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Conservation standards: From rights to responsibilities

Although conservation interventions aim to protect biological and cultural diversity, they can affect communities in a number of ways. The vast body of international law, norms and standards protecting human rights offers little rights-based, practical guidance for conservation initiatives. Focusing on indigenous peoples, this paper aims to provide a set of draft conservation standards that outline:

• how indigenous peoples’ rights are enshrined in international law

• how conservation interventions can infringe these rights

• which rights conservation actors need to be most aware of — and why — and

• conservation actors’ responsibilities in upholding these rights.

The aim of this paper is to encourage discussion and collect feedback. We look forward to continuing to develop these conservation standards.