NFMV at the World Indigenous Network Conference in Darwin, Australia

Local Conservation Group work was promoted at the first World Indigenous Network Conference in Darwin Australia

The World Indigenous Network (WIN) brought together Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities land and sea managers to share stories, knowledge, cultural experiences and ideas to better manage ecosystems, protect the environment and support sustainable livelihoods.

The overall aim of the World Indigenous Network is to encourage:

  • better conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources
  • improved social cohesion
  • increased economic opportunities and the alleviation of poverty

Strong advocates at this conference included Chaske Spencer, the alpha male leader of the werewolves in the popular Twilight Saga film series.

Participants ready for the opening ceremony
Participants ready for the opening ceremony

Silio Lalaqila the Sisi Initiative Chairman of the Natewa-Tunuloa Important Bird Area (IBA) site support group, presented on ‘Sustaining biodiversity & livelihoods in the Natewa Tunuloa peninsula, Fiji’.

The Sisi Initiative was one of 25 recipients of the prestigious Equator Initiative prize in 2012, and Silio travelled to Rio de Janerio to receive it.

The WIN conference provided him a platform to share and discuss with other indigenous people from around the world lessons on forest conservation to ensure the local people get the full benefit.

Being involved in the workshop sessions and discussions ensured information exchange and valuable information’s were learnt especially in linking traditional knowledge in developing environment education toolkits.

Silio delivering his presentation
Silio delivering his presentation

Mere Valu of NFMV also presented on LCG work in particular on ‘Building grassroots support for conservation through Local Conservation Group site exchanges within Important Bird Area (IBA) sites in Fiji’.

The first ever WIN conference was attended by over 1000 participants from 50 countries around the world mainly to share lessons learnt on sea and country management.

The Equator Initiative has been chosen as the interim WIN secretariat taking over from the Ministry for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities in Australia.

The Conference was hosted by the traditional owners of Darwin, the Larrakia and the Australian Government.