Pre-conference Workshops

Biocultural Community Protocols  (BCPs) - A Tool for Securing the Rights of Pastoralists and Livestock Keepers for In-situ Conservation and Access to Common Property Resources

General Description
Biocultural community protocols (BCPs) are a new concept that was recently developed by legal experts seeking to utilize some the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the benefit of biodiversity conserving communities. They were initially conceived to enable and empower communities to negotiate more cogently in Access and Benefit-sharing agreements under Article 8j of the CBD. However, they are also showing signs of being an extremely useful tool for pastoralists to invoke their rights for in-situ conservation of common property resources including animal genetic resources and of eco-systems under the same article of the CBD. Since the first BCP was established by the Raika pastoralists of Rajasthan in June 2009, a number of other communities have followed suit in India, Pakistan and Kenya, and the approach has met an overwhelming response.

BCPs at their heart are a community led rights based approach that seeks to secure in law the 8 design principles for stable management and control of common property resources outlined by Elinor Ostrom.

Target Workshop Participants
Researchers, Policy makers, Practitioners and all concerned interested in pastoralism and conservation, especially community conserved areas

Course Goals
  • To share information about this new tool
  • To interest practitioners in facilitating Biocultural Community protocols
  • To link Biocultural Community Protocols to the implementation of Livestock Keepers’ Rights
  • To discuss the potential of Biocultural Community Protocols in securing the stable management of common property resources

Agenda and Topics

  • Overview about the existing experiences with developing Biocultural Community protocols
  • Current legal status – as decided upon at the COP 10 of the CBD in Nagoya
  • Livestock Keepers’ Rights
  • Opportunity for discussing joint strategies for taking this promising approach further
  • How to achieve recognition of the still largely hidden and ignored role of pastoralists as guardians of biological diversity

It will also have relevance for the emerging issue of rights over animal genetic resources and possible dimensions and cornerstones of an AnGR (animal genetic resource) commons.

Duration: full-day

Size: 12-25 participants

Workshop Methodology
Presentations, case studies, open discussion, experience sharing, brain-storming

Workshop Leader/s
Ilse Köhler-Rollefson and Kabir Bavikatte

Supporting Organization/s: League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development, Sadri, Rajasthan, India and Natural Justice (Lawyers for Communities and the Environment), Cape Town, South Africa

Contact: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson at

Phone: +49-6154-53642 or +91-9829477535

Natural Justice (Lawyers for Communities and the Environment)

Contact: Kabir Bavikatte at

Phone: +27-21-4261633 or +27-730456035