Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



Mr. Asebey: I agree with Professor Tinker absolutely about indigenous rights. But one thing we did not focus on very much, and I think is one of the most important aspects of conservation, is not how many species are or are not lost, and what the satisfactorily verifiable data establishes. If you go to Latin American and other developing countries, the people closest to biodiversity are the people who are most impacted by deforestation and some other destructive uses. These people who depend on the forest or the biosystems for their living, for their survival, they are being displaced all the time. In Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, and other states, the governments are often at odds with the interests of indigenous people. Signing a great Convention with the government will not take care of the interests of indigenous people. If you look at the Convention from a Southern perspective, the number one impact is deforestation. In our academic and scientific centers, we get the statistics on the number of species and related information, and I think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that the real issue in developing countries is people. We not only have recognition here in Article 8, but also the means for giving a real voice to indigenous peoples throughout the world. That is something I would like to have seen.