Advocacy and legal support

Following its institutional mission, the Instituto del Bien Común (IBC) aims to contribute to the proper management of common goods such as communal territories, water bodies, forests and fisheries. To this end, IBC works on the identification, analysis and elaboration of reform proposals for public policies and regulations that have an impact on the use of Amazonian lands, forests and fisheries and the rights of indigenous peoples – including uncontacted indigenous peoples.

The IBC conducts these tasks with a human rights and gender approach, through interdisciplinary work comprising social and natural sciences and the traditional and local knowledge of the Amazonian population.
To this end IBC promotes, jointly with other civil society institutions, the adoption of legislation and legal reforms related to communal territories security, natural resources management, extractive industries, and the protection of uncontacted indigenous peoples. This involves advocating before the Legislative and relevant bodies of the Executive Branch, and influencing public opinion, through various civil society-based sectoral platforms and networks.

These networks and platforms enable the exchange of information and opinion among members, aiming at developing social, political and legal analysis on issues of common interest. These analyses are at the source of policy and legal reform proposals related to relevant issues. Advocacy strategies are structured around the adoption of these proposals by Congress or relevant ministries.

IBC also concentrates on the territorial rights of indigenous peoples, providing advice and training to indigenous communities and organizations on the legal recognition process and the titling of native communities, or their territorial expansion. This involves monitoring individual titling or expansion requests filed by communities through the national administration’s regular channels and designing legal strategies to expedite the recognition of indigenous peoples’ territorial rights, in partnership with various national and international NGOs.

It also applies territorial management tools such as georeferenced maps and geographic databases to the monitoring the use of natural resources, and to strengthen the advocacy-related capacities of indigenous communities and organizations.

On this topic, IBC participates in the Indigenous Peoples’ working group of the National Human Rights Coordinator (GTPI-CNDH). On community titling, it participates in the Community Forest Management Group (MFC), the National Platform for Territorial Management (PNOT), the Peru Environment and Climate Group (GPAyC), the REDD Group, and the Business and Human Rights platform.

With regards to the protection of indigenous peoples in isolation, IBC has been working to position and highlight the urgency of protecting these vulnerable populations, whose territories are frequently invaded and under pressure, to the public and decision-makers. In addition, it promotes the creation of two territorial reserves for the protection of the Kakataibo indigenous people in isolation. These are located in Ucayali, in an area heavily pressured by illegal loggers and coca growers.

In order to contribute to a context-specific Amazonian fisheries management, and following a decade of studies and action-research on this topic that is of great importance for the well-being of the local population, IBC has developed an Amazon fisheries collaborative governance model that takes into account geographical, environmental, social and cultural specificities, as well as traditional knowledge and successful local fisheries management practices. The model has attracted great interest among Academia, the production sector, and the regional governments of the Peruvian Amazon. Advocacy actions aimed at the reform of public policies governing the management of fisheries in Amazonia referencing this model have been developed. These are complemented by training and teaching initiatives that seek to generate greater knowledge on Amazonian fisheries and their management.

These actions involve coordination with regional governments (Regional branches of the Direction of Production), CITE Amazonian Fisheries Pucallpa, PNIPA and PRODUCE. At the local level, work involves municipalities, indigenous federations and fishermen’s associations involved in sustainable fisheries resource management initiatives. Allied organizations include WCS, IIAP, NCI and WWF.