoption of best-practice conservation models.

  • Developing and implementing durable, effective policies which are integrated across government agencies and governance levels.

National partners will commit to:

  • Setting clear and standard processes for the establishment, operation, and accountability of international partners through formal agreements. These agreements should include a Code of Conduct with defined consequences for breaches and mechanisms to ensure transparency of operations.

  • Establishing systems to register the conservation activities of all partners against national and local priorities, such as NBSAPs.

  • Setting easily measured benchmarks to ensure progress against defined conservation objectives, with each partner held accountable for its commitments and progress.

International partners will commit to:

  • Adopting systems that ensure transparency and accountability of their programmes at a national level.

  • Providing timely, transparent, and comprehensive reporting on conservation programmes to national partners, including reporting on implementation of NBSAP priorities. Appropriate reporting must also be provided to community partners.

Principle 6: Coordination and collaboration Conservation is more effective when partners coordinate, collaborate and work within a strategic framework.

National partners will commit to:

  • Ensuring NBSAPs and locally devised conservation programmes are strategic, focused, and set clear local priorities for action.

  • Taking a leadership role in coordinating all partners, including by providing national and local focal points for coordinating NBSAP and other programme implementation.

International partners will commit to:

  • Working within the legislation, policies, strategies, programmes, and priorities established by national partners.

  • Working with each other to ensure collaborative analysis, strategies, agreed priorities, and coordination of political engagement to avoid duplication or inconsistencies.

  • Avoiding programming that competes with national partners for projects and funding.

  • Strengthening existing and cultivating new partnerships that are culturally oriented, innovative, and results driven.

  • Working to integrate environmental datasets and other forms of relevant information, and making this available in accessible formats to national and community partners.

Principle 7: Growing Pacific capacity Increasing national, sub-national and community capacity to design, prioritise, direct, manage, implement, monitor and evaluate conservation programmes.

National partners and communities will commit to:

  • Building effective and sustainable conservation capability and organisations through ongoing capacity development.

  • Ensuring conservation is continuously improved by recording, disseminating, and incorporating lessons learned and best practices.

  • Building capacity with and within local organisations, such as cultural, faith-based, sporting, youth, and women’s organisations, as well as the private sector.

  • Enhancing the capacity of conservation practitioners to use appropriate concepts and tools, including those of the private sector.

International partners will commit to:

  • Supporting national partners in their efforts to build effective and sustainable institutions.

  • Supporting national partners and communities in their efforts to develop core competencies such as leadership, project management, scientific monitoring, and financing.

  • Ensuring their presence in-country does not undermine national and local institution-building or capacity development.

  • Contributing to national and community partners’ best practice by recording, disseminating, and implementing lessons learned.

Principle 8: Reinforcing resilience Implementing nature conservation that supports the resilience and wellbeing of Pacific communities in the face of sudden or long-term disruption.

National and international partners will commit to:

  • Programmes and projects which focus on building resilience and adaptive capacity in Pacific communities, cultures and environments.

  • Promoting innovative, community-based, and culturally grounded natural solutions, drawing on appropriate learning networks and the best available knowledge.

  • Supporting communities to implement conservation activities by applying approaches and principles of ecosystem-based management and adaptation to their local context.

  • Safeguarding traditional, indigenous and local knowledge, and supporting communities to utilise this knowledge for resilience and adaptation.

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