Terms of reference for the task force on indigenous and local knowledge

A. Purpose

The purpose of the task force on indigenous and local knowledge is to support achievement of deliverable 1 (c) of the work programme, concerning procedures for and approaches to working with indigenous and local knowledge systems.

B. Responsibilities of the task force

The responsibilities of the task force are as follows:

  1. To oversee the development of procedures and approaches for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems, including convening global dialogue workshops and developing case studies;
  2. To undertake work to facilitate the input of indigenous and local knowledge systems to deliverables 1 (d), 2, 3 and 4 (c), in particular in piloting the preliminary procedures and approaches for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems in the fast-track, thematic, regional and subregional assessments. Lessons learned from the piloting should be fed into the work under deliverable 1 (c);
  3. To advise on the establishment of a roster and network of experts in indigenous and local knowledge to support the Platform’s work;
  4. To support the establishment of a participatory mechanism for indigenous and local knowledge systems to facilitate linkages between indigenous and local communities and scientists;
  5. To support the Bureau and the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel in reviewing any indigenous and local knowledge issues arising from the Platform’s scoping processes and assessments and in convening dialogues and undertaking other activities to address such issues;
  6. To liaise as necessary with the task force on capacity-building and the task force on knowledge and data so as to ensure that they address issues concerning local and indigenous knowledge in an appropriate manner. 

C. Membership of the task force

The task force will comprise two Bureau members and three members of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, between them covering the five United Nations regions, and up to 20 additional experts on indigenous and local knowledge systems selected according to the rules of procedure.

At the discretion of the chair of the task force following consultation with the Bureau, a limited number of individual experts on indigenous and local knowledge systems and representatives of indigenous and local organizations may be invited to participate in the task force as resource persons.

D. Modus operandi

The task force will help to implement the strategic partnership strategy and stakeholder engagement strategy. The task force will be chaired by members of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel and will consist of experts on indigenous and local knowledge systems selected in accordance with the rules of procedure. The task force will work through face-to-face meetings, web-based meetings and other electronic interactions. Products of the task force will be reviewed by the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel in consultation with the Bureau and forwarded to the Plenary for consideration. The task force will facilitate collaboration with existing initiatives.

In carrying out its work, the task force will also:

  1. Ensure that all its activities draw effectively on existing experience, complementing and building upon existing initiatives relating to indigenous and local knowledge systems;
  2. Advise on strategic partnerships and engagement with other partners that help to deliver improved engagement with indigenous and local knowledge systems and help to facilitate and coordinate the support provided by strategic and other partners;
  3. Encourage the direct involvement of its members, as well as that of other relevant organizations, in capacity-building activities that address priority needs agreed upon by the Plenary;
  4. Encourage the involvement of indigenous and local knowledge-holders in all stages of the deliverables of the Platform’s work programme;
  5. Encourage the involvement of indigenous peoples in the Platform.