Experts of our Association took part in the webinar “Redefining protected areas: Addressing human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples and recognizing Indigenous-led governance in conservation”, organized on 5th of September, 2021 by the Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI). IPRI is a global indigenous peoples’ organization registered in the Philippines, which works to protect the indigenous rights defenders, and unite and amplify the call for justice and respect for indigenous peoples’ rights.

During this IPRI webinar experts discussed the challenges that appear to the protected areas, important for the indigenous peoples, on examples of Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, Tanzania, Thailand and other countries. It was stressed that indigenous peoples, despite being nature’s stewards, are suffering from gross human rights violations related to criminalization, killing, enforced disappearance and massive displacement of indigenous peoples from some geographic zones. But exactly the indigenous peoples have occupied, owned, or used these lands, and such customary use of lands, territories and resources have resulted in the richness of biodiversity and landscapes that lead to the establishment of protected areas.

Expert of “ARC” professor Borys Babin presented to the webinar’s participants the submission of our Association devoted to the two Crimea-related natural objects, Syvash Bay of Azov Sea and Karkinit Bay of Black Sea. He informed the experts on the ongoing severe pollution of these water zones by Russia-controlled business, on their militarization by Russian invaders, which make direct threats to the rights to life, health, dignity, water, food, and culture of the indigenous Crimean Tatar People, residing on its shores. Professor Babin pointed to the IPRI webinar participants that Syvash Bay and Karkinit Bay were proposed by “ARC” in August, 2021, to the global list of the sacrifice zones to the UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, for their forthcoming report on toxic-free environments in which to live, work and study to be discussed in UN on 2022.