OECMs | Growing Conservation Outside Protected Areas
Frameworks like OECMs were created to encourage an enabling environment for communities to continue to build a connected relationship with land that provides socio-economic benefits for local people, while also providing incentives for the protection of wildlife and the preservation of the natural resource base on which these communities rely. OECMs are sites outside protected areas that are governed and managed in ways that deliver long-term, in-situ biodiversity and socio-economic benefits.Read More
Economic and livelihood incentives for communities and landowners, linked to the protection of wilderness, is a win-win for both people and the planet and should be at the forefront of negotiating positions leading up to the CBD Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in September 2021, which is expected to see the establishment of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. As such, incentives need to be further encouraged for landowners to create more space for nature, help offset costs associated with the presence of wildlife on their land, and place conservancies on a path to sustainability. To achieve this there is an urgent need to unlock biodiversity-focused financing and nature-based economies for unprotected areas and OECMs.
To reach an even wider audience, and to develop materials that can be used in awareness raising and capacity sharing events, there was merit in producing a series of short films to communicate the stories. In particular, the medium of film will help convey the multiple dimensions of different governance authorities engaging with the processes associated with recognising, reporting and supporting OECMs. ReWild was tasked with communicating the stories of different OECM candidates around South Africa. ReWild visited Dixie Community and WITS Rural Campus (which both lie adjacent to the Kruger National Park), and Belfast Wetlands - these all play a vital role in creating a corridor between the natural spaces in these areas. These films haven’t been released publicly yet, but watch this space.
Building a long-term, sustainable relationship with nature both in and outside of protected areas requires allocating the necessary resources, developing capacity and empowering local leaders, and establishing tenure structures that make the communities custodians of the land. The 2021 ‘Territories of Life’ report indicated that if we are to achieve the new biodiversity targets required by an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework, a rights-based approach must be adopted, one that upholds equitable collaboration between indigenous people, local communities, governments, conservation practitioners and private actors.