Indigenous and Local Knowledge of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Africa

The Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) includes as one of its operating principles the following commitment:
Recognize and respect the contribution of indigenous and local knowledge to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems.

The present document is a contribution to the IPBES regional assessment for Africa. Its aim is twofold:

▶ ▶ To assist the co-chairs, coordinating lead authors and lead authors of the regional assessment for Africa by facilitating their access to indigenous and local knowledge relevant to the assessment theme.

▶ ▶ To pilot the initial approaches and procedures for building ILK into IPBES assessments that are under development by the ILK task force in order to test their efficacy and improve the final ILK approaches and procedures that the task force will propose to the Plenary of IPBES.

To meet these two objectives in the framework of the African regional assessment, the task force on ILK implemented a step-wise process including:

▶ ▶ A global call for submissions on ILK related to biodiversity and ecosystem services in Africa;

▶ ▶ A selection of the most relevant submissions from ILK holders and experts;

▶ ▶ Organization of an Africa Dialogue Workshop (Paris, 14–16 September 2015) to bring together the selected ILK holders, ILK experts and experts on ILK with the co-chairs and several authors of the IPBES assessment report;

▶ ▶ Development of proceedings from the Africa Dialogue workshop in Paris that provide a compendium of relevant ILK for authors to consider, alongside ILK available from the scientific and grey literature, when drafting the Africa assessment report; and

▶ ▶ Organisation of local follow-up work sessions by the selected ILK holders, ILK experts and experts on ILK in order to work with their communities to address additional questions and gaps identified with authors at the Paris workshop.

These contributions from the Africa Dialogue Workshop in Paris and its various follow-up meetings, provide a compendium of ILK about biodiversity and ecosystem services in Africa that might not otherwise be available to the authors of the assessment. It complements the body of ILK on biodiversity in Africa that the authors are able to access from the scientific and grey literature.